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Noa Argamani: Four Israeli hostages, including Noa Argamani, freed after 8 m...

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Published Time: 08.06.2024 - 17:13:05 Modified Time: 08.06.2024 - 17:13:05

Israeli aircraft hummed overhead as the bodies of nearly 100 Palestinians killed were taken to Al-Aqsa Hospital, where spokesperson Khalil Degran told The more than 100 wounded also arrived. AP reporters saw dozens of bodies brought from the Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah areas, as smoke rose in the distance and armored vehicles rolled by. Noa Argamani


Her mother, Liora, has brain cancer and had released a video pleading to see her daughter. Israel’s Channel 13 said Argamani was moved to the hospital where her mother is treated. In a message released by the government, Argamani told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu she was “very excited,” saying she hadn’t heard Hebrew in so long.

Netanyahu in a statement vowed to continue the fighting until all hostages are freed. The operation was “daring in nature, planned brilliantly, and executed in an extraordinary fashion,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.

Israeli aircraft hummed overhead as the bodies of nearly 100 Palestinians killed were taken to Al-Aqsa Hospital, where spokesperson Khalil Degran told The more than 100 wounded also arrived. AP reporters saw dozens of bodies brought from the Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah areas, as smoke rose in the distance and armored vehicles rolled by.

A baby was among the dead. Small children wailed, covered in blood. Bodies were placed on the ground outside, their feet bare, as more wounded were rushed in.

“My two cousins were killed, and two other cousins were seriously injured. They did not commit any sin. They were sitting at home,” one relative said in the chaos. As Palestinians explored the newly destroyed buildings, a small child sat on a collapsed metal door, overwhelmed.

Neighboring Egypt condemned “with the strongest terms” Israel’s attacks on the Nuseirat refugee camp, with its foreign ministry calling it a “flagrant violation of all rules of international law.” Neighboring Jordan also condemned it.

“The bloodbath must end immediately,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on the social platform X, noting reports of civilian deaths.

Israel’s military said it had attacked “threats to our forces in the area,” adding that one commando died from his wounds.

A U.S. hostage cell provided advice and support throughout the process of locating and rescuing the hostages, according to a Biden administration official, who was not authorized to comment and requested anonymity. The hostage cells are multi-agency teams.

Hamas took some 250 hostages during the Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,200 . half were released in a weeklong cease-fire in November. 120 hostages remain, with 43 pronounced dead. Survivors include  15 women, two children under 5 and two men in their 80s.

Saturday’s operation brought the total number of rescued hostages to seven. Two were freed in February and one was freed in the aftermath of the October attack. Israeli troops have recovered the bodies of at least 16 others, according to the government.

The latest rescue lifted some spirits in Israel as divisions deepen over the best way to bring hostages home. Many Israelis urge Netanyahu to embrace a cease-fire deal U.S. President Joe Biden announced last month, but far-right allies threaten to collapse his government if he does.

Netanyahu, whose support has fallen, rushed to the hospital to greet the freed hostages. But thousands of Israelis again gathered Saturday evening for the latest anti-government demonstration and calls for a cease-fire deal to bring all hostages home.

It was unclear what effect the rescue might have on apparently stalled cease-fire efforts. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return to the Middle East next week, seeking a breakthrough.

“The hostage release and cease-fire deal that is now on the table would secure the release of all the remaining hostages together with security assurances for Israel and relief for the innocent civilians in Gaza,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

International pressure is mounting on Israel to limit civilian bloodshed in its war in Gaza, which reached its eighth month on Friday with more than 36,700 Palestinians killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians.

Palestinians also face widespread hunger because fighting and Israeli restrictions have largely cut off the flow of aid.

Israel is intensifying operations across central Gaza, where the hostages were rescued. On Thursday, an Israeli airstrike hit a U.N.-run school compound in Nuseirat, killing over 33  inside the school, including three women and nine children.


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