“We Have The Diamonds In Our Hands” – How The IDF Saved 4 Hostages During Operation Arnon

In the heart of Nuseirat, Gaza. a Hamas hotspot, one of the boldest operations rescue mission, Operation Arnon—named after Yamam commando Arnon Zamora, HY”D, who was killed during the mission—since the 1976 Operation Entebbe raid

By FrumNews.com, with experts from Mrs. Bruria Efune – How the mission unfolded.

In the heart of Nuseirat, Gaza. a Hamas hotspot, one of the boldest operations and rescue mission, Operation Arnon—named after Yamam commando Arnon Zamora, HY”D, who was killed during this operation—since the Operation Entebbe raid in 1976.

Israeli special elite forces from the IDF’s commando unit, Shin Bet and ‘Yamam’ Counter-Terrorism Israeli Police Unit, rescued four hostages Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Shlomi Ziv and Andrey Kozlov, who were abducted from the Nova music festival in Re’im Israel on Simchas Torah, after 8 months and one day in captivity in Gaza.

The hostages were kept in civilian apartments near a busy market in the heart of Nuseirat—a city with a population of 30,000. Noa Argamani was kept in one building, and Almog Meir, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv were kept in another, around 200 meters away.

PM Netanyahu later described the risks of the operation as “The distance between success and failure was as thin as a hair’s breadth.”

The Shin Bet had known about the hostage’s location for some time, but needed to prepare the grounds to reach them safely. Once the time was deemed right, the IDF began an operation in nearby East Deir al-Balah and East al-Bureij, both near Nuseirat, in order to drain Hamas forces from the city.

On Thursday, after weeks of meticulous planning, drills and advanced intelligence tracking, the political echelon gave the green light during a classified meeting, operation “Summer Seeds,” with details heavily compartmentalized, as they awaited the opportune moment to act.

By early Shabbos morning, the elite Yamam counterterrorism unit and Shin Bet officers executed the most difficult parts of the rescue, after studying the area in depth and practicing drills for every possible scenario. While operations like this one are usually done at night, this time, Israeli special forces decided to carry out the operation during the day—when Hamas’s guard was down.

Troops entered both buildings simultaneously so that Hamas terrorists would be caught by surprise. Given the circumstances, the operation to reach Noa went smoothly. One terrorist who was at the door was killed, and the soldiers knocked and told Noa, “It’s the IDF, we’ve come to take you home.” The soldiers then evacuated Noa to a vehicle and began to drive her toward a makeshift helipad on the beach.

In the nearby apartment, the men were more difficult to reach, with more terrorists guarding their location. A gun battle broke out in the building, during which the Yamam unit commander, Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, was critically wounded. The soldiers continued fighting, eliminated all the terrorists, and then evacuated the three hostages and Arnon to a vehicle.

The hostages are alive, B’Chasdei Hashem. “We have the diamonds in our hands,” the commandos radioed to the command center.

Both vehicles came under heavy fire during evacuation, with RPGs and machine gun fire being fired at them from “civilian” buildings in all directions. The Israeli Air Force had to use heavy airstrikes (on dozens, if not hundreds of heavily armed hamas terrorists) to protect the mission. Noa’s group reached the helipad first, and she was flown to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel to meet her father (she later reunited with her mother at the Ichilov Hospital).

The second vehicle was caught under extremely heavy fire and got stuck. IDF soldiers from the 98th Division, who were stationed nearby in case of this scenario, came to the rescue, the unit soon made it to the helipad, from where the remaining three hostages were flown to Israel.

The IDF estimates around 100 deaths in Gaza during the operation the majority being Hamas terrorists ym”s. The blame is squarely directly on Hamas for holding hostages in a densely populated area, and for firing at the hostage rescuers from inside civilian buildings. No civilians would have been hurt if Hamas hadn’t fired at the rescuers from civilian buildings. Of course, the rescue wouldn’t even be necessary if the hostages were never taken in the first place by “innocent civilian Gazans”.

The former hostages told family members that they had been moved around the city multiple times, each time held in different civilian homes with Gazan families, who were paid by Hamas.

Israel Police ‘Yamam’ Squad Commander, Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, HY”D, was killed in action during the operation. Arnon was part of the force that broke into the apartment where the hostages were being held, was severely injured during the battle, and later niftar in the hospital in Israel.

On October 7th, he led the battle at the Yad Mordechai Junction in Eretz Yisroel, eliminating dozens of Hamas terrorists and preventing the terrorists from infiltrating northwards. He then went on to fight in the battle at Kibbutz Nahal Oz and Kibbutz Be’eri. “Arnon is an Israeli hero who loved and protected his country. He led the force that rescued the four hostages from the central Gaza Strip and returned them to Israel. The IDF salutes his memory,” the IDF stated.

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  • TYH 06/10/2024 | ד' סיון התשפ"ד

    Thank You Hashem

  • Chana 06/10/2024 | ד' סיון התשפ"ד

    Wow, very interesting and detailed

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