Israel Defense Forces rescue four hostages in Gaza

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Around 11 A.M. on Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces announced they had rescued four hostages from the town of Nuseirat in Gaza. All of the hostages were taken by Hamas during the October 7 massacre at the Tribe of Nova Festival in Re'im and held for eight months. The hostages freed were 26 year old Noa Argamani, 22 year old Almog Meir Jan, 27 year old Andrey Kozlov, and 41 year old Shlomi Ziv. The hostages were rescued with two helicopters from two separate buildings.

The IDF reported they were "in good medical condition and have been transferred to the Sheba Medical Center for further medical examinations."

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari from the IDF said "Hamas had intentionally hidden [the hostages] among homes where there were civilians."

Noa Argamani, speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said “I’m so emotional, it’s been so long since I heard Hebrew." Her father Yaakov Argamani thanked Netanyahu and others for the rescue. He called for people to join a rally in support of the remaining hostages, saying "there are still 120 hostages" and they "must make every effort" to "bring them here to Israel, to their families."

One Israeli police officer was reported to have been killed in the operation. Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant called it a "complex operation" by the IDF who had "operated with extraordinary courage under heavy fire.

Israel has said that fewer than 100 people died in the operation, while Hamas has said that 274 people died.

The spokesperson for Hamas's military wing, Abu Obaida, suggested Hamas would punish the remaining hostages in response.

This was the first successful rescue of live hostages since February.

The hostages were taken during the October 7, 2023 attack, which killed 1,139 Israelis, including 373 members of the security forces, 695 civilians (including 36 children), and 71 foreigners. In addition, nearly 250 Israelis were taken hostage. During the attack, more than 3,000 Hamas gunmen crossed the border, as well as nearly 6,000 rockets were fired. Sources indicate numerous acts of sexual assault resulted during this conflict. Thousands of rockets are also reported to have been fired during the attack. In response, Israel declared war on Hamas and mobilized 350,000 reservists. Up to May 2024, Israel says they have killed 14,000 terrorists and 16,000 civilians during the war, while Hamas says that 35,000 people have been killed.