How Israel rescued 4 hostages from Gaza

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 10:03 am

Israeli forces have rescued four hostages from the al-Nuseirat refugee camp and surrounding areas in the central Palestinian enclave of Gaza, in an operation they have been preparing for weeks.

While the operation brought relief to the Israelis, it created more suffering for the Palestinians. Hospitals in central Gaza said scores of people, including women and children, were killed in the raid on the densely populated Nuseirat refugee camp.

Dubbed ‘Seeds of Summer’, the campaign was unusually conducted during the day. Israel’s defense forces have further surprised the adversary through this.

Roads are usually busy during mid-morning. People are busy shopping in nearby shops. Not only was it risky for the Israeli special forces to enter the area, it was especially risky to get out.

A special forces officer was wounded and died in hospital, Israeli police said.

Referring to Israel’s rescue of 100 hostages from Uganda in 1976, IDF chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said it was similar to the operation in Entebbe.

He said the special commandos simultaneously raided two residential apartments in the Nusirat camp where the hostages are kept. In one apartment was a 26-year-old hostage, Noah Argamani. In the other were 41-year-old Slomi Ziv, 27-year-old Andrey Kozlov, and 22-year-old Alamg Mir Zen.

Hagari said they were not caged but locked in rooms where their guards were guarding them. He said, Israeli commandos raided there and surrounded the hostages with their bodies. In this way they are given security until they are taken to military vehicles outside.

As they left, they encountered fierce resistance from Palestinian fighters, he said. Hagari said the Israeli military planned the operation in detail. Even built sample apartments for training.

Mobile phone video from the scene shows people ducking for cover as they hear the sound of missile whistles and gunfire. Later footage shows bodies strewn across the street.

This operation obviously involved a large force. Doctors at two hospitals in central Gaza said they counted more than 70 bodies.

Hagari estimates the death toll to be less than a hundred. But Hamas’ media office says more than 200 people have been killed. However, the number of casualties was not confirmed by the BBC.

Nora Abu Khamis, who took refuge in Nusira, broke down in tears and told the BBC, “I collected the body parts of my child, my beloved child.” Another child of mine is on the verge of life and death. Even my husband and mother in law my whole family is destroyed. It is a genocide.

Ten-year-old Ariz Al Jadneh spoke to us at a nearby hospital. There were airstrikes, tanks and shelling, he said.

We couldn’t breathe, says Ariz Al Zadneh. My sister Rimaj was hit by shrapnel on her head and my five-year-old sister Yara was also injured by shrapnel.

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