4 hostages recovered in largest rescue since Gaza war began: Israeli military

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The Israeli military said it and two other Israeli groups carried out a special operation Saturday, rescuing four hostages.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Police and Israel Securities Authority rescued Noa Argamani, 25, Almong Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27 and Shlomi Ziv, 40, the IDF said in a joint statement with the Israeli Security Agency and Israeli Police.

The agencies rescued the hostages in a special operation from two separate locations in Nuseirat in central Gaza. All four of the hostages were kidnapped by Hamas from the Nova music festival, the IDF said.

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

The operation is the largest recovery of living hostages since the war began, bringing the total of rescued captives to seven individuals, The Associated Press reported.

Those rescued Saturday were among the more than 200 people kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“We will continue to make every effort to bring the hostages home,” the IDF said.

The Hostages Families Forum, a group representing many families of hostages held by Hamas, said in a statement that joy is washing over Israel but the government must remember its commitment to bring home all hostages, alive or dead. 

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“We continue to call upon the international community to apply the necessary pressure on Hamas to accept the proposed deal and release the other 120 hostages held in captivity; every day there is a day too long,” the statement said.

Since the Oct. 7 attack, the IDF has launched a deadly and destructive counteroffensive attempting to eliminate Hamas and get the hostages back. More than 36,000 Palestinians have died due to the conflict, the Gaza Health Ministry reports.

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International pressure is increasing against Israel, urging the country to stop its invasion of the southern city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of people are seeking refuge. The IDF maintains that Rafah is the last Hamas stronghold.

Updated 8:39 a.m. ET.

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