Family members of Hamas victims from Chicago area speak out

Hundreds gathered at a Chicago Synagogue to pray amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Families of some Israeli victims stopped in Chicago to beg for Hamas hostages in Gaza to be freed and to remember the lives already lost.

Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie were the first American hostages to leave Hamas captivity.

"They are physically healthy. But my personal experience when they got back hugging them was the most intense hug I’ve ever felt," said Judith’s cousin Or Sella.

Judith and Natalie aren’t the only members of their family that the terrorists took.

The attack affected a total of 12 family members.

Three were murdered, and nine were taken hostage, including a 3-year-old girl.

"I think we can not accept a world where a three-year-old is taken from her home and held somewhere in a tunnel in Gaza," said Or Sella’s wife.

"I can’t get into any specifics about confidential conversations that may affect the release of other hostages," said Or Sella. 

Former Chicagoans, Hersch Polin-Goldberg’s parents shared a video message with the crowd.

The couple and Sellas are not alone in their hope for a safe return.

More than 200 other prisoners are with Hamas, including Shani Segal’s cousin Rimon Kirscht and her husband, Yagev Buchshtav.

"She texted that they are shooting at them," said Segal, "They found the house with glass shattered, bullet holes, signs of struggle, and she was gone."

Amid her worry, she sees support from places like Chicago, and it gives her strength.

"I think the community here is doing a lot to make us feel safe. While a lot of Jewish people don’t feel safe these days," said Segal. 

Judith and Natalie's family says the women need time to heal, and they will share their stories with the media when they are ready.