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MIRACULOUS: Israelis weep with joy at dramatic IDF rescue of 4 hostages after 246 days of hell

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets Noa Argamani at the hospital after being rescued from Gaza (Photo: GPO)

WASHINGTON, DC — Miraculous. Absolutely miraculous.

I can't even think of another way to describe the extraordinary news that came today, Saturday, as the IDF, Shin Bet – which is Israeli's security agency – and Israeli police forces conducted a highly complex, daring and dangerous operation in central Gaza and rescued four Israeli hostages.

And all of Israel is rejoicing.

I literally was weeping when I found out this news, as ALL ISRAEL NEWS broke the story with other news sources.

I want to walk you through some of the key elements of this extraordinary story.

The story is still breaking.

I encourage you to continue following it as we continue to get more details throughout the day and the night and in the next few days, because this is a story that may very well end up being a motion picture.

Let's begin with who got rescued.

Four Israeli hostages that had been held in Gaza for 246 days since October 7th were rescued today.

They weren't released by Hamas.

They were rescued in a very daring and very explosive military operation.

Noa Argamani (25), Almog Meir Jan (21), Andrey Kozlov (27) and Shlomi Ziv (40).

All of them were at the Nova Music Festival near a place called Kibbutz Re'im, not far from the Gaza border.

I've reported from there.

In fact, just last week I was at that site of the Nova Music Festival covering the visit of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former U.S. presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

These four were among the thousands there.

There were more than 3,000 people there dancing, singing, enjoying their friends on that Sabbath morning of October 7.

There were dozens of Israelis who were taken hostage and dragged – pulled into Gaza and taken deep underneath the Gaza Strip in those horrible terror tunnels.

Noa Argamani is maybe one of the most famous faces from that terrible abduction on October 7th because she was kidnapped and put on the back of a motorcycle bound for Gaza.

There's video footage of her screaming to her friends to save her.

She's also screaming to her captors not to kill her.

Noa is unique in the sense that she has an Israeli father and a Chinese mother.

A face that people have recognized as beautiful, young, innocent, and then taken captive.

We did not see every hostage in the process of being taken into captivity by their Hamas abductors.

But we did see her.

We saw the terror in her eyes.

We heard the terror in her voice.

But Noa is safe today, back on Israeli soil.

She's at Tel HaShomer Hospital because of this extraordinary operation.

Let's just take a few moments and talk about how complex this operation was.

Many of you readers of ALL ISRAEL NEWS have been praying faithfully as we've been encouraging you – Set the captives free, right?

We began a social media campaign, and we'll continue to do it because there are still 120 hostages in those terror tunnels in Gaza that need to be either rescued or set free in some sort of negotiated deal.

246 days Noa and the others were held in Gaza.

Noa, Almog, Andrey and Shlomi were held in captivity.

We hardly had any evidence they were even alive until about a week ago when Noa was heard in a recorded message at the demand of her Hamas captors.

She was demanding that people would protest the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war cabinet minister, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

She was basically criticizing the Israeli government and demanding the Israeli people turn out and protest the government and pressure them to make a deal that would lead to the end of the war and leave Hamas in power in Gaza.

Obviously she was forced to do that. Everybody in Israel knew that.

I have Israeli friends who happened to be there at the hospital when this recording was released.

They are friends of the Argamani family and they were at the hospital when the family received the audio message.

Noa's father wasn't even sure at first if he wanted to share it with her mother.

Why not?

Noa's mother is battling stage four brain cancer and the family is very worried that she may not make it.

We're all praying that she will be healed somehow, miraculously.

We have been praying that Noa would be released or rescued somehow in time, at least.

If Noa's mother is going to pass away, that she would get out and they could see each other and hug each other.

This has been such a grief on top of all the other grief for all these families.

This is a family that the Israeli people have come to know a little bit better because of the emotions, because of the video, because of the mother's story.

The father decided in the end that it was only fair to share this audio.

Even though there was fear in the voice of Noa while she was in captivity and she was saying all these politically charged things, Noa's mother was actually very happy.


Because it was proof for the first time that Noa was still alive.

They didn't even think about what she was actually saying, because obviously it was being coerced. And cruelly, cruelly coerced.

They were just glad that she was even alive.

Now that she is in the arms of her father, we'll show you some video of that and some photos.

She's reunited with her family after 246 horrible, hellish days.

Noa Argamani reunited with her father (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The others are with their families again, too.

Here are some photos and video footage.

Almog Meir Jan reunited with his family (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Shlomi Ziv reunited with his family (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Noa Argamani with her father (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Andrey Kozlov (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

It's really so encouraging.

I want to thank you all because you've been praying Isaiah 61, verses 1-3, that the Lord would set the captives free.

It is a miracle.

The Lord has done this. He has done it through the Israel Defense Forces and through Israeli intelligence and through the Israeli police counterterrorism elite unit known as Yamam.

God used these special forces the way He used David to rescue hostages back in biblical times.

Israeli hostages Almog Meir Jan and Andrey Kozlov land in Israel after being rescued from Gaza (Photo: IDF)

The way He used Moses to lead the people out of Egypt.

God uses flawed people.

He uses militaries.

He uses leaders to do it.

Sometimes He does it supernaturally.

You can see that when the Red Sea parted. It wasn't Moses, right?

But if you think of the operations where David was successful as a military commander, these were miracles of God.

These were acts of God, but He was using human instruments.

That is what we've seen today.

Again, 120 hostages still left, including some Americans, held in those terror tunnels.

But what a day of great rejoicing all throughout Israel.

There's actually a phone call.

We've got some video of the call between Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Noa, when he called the family, and then spoke to Noa directly.

It was only about a minute, but he just said that he wants to hug Noa on behalf of all of Israel. It was a very moving moment.

There's still a lot to do.

The pressure of the Israeli military is still super important.

The American government here in Washington, the Biden administration, has been putting so much pressure on the Israeli military just to stop the operation and accept terms that Israelis at the leadership level and many – not all – on the ground don't feel comfortable with.

But there's a big question now.

What will the rescue of these four hostages cause?

It will excite Israelis, but it can also put pressure on the Israeli government.

What else can be done to either rescue or get these hostages released?

It will also create a question for Hamas' leaders.

And we have to pray that they don't respond by killing the remaining hostages in retaliation for this.

But maybe they will realize their day is coming to an end and they need to release these hostages.

So keep praying.

Keep praying Isaiah 61, and ask the Lord to set the captives free by His power for His glory.

Whether he uses Israeli special forces or American special forces or others.

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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