Technology

Israeli commander Arnon Zamora killed in daring raid in Gaza that introduced 4 hostages residence

The lone Israeli soldier killed within the daring raid to rescue 4 hostages in Gaza was a commander within the nation’s elite Counter-Terrorism Unit, officers mentioned.

Arnon Zamora’s unit performed a pivotal function within the profitable return of hostages Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andri Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, who had been being held captive on the Nuseirat refugee camp.

All 4 had been kidnapped from the Nova music competition on October 7.

“Behind each rescue mission, are Israeli women and men who threat their lives. We’re devastated to share that Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, commander and tactical operator within the Yamam (Nationwide Police Counter-Terrorism Unit), who was critically wounded within the operation to rescue hostages this morning, has succumbed to his wounds,” Israeli’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned in an announcement Saturday on X, with out offering extra specifics.

Mr Zamora lived within the village of Sde David, close to the Israeli metropolis of Sderot — lower than 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the Gaza border.

He leaves behind a spouse Michal, two kids and his dad and mom Reuven and Ruthi, Haaretz reported.

Mr Zamora fought on Oct 7 on the Battle of Yad Mordechai, halting the advance of dozens of Hamas terrorists making an attempt to penetrate the nation, officers mentioned.

Different tributes to Mr Zamora poured in Saturday.

“I salute Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, Commander within the elite Yamam Unit, who fell whereas main a daring operation to rescue 4 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. He lived and fell a hero,” Israeli Protection Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned in an announcement on X.

Mr Ziv’s sister Revital Nasi provided a tearful thanks to the fallen hero’s household for his sacrifice to save lots of her brother.

“We’re so sorry and simply wish to say thanks,” she mentioned, based on the Instances of Israel.

‘It means the world’

Israelis celebrated on Saturday the discharge of 4 hostages from Gaza in a navy operation, cheering on seashores and gathering exterior the hospital the place the previous captives underwent medical checks.

Footage extensively shared on social media confirmed beachgoers in Israel’s coastal industrial hub of Tel Aviv erupting into cheers after a lifeguard introduced the discharge of the 4 hostages over a loudspeaker.

Hilla Israeli, a 39-year-old trainer, mentioned she was stress-free by the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel when she heard the information.

“Straight away everybody began pulling their telephones, individuals got here out of the water, shouts of pleasure got here from completely different instructions,” she mentioned.

“I cried a lot from pleasure — I couldn’t cease the tears.”

Uriya Bekenstein, 42, mentioned it was “a really emotional day”.

“We now have had these hostages in our ideas for on daily basis for the higher a part of a 12 months now — to have even a number of of them rescued in opposition to all odds, it means the world.”

The 4 had been amongst 251 hostages seized throughout Hamas’s October 7 assault that triggered the battle within the Gaza Strip, now in its ninth month.

Dozens had been launched throughout a one-week truce in November, and earlier than Saturday solely three different captives had been freed in Israeli navy raids.

There at the moment are 116 hostages nonetheless held within the Palestinian territory, together with 41 the military says are lifeless.

‘Solely a deal’

1000’s of individuals gathered in Tel Aviv to demand authorities motion to finish the battle and convey the remaining hostages residence.

Yair Moses, son of hostage Gadi Moses, instructed AFP the rescue operation “gave me some hope as a result of after we noticed them, we noticed they had been wholesome, so we had been a bit inspired that they did get some meals there”.

Omri Shtivi, brother of hostage Idan Shtivi, who on Saturday turned 29 in captivity, mentioned, “It needs to be remembered that solely a deal will result in the discharge of the overwhelming majority of the hostages.”

Exterior the Sheba Medical Heart in an japanese suburb of Tel Aviv the place the 4 had been handled, a bunch of individuals raised Israeli flags in celebration of their launch.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met the 4 contained in the hospital, pictures shared by his workplace confirmed.

Earlier, Mr Netanyahu’s workplace launched a video of him talking with Ms Argamani on a cell phone after her launch.

She instructed Netanyahu she was “very excited” to return residence, including, “I haven’t spoken Hebrew in such a very long time.”

Mr Netanyahu instructed her, “We didn’t surrender on you for one second.”

Ms Argamani’s father Yaakov, whose birthday it was on Saturday, mentioned, “Such a present, I by no means believed I’d obtain.”

‘Burst of pleasure’

Photos of Ms Argamani on a bike following the October 7 assault, crying “Don’t kill me!” as she was held by Hamas militants made headlines all over the world.

After her launch on Saturday she went to the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv the place her mom has been present process remedies for mind most cancers.

Ms Argamani’s mom Liora had mentioned in a extensively shared video that she feared she wouldn’t have the possibility to see her daughter once more.

Mr Meir Jan’s uncle Aviram Meir in an announcement urged the federal government to succeed in a hostage launch settlement with Hamas.

“We would like all the opposite hostages to return again with the deal,” he mentioned.

An AFP journalist at Ichilov Hospital mentioned sufferers lined the halls hoping to catch a glimpse of Ms Argamani.

“For eight months now, we have now solely been receiving stabs within the coronary heart,” mentioned affected person Shlomo Akad, 72.

“There’s no denying that she was the image of the horror and worry for individuals who had been there, for individuals who skilled it. And now all of a sudden, for the primary time it’s a burst of pleasure after she was rescued.”

The October 7 assault resulted within the deaths of 1194 individuals in Israel, largely civilians, based on an AFP tally primarily based on official Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliatory bombardments and floor offensive on Gaza have killed 36,801 individuals, additionally largely civilians, based on the Hamas-run territory’s well being ministry.

— with AFP

This text initially appeared on NY Submit and was reproduced with permission

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