Israeli forces rescue 4 hostages who are in 'good medical condition'

By Mike Heuer
Noa Argamani is reunited with her father after being rescued from Gaza in a special operation on Saturday. Screengrab via Israel Foreign Ministry/UPI
1 of 8 | Noa Argamani is reunited with her father after being rescued from Gaza in a special operation on Saturday. Screengrab via Israel Foreign Ministry/UPI | License Photo

June 8 (UPI) -- Israel Defense Forces freed four hostages from two locations within the Nuseirat refugee camp in Central Gaza on Saturday, the IDF announced.

Shlomi Ziv, 40; Almong Meir Jan, 21; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Noa Argamani, 25; were liberated from Hamas captors who kidnapped them during the Oct. 7 attack on the Nova Music Festival in Israel. Three other hostages were previously rescued.


Argamani's Hamas captors posted a viral video of Argamani being placed on the back of a motorcycle and taken into Gaza by her kidnappers during the attack. She was attending the music festival with her boyfriend, who also was kidnapped.

Last month, Hamas published video featuring the voice of Argamani in which she urged Israel to bring about her release.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Argamani, who said in the call: "I haven't spoken Hebrew in a very long time," after Netanyahu asked how she was feeling.

"For one moment, we haven't given up on you. I don't know if you believed it, but we had full belief," Netanyahy said.

The IDF, special forces and Israeli intelligence rescued the four hostages during the operation as heavy artillery fire occurred.


"They are in good medical condition and have been transferred to the 'Sheba' Tel-HaShomer Medical Center for further medical examinations," the IDF announced.

News of the successful rescued was greeted with cheers in Israel, including on a beach in Tel Aviv when a lifeguard announced the rescues and then the names while using a loudspeaker.

A friend of Argamani, Yan Gorjaltsan, told NBC News he and a group of her friends were going to Tel Aviv to visit her.

"This is the happiest days of our lives," Gorjaltsan said. "You can't believe how we're feeling."

At least 107 were killed while the rescue operation was underway, a spokesperson for the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah said.

IDF forces have conducted three successful hostage rescue operations.

An IDF corporal, Ori Megidish was rescued from northern Gaza in October, and Fernando Marman and Louis Har were rescued from southern Rafah on Feb. 12.

More than 1,200 Israeli citizens were killed in the Oct. 7 attack, including women, children and the elderly.

The four hostages rescued Saturday were among 250 kidnapped and taken to locations throughout Gaza.

The United States officially designated Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization on Oct. 8, 1998.


In Paris, President Joe Biden spoke about the hostage operation during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

"I want to echo President Macron's comments welcoming the safe rescue of four hostages that were returned to their families in Israel. We won't stop working until all the hostages come home and a ceasefire is reached. That is essential to happen," he said.

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