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Netanyahu commends Israeli special forces heroes after daring hostage rescue in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir meet with Israeli special forces units involved in the hostage rescue, June 13, 2024. (Photo: Ma'ayan Toaf/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Yamam military base on Thursday, following the successful rescue operation of four Israeli hostages from Hamas captivity in Gaza's Nuseirat camp last Saturday.

During the visit, Netanyahu and Ben Gvir met with the commanders of Yamam – the counter-terrorism unit of the Israel Border Police – who led their forces and the Israel Security Agency (ISA), Shin Bet, during the joint operation. 

Netanyahu expressed his admiration and respect for the soldiers' courage and resolve during the rescue mission that saved the lives of Almog Meir Jan (21), Andrey Kozlov (27), and Shlomi Ziv (40), as well as female hostage Noa Argamani (25) who was held in a separate building in Nuseirat.

"I'm here at the Yamam base. I just met our wonderful warriors who rescued the hostages from the jaws of the enemy," Netanyahu said. "I saw the soldiers; I saw the determination, the bravery, and the dedication to the mission in their eyes. The same bravery, the same determination, the same dedication to the mission will allow us to overcome our enemy both in the south and in the north and return the residents safely to their homes."

Speaking to the Yamam soldiers directly, the prime minister commended them for their courage and thanked them for raising the nation's morale.

"You raised the stature of an entire nation, and you showed that we are ready to do anything to rescue our hostages. When this matter comes to a decision, when it goes from bottom to top, and finally comes up for my decision, I think about the whole chain, but in the end, I come to you. I look at you (the IDF commander), and I see if you are ready or not ready. If you have doubt, if you have hesitation. Because if there was even a hint of hesitation, this operation would not have been carried out," he said.

"I come here to say in the name of an entire nation and in the name of all friends of Israel in the world, I come to say ‘well done’ to you. Well done for your bravery, well done for what you have done," Netanyahu declared.

Israel Police commandos and security forces trained for the daring rescue, later named “Operation Arnon” in honor of the late Yamam commander, Arnon Zamora, who died of wounds sustained during the operation.

The final plan was approved by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday evening, two days before the hostages were rescued from the densely populated Nuseirat camp.

Since the rescue, more details have emerged about the physical and psychological abuse the hostages suffered while being held in the camp by Hamas terrorists.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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