The two American hostages released on Friday by Hamas have been identified as Judith, 59, and Natalie Raanan, 17, relatives of former NBC reporter and Tel Aviv bureau chief Martin Fletcher.
Fletcher joined Stephanie Ruhle on MSNBC on Thursday and became emotional when discussing the members of his wife’s family who were being held hostage in Gaza.
On Friday, Fletcher’s family members were released from captivity.
Fletcher joined NBC News when the hostages were identified and called it a “miracle,” they had been released.
Judith and Natalie Raanan are American citizens from Illinois and were visiting family in Nahal Oz on Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli neighborhoods. They are both now back in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The two women were received at Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and were then transported to a military base in central Israel where they were awaited by family members, Israel’s prime minister’s office said.
There are an estimated 200 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, and at least 20 Americans remain missing, according to U.S. authorities.
President Joe Biden posted on X confirming the release of the two hostages taken by Hamas, “during the horrific terrorist assault against Israel.”
“Our fellow citizens have endured a terrible ordeal these past 14 days, Biden continued. “I am overjoyed that they will soon be reunited with their family.”