North suburban Chicago Deerfield High School is fearing for the life of a 19-year-old graduate and her mother, who both disappeared during the attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel Sunday.
School principal Dr. Kathryn Anderson sent a letter Monday to students and parents revealing that 2023 graduate Natalie Raanan was visiting family in Israel when the attacks occurred, and neither she nor her mother have been located, according to NBC Chicago.
“It is with great sadness that I share we have received word that DHS alumna, Natalie Raanan (Class of 2023), who was visiting family in Israel, has been reported missing,” Anderson’s letter reads. “Her family fears that she has been taken hostage by Hamas. We keep Natalie and her family in our hearts, along with all the innocent lives lost, wounded and impacted by the terrorist attack.”
“Sadly, we know that many students and families have been impacted by the tragic events in Israel. We come together as a school community to support each other during this difficult time,” Anderson added before informing students that counseling services are available if needed.
According to Rabbi Meir Hecht of Chabad in Evanston, the 19-year-old high school grad and her mother, Judith Tai Raanan, had been planning the trip to a kibbutz near the Gaza border for weeks, and both were looking forward to the visit.
Judith Tai Raanan (Keren Cohen/Facebook)
Unfortunately, the area they were visiting was heavily impacted by the terrorist incursion.
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“That kibbutz we know was infiltrated by Hamas, pulling people out their doors, murdering viciously and torturing people,” Rabbi Hecht added.
The young lady’s father told the media that his last contact with the pair was a text saying they were hiding from the attackers, and he now fears they have been taken hostage, ABC 7 reported.
Michael Traison, who frequently visits Israel, blasted the terrorist attack.
“This is not army against army. These were terrorists who were attacking families,” he told NBC. “This is not just another country. This is a country built on the ashes of humanity’s worst tragedies.”
Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to address the attacks in Israel in an appearance at an Israeli Solidarity Gathering in suburban Glencoe on Tuesday.