The father of an 18-year-old woman, who is a recent Deerfield High School graduate, says his daughter and her mother have been kidnapped by Hamas while visiting family in Israel.
Deerfield High School Principal Dr. Kathryn Anderson sent a letter to the school community on Monday.
Anderson said it was in “great sadness” to share that Deerfield High School alumna Natalie Raanan, who graduated just months ago, was reported missing.
Natalie Raanan and her mother, Judith Raanan, who are both Evanston residents, went to Israel in September to visit family.
The two are feared to have been taken hostage by the Hamas militant group following its attack on Israel over the weekend.
In a social media post published early Sunday morning, the father of Natalie Raanan announced his daughter and her mother had been captured 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,” Anderson said.
Natalie Raanan and Judith Raanan were last heard from Saturday afternoon.
The two were in Nahal Oz, which is near the Gaza Strip.
Anderson said the school district does not have any additional information on the disappearance.
“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 said in the letter.
The principal said counseling services are available to all students when they require additional support.
“While our counselor team works with students on academic and post-high school planning, school counselors are also trained mental health professionals who are here to support students with their social-emotional needs,” Anderson said.