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Cheers, Tears of Joy and Sadness as Israeli Forces Rescue Four Hostages, Commando Dies of Battle Wounds

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel Defense Forces announced Saturday that four Israeli Hamas-held hostages were freed in a raid from two different locations in central Gaza by Israeli military, police, and security forces. Later in the day, a commando who took part in the rescue was pronounced dead after he was critically wounded.

The initial notice of the rescue read, "It has been cleared for publication that in a complex operation by the IDF, Shin Bet, and the Yamam unit of the Israel police four Israeli hostages were rescued this morning (Saturday). The hostages, Noa Argamani (25), Almog Meir (21), Andrey Kozlov (27), and Shlomi Ziv (40), were kidnapped by Hamas to the Gaza Strip from the 'Nova' party on October 7th."

The statement continued, "The hostages were rescued by Shin Bet and Yamam fighters from two different locations in an operation in the heart of Nuseirat. Their medical condition is stable, and they have been transferred for further medical examinations at the 'Sheba' Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Security forces will continue to make every effort to bring back the hostages."

Nuseirat is a refugee camp in central Gaza. Hostage Noa Argamani was reunited with her father on his birthday.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari later stated, "The IDF and Yamam infiltrated two facilities while under fire by Hamas terrorists. A Yamam soldier was seriously injured in the operation and has just reached the hospital. We pray for his well-being." Later, the soldier, identified as Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, was declared dead after fighting for his life from the wounds he sustained in battle.

The Israeli Police and Border Guard declared, "The Israeli Police will stand by the bereaved family and accompany them forever."

Israel Army Radio reports the rescue operation will be named for Zamora.

After all four freed captives had arrived safely in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had followed the events from a command center and had authorized the operation on Thursday night, thanked all the military leaders and participants in the daring and carefully planned events.

He released a statement in Hebrew, reading, "The entire nation salutes you and the courageous fighters who today risked their lives in order to save lives. Yet again you have proven that Israel does not surrender to terrorism and acts with boundless valor and resourcefulness to return home our hostages. We are obligated to do the same in the future. We will not relent until we complete the mission and return all our hostages home, both the living and the deceased".

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About The Author


John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN New since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.