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Family of Evanston mother, daughter Natalie Raanan and Judith Raanan, held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, pray for safe return

Friday, October 13, 2023 2:49AM

ABC7 Chicago 24/7 Stream

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) — The family of a north suburban mother and daughter who are believed to be among the hostages held in Gaza by Hamas are praying for their safe return.

A prayer vigil was held in Evanston for Natalie Raanan and her mother Judith.

“I want them to come back alive because they’re innocent and loving, and they didn’t do anything, just innocent,” said aunt Sigal Zamir.

The pair were visiting family in southern Israel on Saturday when it’s believed they were kidnapped and taken hostage by Hamas.

Natalie, who is 17, just graduated from Deerfield High School.

“Kind person. She’s a sweetheart. She loves animals, liked life, liked friends, typical teenager,” said uncle Avi Zamir.

Judith Raanan is described as a devout, kind and generous person.

“Judith, we’re thinking of you, of your resilience, your hope, your love, your generosity, your faith and strength,” said her friend Yehudis Hecht.

Natalie’s family on her father’s side said they’ve been in contact with the Israeli government and received confirmation that she’s now officially regarded as a hostage, but could not tell ABC7 if Judith’s direct relatives have received similar confirmation.

“We hope and pray they are together. Both of them,” Avi Zamir said.

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https://abc7chicago.com/israel-gaza-hamas-hostages-natalie-raanan/13904825/ Family of Evanston mother, daughter Natalie Raanan and Judith Raanan, held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, pray for safe return

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