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Israel frees four hostages in Gaza

All those freed are in good health. One is Noa Argamani, who Hamas released a video of being captured and taken away on a motorbike during the Oct. 7 massacre.

Mujeres israelíes marchan mientras sostienen carteles con las fotos de los rehenes israelíes Noa Argamani y Oz Daniel durante una manifestación en Tel Aviv en demanda de un acuerdo inmediato sobre los rehenes y un alto el fuego.

(Cordon Press)

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Saturday that they have freed four Israelis captured by Hamas on Oct. 7 who were at the Nova music festival.

Noa Argamani (25), Almog Meir Jan (21), Andrey Kozlov (27) and Shlomi Ziv (40) are the hostages who have been brought to safety in a joint operation by the IDF, the police and the Shabak.

All are in "good health." They were taken to Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center.

Noa Argamani was one of the most recognizable faces of the massacre in Israel that started the war, after a video of her sobbing while being forced to get on a motorbike was released. The young woman reappeared in another video in January, posted by Hamas to mark 100 days since Oct. 7 and to pressure the Israelis.

In a recording from this Saturday, she can be seen reuniting with her father:


Following the rescue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured that "Israel will not surrender to terrorism."

He also said that the rescue showed that the country "acts with boundless creativity and bravery to bring the hostages back home." "We will not give up until we accomplish our mission and bring back all our hostages, the living and the dead," he added.

Netanyahu welcomed Argamani by telephone, assuring her that they never stopped looking for her. The young Israeli woman thanked him, "for so long I missed hearing Hebrew." The leader then met with the four hostages in the hospital:

120 hostages remain in Gaza

"This was a high risk complex mission, based on precise intelligence, conducted in daylight," IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said at a press conference in which he also recalled that they "were rescued after 246 days in Hamas captivity."

"While under fire inside the buildings, inside on the way out from Gaza, our forces rescued our hostages," he added before assuring that they had been preparing for weeks.

The officers and soldiers, he remarked, risked their lives to save the captives: "This is what we do in Israel." During the operations, Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora was seriously wounded. He died in Israel of his wounds.

Hagari said that while "happy" about the return of the four hostages, "we will not lose sight that 120 hostages are still being held by Hamas in Gaza."

Biden pledges to work for release of all hostages

At a press conference with his French counterpart, President Biden celebrated the rescue and promised:

We won't stop working until all the hostages come home and a ceasefire is reached.

Hamas: "Our people will not surrender."

The leader of the terrorist group, Ismail Haniyeh, assured after the successful operation that the "resistance" would continue.

"Our people will not surrender and the resistance will continue to defend our rights against this criminal enemy," he said in a statement.

Celebratory images

This Saturday, celebratory images began to emerge both inside the hospital where the hostages were treated and in different parts of Israel and the world.