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Recent suburban Chicago high school grad Natalie Shoshana Raanan freed by Hamas

Recent suburban Chicago high school grad, mother freed by Hamas after being taken hostage
Recent suburban Chicago high school grad, mother freed by Hamas after being taken hostage 01:39

DEERFIELD (CBS) -- Recent Deerfield High School graduate Natalie Shoshana Raanan was freed by Hamas after several days in captivity in Gaza.

It came as a huge relief to her former high school community. 

"Deerfield High School and the entire District 113 community are thrilled with the news that DHS graduate Natalie Raanan and her mother have been released to the Red Cross and are in Israel, as confirmed to D113 by her family," said Dr. Kathryn Anderson, the high school's principal. 

Natalie and Judith Raanan.jpg

"We wish them safe and quick passage back to the U.S. so that they can be reunited with their family as soon as possible."

Natalie, who graduated from DHS this year, and her mother, Judith, were visiting family near the Gaza border in a community called Nahal Oz, a kibbutz that Hamas attacked. 

Natalie's uncle, Avi Zamir, said Natalie had texted the family before they were captured, saying, "We're all fine, yes indeed. Mommy's room that she was sleeping in got bombed, but we are now transferring to another guest house where there is a shelter."

Relief as suburban Chicago teen, mother released by Hamas after being taken hostage 01:38

Israel's military and security forces met the pair at the country's border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement. They were taken to a military base to reunite with family members.

Avi Zamir, Natalie's uncle, said Natalie and her mother have had initial medical exams by the Red Cross. 

"We're extremely, extremely joyful, happy," he said. 

Natalie Raanan (grey shirt) and her mother, Judith, with Israeli security forces, after they were released by Hamas on Friday.  Government of Israel

"We're graciously thankful for the cooperation, effort, and support by the United States government and the State Department in bringing Judith and Natalie safe back home.

"In a moment of joy for us as a family, we are still remembering and acknowledging that there are still over 200 hostages and there are still families whose loved ones are still being held hostage, and we will continue the struggle and effort to bring them back home safely, each and every single one of them."  

Chicago suburban residents react after local mom, daughter released by Hamas 01:21
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