The Israeli Prime Minister’s office has confirmed that two US hostages, Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie, have been released from the militant organization Hamas.
They were received at the Gaza Strip border by Brigadier General Gal Hirsch and other security forces. Currently, they are on their way to a meeting point at a military base in the center of Israel, where their family members are waiting for them. There are still around 200 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
A Hamas spokesperson said, “following Qatari efforts, we released 2 American citizens (a mother & her daughter) for humanitarian reasons”.
Qatar’s foreign policy has for years focused on mediation, with US officials immediately identifying Qatar as a regional broker in the Israel-Hamas war.
Hamas maintains a political office in Qatar, with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani telling reporters on October 13 that the office has been key in “keeping the communication open” during the war.