‘Judith and Natalie were dragged out with their hands tied’: Hamas releases two relatives of NBC correspondent | The Israeli-Palestinian conflict

to updateThe two Americans released by Hamas on Friday were Judith Raanan and her daughter, Natalie (17 years old). The two are related to the wife of Martin Fletcher, a former NBC Middle East and Israel correspondent. On Thursday, Fletcher told me with a lump in his throat that Hamas had kidnapped them. “They were last seen when the terrorists dragged them away with their hands tied,” she added.

look. Natalie’s father emotionally reacts to her release: ‘I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time’

Judith and Natalie had traveled to Israel from the American city of Evanston, Illinois, to celebrate a Jewish birthday and holiday with other family members. However, on October 7, they were also surprised by a horrific Hamas raid. Today, after being held hostage for nearly fourteen days, they have been released. Hamas said it did so “for humanitarian reasons” and “after Qatari mediation.” Their release also aims to prove to the American people and the whole world that the statements of US President Joe Biden “and his fascist government” are baseless.

Yesterday, former NBC correspondent Martin Fletcher provided more information about Hamas’ strategy. Soon things got personal too. “Hostages are used in psychological warfare, and it is a successful tactic. Only today did I learn for sure that two of my wife’s relatives have also been kidnapped.”

He added that Hamas fighters were instructed to kill the rioters and use the rest as human shields. “So it became very personal for me.” Fletcher couldn’t hold back his tears at that moment.

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‘An unprecedented situation’

The reporter continued: “It concerns Natalie and Judith, who are American citizens.” “They visited the grandmother on her 85th birthday, and were last seen when the terrorists dragged them away with their hands tied.”

“No one is really confident that we can bring them back to life. Of course there is hope,” he said on Thursday. “The United States and its intelligence services are doing everything in their power to ensure a good outcome. Israel claims that taking hostages is its main priority, but it may consider eliminating Hamas and its leaders more important. To achieve this goal, the hostages only stand in the way. “It is an unprecedented situation.”

Judith Ranan with her daughter Natalie.
Judith Ranan with her daughter Natalie. © Facebook

On the way to the family

The two women are the first hostages released by Hamas. The Israeli army currently assumes that most of the approximately 200 hostages are still alive. More than twenty of them are said to be minors.

According to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the security forces received the mother and her daughter “on the border of the Gaza Strip,” and they are “currently on their way to a meeting point at a military base in the center of the country.” Where their relatives are waiting for them.”

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