Shaun King Claims He Helped Negotiate Release Of Gaza Hostages, Families Say He’s Lying

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Racial activist Shaun King claimed on social media Saturday that he helped facilitate the release of American hostages Natalie and Judith Raanan taken captive by Hamas.

King said on Instagram that one of the captives, Natalie Raanan, had been a fan of his, and that he worked with a team of others and the Qatari government to help secure her release. The racial activist also said that he spoke with Raanan’s family following her release, a point the family contests. (RELATED: Activist Shaun King Appears To Endorse Antifa Member And ICE Attacker’s Violent Tactics)

Both ladies were taken captive by Hamas during their October 7th incursion into Southern Israel. Hamas’ attack on Israel resulted in over 1200 Israelis dying and roughly 150 civilians being taken hostage.

“Hamas has just freed the teenager Natalie Raanan and her mother. I’m grateful.” He wrote, “As I said last week, Natalie and her family have been supporters of mine and protested police violence in America alongside us.”

“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,” he continued, “I spoke to Natalie’s family this afternoon and they are anxiously awaiting more updates.”

Journalist Yuna Leibzon cast doubt on King’s claim on social media and said the Raanan family had never met the activist.

“It is important to clarify: the family of Natalie and Yehudit Ra’anan says they have no idea who Sean King is and they first found out about his existence after their release and reading the posts,” she wrote.

The journalist added that King is also a “known hater” of the Israeli state.

The Raanan family also released a statement saying that they had no relationship with King and that he played no role in helping to free Natalie and Judith.

“Today we came across bizarre posts on the Instagram page of one Shaun King, who turns out to have millions of followers, who claims that our relative Natalie Raanan supports the anti-Israeli messages he uploads to his page. First and foremost, we make it clear that he is lying!” The statement reads

“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. Natalie told us that this morning it was the first time in her life that she came across Shaun King’s name and his posts, after she finally got a phone call after two horrific weeks in captivity in Gaza, and was looking for what was written about her while she was away,” the statement continued.

King has long been criticized for embellishments or outright lies. Some commentators have alleged that King is actually white and pretends to be black for credibility in the racial justice sphere. Critics have also pointed to the unaccounted for millions he raised for a racial justice non-profit after the killing of George Floyd.