New details on the rescue operation

Shortly after Operation Arnon was carried out to rescue 4 Hostages from the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday, Defence Minister Galant described it as “one of the most impressive and heroic operations I have seen in my 47 years in the security establishment.” Slowly, more details are beginning to emerge that reveal the strength of the fighters and the heroism that accompanied the operation from its beginning to successful end.

Arriving in the area – according to the descriptions in the Palestinian networks, the fighters of the special units (men and women) arrived in advance to the designated rescue area and settled there under the guise of displaced families from the southern Gaza Strip, along with a truck carrying uprooted equipment. The hostages were held in two houses 200 meters apart, so the operation required precise simultaneity.

Noa Argmani was held in a civilian family home, and for a long time she was imprisoned in her room, and was only let out for cleaning tasks. At the time of the rescue, Noa was busy washing dishes, and she was not even aware of the battle that was going on before the fighters broke into the kitchen and loaded her on their shoulders.

The rescue of the three hostages – the rescue of Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir and Andrei Kozlov was more complex, because they were stationed on the third floor of their building. According to the descriptions of the hostages, they and the terrorists were asleep until the moment of the break-in – and there was a small battle, in which the late commander Arnon Zamora was killed.

Departure from the Gaza Strip – the liberated hostages and the forces rode by the truck which was brought to the place in advance, but a gear got stuck during the escape and they were quickly surrounded by Hamas members; at this point division 98 and rescue forces intervened with massive air force bombings, which gave the forces enough time to retreat to helicopters and leave the Gaza Strip in one piece.

In conclusion, the entire operation lasted less than an hour, and was published an hour and a half later. 4 hostages were released, one fighter was killed, and dozens of terrorists were eliminated. There are indeed 120 hostages left in the Gaza Strip, and the road is still long; but it is permissible to boast of a successful operation that brings back a little pride and color to our country, and proves the IDF’s wonderful capabilities.

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