Middle East

Israel says four hostages rescued in central Gaza military operation

By Benjamin Brown, CNN

CNN  — 

Four hostages have been freed in a special operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Israel’s military says.

Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40, were rescued by the Israeli military, intelligence and special forces from two separate locations in Nuseirat, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Saturday.

All four were kidnapped from the Nova music festival on October 7, according to the IDF.

“They are in good medical condition and have been transferred to the ‘Sheba’ Tel-HaShomer Medical Center for further medical examinations,” the IDF added.

Rescuing hostages taken during the Hamas attacks of October 7 remains a major goal of the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

News of the rescue came soon after Israel’s military said it was operating in Nuseirat and other areas of central Gaza, where heavy shelling and artillery fire is being reported.

At least 55 people have been killed as a result of the operation in Nuseirat, Deir al-Balah and al-Zawaideh on Saturday, according to a spokesperson at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah.

The spokesperson said earlier on Saturday the number of injured is so high that it is difficult to confirm the exact number.

Released hostage Almog Meir Jan pictured on Saturday.

This is the third such successful operation. IDF Corporal Ori Megidish was rescued in October last year from the northern Gaza Strip. In another operation on February 12 this year, Fernando Marman and Louis Har were rescued from southern Rafah.

Video showed Argamani embracing her father after her release.

She was one of the best-known remaining hostages and appeared in a series of Hamas propaganda videos released in January.

The first video showed clips of Argamani alongside two male hostages, Yossi Sharabi and Itai Svirsky. It ended with a caption saying, “Tomorrow, we will inform you of their fate.”

A third and final video appeared to show the dead bodies of Svirsky and Sharabi. It also featured Argamani saying both men had been killed by Israeli bombing, with their deaths later confirmed by their home village.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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