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‘We’re taking you home’ - fighters who rescued Noa Argamani share their accounts of rescue operation

Israel Police release dramatic footage of rescue on Saturday evening

Yamam fighters share about the moment that they rescued Noa Argamani during Operation Arnon, June 15, 2024. (Photo Israel Police Spokesperson Unit)

“Noa, we came to save you, we came to take you back home!” 

These were the first words that Noa Argamani heard on Saturday, June 8, when Israel Police Yamam fighters burst into the apartment in Nuseirat, where she was being held captive. 

The operation to free the four Israeli hostages on June 8 was a joint IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police operation. Saturday evening. IDF soldiers from the Yamam special operations unit of the Israel Police shared their accounts of Argamani's rescue, alongside the release of dramatic footage from the operation in Gaza.

“As soon as we broke down the door in the apartment where Noa was being held, we encountered 3 terrorists there and we neutralized them quickly and within seconds we arrived at Noa's room,” Deputy Superintendent A’ describes. “The first two soldiers who arrived told her, ‘Noa, we came to save you. We came to bring you home.’ She was shocked, I think she didn't understand and didn't really believe what was happening.” 

A’ continued to describe the operation. 

“One of the soldiers put her like a sack of flour on his back. She was barefoot. We surrounded her with fighters and went out as quickly as possible, after we made sure the apartment was cleared, and there were no terrorists.” 

In the video, multiple gunshots and explosions can be heard as the forces exit the building carrying Argamani. 

“At that stage, the Air Force also supported us,” A’ recounts. “She was very frightened. I don’t think she believed what her eyes were seeing.” 

As soon as she felt confident enough to speak, Argamani's first question was about her mother, Liora, who has terminal brain cancer. 

“Her first question was if her mother was still alive,” A’ relates. “I told her, ‘Yes.’ She looked right and left, looked at us and asked again if we were sure. We told her, ‘Yes. That’s why we came, to take you back to your mother.’” 

In the footage released by the police, there is a scene from the rescue vehicle where the fighters identify themselves to her. 

“We are from the Yamam team and the Shin Bet. We’re taking you home, we are very excited that you are here and we are proud of you.” 

This is when Argamani can be heard speaking for the first time. “I'm very excited. I'm just scared of the way [home]," she says. 

The Israeli forces reassured her and as the vehicle continued driving away from the apartment, Argamani calmed down. 

Another fighter in the team, Sergeant Major Y., said from the moment their feet hit the ground, the forces had one mission: To rescue the hostages. 

“We had to blow the door, go in, rescue Argamani as quickly as possible because we understand the risk every moment we are delayed on the way to finding her,” Y. said. “The mess started – as soon as we blew the door open, we had Air Force covering.” 

The soldiers described the intense preparations for the operation and said everything went according to plan, except for the death of IDF Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, who was mortally injured during the rescue of the three male hostages, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv. 

“We trained very intensively,” Deputy Superintendent A’ related. “We devised a perfect and accurate plan, including practicing all cases and responses. Nothing happened that we hadn't practiced in the activity. The only thing we didn't plan for was that we would come out with Arnon injured, and eventually, his death would be determined.” 

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

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