Israeli Special Forces Rescue Four Hostages from Hamas in Central Gaza Raid

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Israeli Special Forces Rescue Four Hostages from Hamas in Central Gaza Raid  Noa Argamani

Four Israeli hostages were rescued by Israeli Special Forces on Saturday in a military operation in central Gaza.

The hostages have been identified as Almog Meir Jan (21 years old), Noa Argamani (25), Andrey Kozlov (27), and Shlomi Ziv (40). The four were among those taken in the October 7th Hamas attack in Israel: all were participants at the music festival near the Israel-Gaza border at the time. Noa Argamani has been one of the most famous hostages, with a video of her abduction having went viral on social media.

A Palestinian health official told AP News that 94 Palestinians were killed in the operation, including children. A Time of Israel report stated that “Hamas health authorities reported at least 50 Palestinians were killed, without noting how many were combatants.” Gaza’s Civilian and military casualty numbers are often disputed by Israel, which claims they are distortions as part of propaganda efforts.

According to a joint statement by Israeli military authorities, the Yamam counter-terrorism unit and Shin Bet agents raided two buildings controlled by Hamas in Nuseirat, Gaza. All four hostages were determined to be in good condition by medical assessors.

There have been a handful of other hostage rescue attempts in Gaza since the October 7th attack, but none have rescued as many hostages. In November, 105 hostages were released by Hamas during a truce.

In recent weeks, Israel has been carrying out military operations close to the Egypt-Gaza border around Rafah. An Egyptian soldier was killed by Israeli forces. While the Biden administration has been critical of strikes in Rafah, they are continuing to send weapon shipments.

It is estimated that about 251 hostages were taken during the October 7 attack, and 116 remain under Hamas’ control. Some are suspected to have been killed by Hamas.