Hamas say three hostages including American citizen killed in Israeli raid which freed four others

9 June 2024, 16:06

Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40.
Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40. Picture: Hostages and Missing Families Forum

By Chay Quinn

Three Hamas-held hostages were killed in an Israeli raid in which the IDF freed four others, a spokesperson for the group has said.

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In a Telegram statement, a spokesperson for the proscribed terrorist group said: "We inform you that against these, your army killed three prisoners in the same camp, one of whom holds American citizenship."

The raid was undertaken by the Israel Defense Force and rescued four civilians who were kidnapped from the Nova music festival on October 7.

Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan 21, Andrey Kozlov 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40, were rescued in a complex special daytime operation.

The hostages were rescued in two separate locations in the heart of Nuseirat, officials said.

Meanwhile, Hamas claims that at least 300 Palestinians were killed in airstrikes in the same area, according to local medics. It marks one of the bloodiest single incidents of the war.

It is unclear if the hostage rescue and air assault were part of the same operation.

It came ahead of the expected resignation of Benny Ganz from Israel's war cabinet.

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IDF's Peter Lerner joins Ali Miraj as four hostages are rescued alive from Gaza

A touching video shared by Bring Them Home Now showed 25-year-old Noa Argamani being reunited with her father after several months of separation.

Ms Argamani, has been one of the most widely recognised hostages since she was abducted from the music festival.

The video of her abduction was among the first to surface, with images of her horrified face widely shared as she was held between two men on a motorcycle.

“The heroic operation by the (Israeli army) that freed and brought home Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Andrey Kozlov, and Almog Meir Jan is a miraculous triumph,” the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said.

Hamas kidnapped some 250 hostages during its attack on southern Israel on October 7.

About half were released in a week-long ceasefire in November.

Israel says more than 130 hostages remain, with about a quarter of those believed dead, and divisions are deepening in the country over the best way to bring them home.

Saturday's operation is the largest recovery of alive hostages since the war erupted, bringing the total of rescued captives to seven.

Defence minister Yoav Gallant called the rescue "a heroic operation" and said the army will fight until all hostages are returned.

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