Netanyahu: Israel will do whatever it takes to return hostages

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 Netanyahu: Israel will do whatever it takes to return hostages
Caption: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets with rescued hostage Noa Argamani, right, and her father, Yaakov, center, at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel on June 8, 2024. Credit: GPO.

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The prime minister met with the four rescued hostages and their families at Sheba Medical Center, praising the soldiers who carried out the operation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Saturday night with the four freed Hamas hostages and their families at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, praising the soldiers who carried out the daring daytime rescue operation in Gaza earlier in the day.

"Israel just carried out a remarkable rescue operation of four hostages held by Hamas. This operation required ingenuity and courage of the highest degree, and our soldiers performed in an unmatchable way," the premier said after meeting the rescued abductees and their relatives.

"We're committed to getting the release of all the hostages, and we expect Hamas to release them all—but if they don't, we'll do whatever it takes to get them all back home," he continued.

"Hamas is committing war crimes every day, including the holding of these hostages. Our soldiers are performing in the most valiant and moral way to end this war with a victory against these killers and against these kidnappers, and we shall prevail," he said.

During a complex daytime operation in the heart of a crowded residential neighborhood, Israeli forces recovered from Hamas captivity Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40.

A commander from the Border Police’s "Yamam" National Counter-Terrorism Unit was mortally wounded during the operation. Ch. Insp. Arnon Zamora was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead a short time later.

"I salute Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, Commander in the elite Yamam Unit, who fell while leading a daring operation to rescue 4 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. He lived and fell a hero," tweeted Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

The four hostages were all abducted by Hamas from the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im during the Oct. 7 massacre.

Israeli First Lady Sara Netanyahu said in a meeting with Rosetta Ziv, mother of Shlomi, that her husband would name the rescue operation after Zamora.

Sara Netanyahu also met with Yaakov Argamani, the father of Noa, saying that she was glad that Noa was reunited with her mother, Liora, 61, who has terminal cancer and is being treated at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, where the two met.

"Thank God. I thanked the prime minister and I thank you. He promised that he would take action and he did," said Yaakov Argamani, whose daughter was rescued on his birthday. "We have a strong and courageous prime minister. With God's help, I believe that the prime minister, with our army, will bring all of our hostages [home]," he said.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog issued a statement welcoming the hostages home and thanking Israeli forces for "an impressive and courageous rescue operation," and calling for the immediate release of the remaining captives.

“With overwhelming emotions we received the very moving news about the rescue from captivity of Noa Argamani, Almog Meir, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv, who were kidnapped on October 7th from the music festival in Re’im and were finally reunited with their loved ones," Herzog said.

"On behalf of the entire people of Israel, I thank the IDF, the Israeli Security Agency (Shabak), the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces for an impressive and courageous rescue operation. I wish for the immediate return of all the hostages to their families. Am Yisrael Chai!”

Israeli Defense Minister Gallant called the rescue "one of the most heroic and extraordinary operations" that he had witnessed in his 47-years in the defense establishment, adding that it was "daring in nature, planned brilliantly and executed in an extraordinary fashion."

Stressing that Israel would do everything possible to return the remaining hostages in Gaza, Gallant said that the successful operation was "also an opportunity to fulfill the goals of this war.”


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