Israel Frees Four Hostages In A Daring Operation That Delivers A Boost To Israel’s Narrative On Hamas And The War. America Helps Israel In The Rescue.


A GLORIOUS MOMENT. Against all odds, under massive international pressure and blunt displays of Jewish hatred from all sides, Israel mounted a daring operation inside Gaza Saturday morning and freed four hostages – a woman and three men – held by Hamas terrorists in a densely populated civilian neighborhood. Tragically, Chief Inspector Arnon Zmora was critically wounded during the hostage rescue operation and died shortly afterward. He will be remembered as a true hero that selflessly sacrificed himself to save others.

The operation is a blow to Hamas commanders and negotiators in Egypt and Qatar who continue to blackmail Israel and the international community while hiding the hostages among Gaza’s civilians, endangering both Israeli and Palestinian lives and prolonging suffering and war.

The four freed hostages. Know more details about their backgrounds here.

‘I HAVEN’T SPOKEN HEBREW FOR SO LONG’. The moving words of Noa Argamani, 26, who became a worldwide face of Hamas terrorism on October 7 when the world saw clips of Hamas terrorists taking a terrified and screaming Noa on the back of a motorcycle to Gaza. She was abducted from the Nova music festival in Israel.

ISRAELI PRESIDENT & PRIME MINISTER spoke by phone to Noa after she was transported to Israel’s prestigious Sheba Medical Center. President Herzog told her “it just brings tears to my eyes” to speak to her and Prime Minister Netanyahu told her “not for a moment did we give up on you.” Noa replied: “I’m very excited. I haven’t spoken Hebrew for so long.”

AMERICAN TEAM HELPED. An American team on the ground in Israel provided intelligence and other logistical support to the Israeli military in the operation. The Washington Post described the team as “American hostage recovery officials.” There were civilian casualties in the operation because the terrorists hid the hostages among Palestinian civilians.

A FALLEN HERO. Below is Israeli Police Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, who was fatally wounded trying to rescue the four hostages and died of his injuries shortly after being brought back to hospital in Israel. He is a hero to so many, and not just for this operation. Continue reading after this picture.

ARNON ZAMORA, the officer of the elite Israel Police ‘Yamam’ counter-terrorism unit wounded in the hostage rescue operation and later succumbed to his wounds, was a larger-than-life figure. This is how his wife, Michal, eulogized him on social media: “Long before he was a fighter and a hero, he was a sweet and charming man. An amazing partner, a perfect father. A loving and beloved man.” His sister-in-law Yael Bronstein wrote: “Arnon was a man with a huge heart, so sensitive and loving. He really was an emotional person, pure gold. A sweet father, an amazing partner to my sister.”

A STRATEGIC MOMENT. This a blow to Hamas and its negotiators and a boost for Israel’s war narrative. See, below, the first images of the four freed hostages arriving in an Israeli military helicopter. We received these images from the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The following is the timeline of the daring operation that Israeli security forces mounted, losing one Israeli soldier:

  • At 11 a.m. Israel time, Israel’s military chief Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar gave the final approval for the operation.
  • Israeli forces simultaneously entered two buildings in Nuseirat, where the four hostages were spread.
  • Armed militants guarded the hostages in locations embedded within an area flush with civilians. The Israeli air force and Southern Command provided air cover. One Israeli police commando was injured in the raid, according to Hagari.
  • Israeli special forces planned this operation for several days. 
  • Chief Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari: “It was a daring operation in the light of day. 
  • In a single effort, Israel rescued more hostages alive than it had during the entire previous eight months of the war, bringing the total freed by military operations to seven.  
  • Along with Argamani, the other rescued hostages were Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrei Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41. Israel said they were in good medical condition and had been taken to Israel’s most renowned hospital, Sheba Medical Center, for evaluation [Source].
  • The four were held in two separate locations in the heart of the Nuseirat section of central Gaza.
  • The operation involved forces from Israel’s military, the internal security force, known as the Shin Bet, and police hostage-rescue units. The military said its army, navy and air force provided cover for the rescue.
  • “We are overjoyed to have you home,” wrote Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on X, following the operation. “We will keep fighting until 120 hostages are home.”

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.