The family of the two American hostages freed by Hamas terrorists has accused Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King of lying when he claimed he worked “frantically behind the scenes” to help secure their release.
Natalie Raanan, 17, and her mother, Judith Tai Raanan, 59, were freed by Hamas on Friday after spending nearly two weeks in captivity following the terror group’s bloody Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
After news broke that the mom and daughter were free, King, 44, appeared to take some credit for their safe return.
“Hamas has just freed the teenager Natalie Raanan and her mother. I’m grateful. As I said last week, Natalie and her family have been supporters of mine and protested police violence in America alongside us,” King wrote in an Instagram post on Friday.
“I am also thankful for the Qatari government for helping to negotiate this. Dozens of us worked frantically behind the scenes to help make this possible. I spoke to Natalie’s family this afternoon and they are anxiously awaiting more updates.”
However, members of the Raanan family are saying the activist fabricated his involvement and that he did nothing to help, according to reports.
“First and foremost, we make it clear that he is lying! Our family does not and did not have anything to do with him, neither directly nor indirectly. Not to him and not to anything he claims to represent,” Raanan family members wrote in a statement obtained by TMZ.
Natalie’s father, Uri Raanan, later revealed that her brother Ben had been in contact with King before her release by Hamas but said the rest of the family had no clue about his involvement.
“We reached out to many people far and wide to bring Natalie and Judith to safety. We are not affiliated with Mr. King,” the father told the Daily Beast.
“Ben, my son was talking with him without anybody in the family knowing about it until today. Our family in Israel posted this statement denying we knew him, before we learned about Ben talking to him. We have nothing further to say.”
King has now gone on the defensive following the family’s statements of his involvement, saying he “spoke directly and repeatedly with this family” since Oct. 9 and that for him to lie about helping aid the mother and daughter’s rescue “would be throwing everything away.”
“At the advice of my attorneys, I kept every text, DM, screenshot, and, according to state law, recorded all of my phone conversations. Thank God,” he wrote in the social media post with screenshots of his alleged conversations with Natalie’s brother.
“My fear was that I would be framed by the American government. I also knew the Israeli government were master liars. Receipts came in handy nonetheless.“
King’s post included a statement by Ben saying he reached out to the BLM activist knowing “he had many connections within the Palestinian government” and that though they might have “disagreements politically,” they both value human life.
In one of the messages allegedly from Ben shared by King, the brother asked him to remove a comment he left on one of King’s posts on Oct. 9, saying he messaged the activist about his missing sister.
Ben claimed he was getting death threats because of the comment and was muting his feed because it was too difficult to see the photos of Judith and Natalie.
King shared that he recorded his conversations with Ben for “own protection,” but it’s unknown if he made Ben aware he was keeping the record.
The Chicago-area mother and daughter were the first hostages released by the terrorists.
The government of Qatar played a vital role in securing their release, according to reports.
The women were released due to Judith’s declining health.
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