Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky celebrates safe return of hostage constituents

It’s been an emotional week for Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, of Illinois' 9th District.

On Thursday, two dozen pro-Palestinian protestors took over her office in Skokie demanding that she live up to her progressive agenda and sign on to legislation in congress guaranteeing protections for civilians in Gaza.

FOX 32 caught up with Schakowsky Friday afternoon, just hours after the news that two of her constituents, Judith and Natalie Raanan of Evanston, who while visiting family in Israel were taken hostage by Hamas militants on October 7th and held for two weeks, had been freed.

We asked her what went through her mind upon learning that the mother and daughter were safe and would soon be reunited with family.

"I can’t tell you what a relief it is to finally have some good news…that these two women, mom and daughter are free. We’ve been dealing with the State Department almost every day…talking to the family…so many prayers, so much hope and finally the good news that they are free."

Schakowsky says she is growing increasingly frustrated by her Republican colleagues inability to elect a Speaker of the House, given the growing and dire need for aid in the Middle East.

"They need water, they need electricity, people who have been asked to move from the north to the south within Gaza, the displaced people there…so much concern that the United States’ ability to do something is frozen now."

As for the occupation of her office, police issued several citations for trespassing but the ordeal left its mark on the Congresswoman.

"It is hard to have the kind of dialogue I would like to be able to have about my support for Palestinian rights and my support to try and end the conflict that is going on right now."