Hostage Code: 'The Diamonds Are In Our Hands'

Details on how the rescue in Gaza unfolded
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2024 8:19 AM CDT
Hostage Code: 'The Diamonds Are In Our Hands'
This undated photo shows newly released hostage Noa Argamani.   (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

New details are emerging about Israel's surprise rescue of four hostages taken from Gaza on Saturday morning. A look at coverage:

  • Weeks of planning: The New York Times reports on the military operation itself on two buildings in a residential neighborhood of Nuseirat, central Gaza. It followed weeks of planning after intelligence suggested the whereabouts of the hostages, with the final go-ahead coming mere minutes before the operation took place. One nugget: It took place during daylight, with Israeli leaders figuring that would catch Hamas by surprise. When the hostages were secured, a coded message went out on radio: "The diamonds are in our hands."

  • Famous comparison: "It was on a scale like Entebbe," says military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, referencing Israel's rescue of 100 hostages in Uganda in 1976, per the BBC. The outlet also provides details of the special forces raid, which was backed by the army and air force.
  • Deadliest day: The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says the military operation in the densely populated neighborhood killed 274 people, including 64 children and 57 women, reports Reuters. If the number holds up, it would make Saturday the deadliest day of the war. Israel previously estimated fewer than 100 deaths, blaming Hamas for using civilians to shield hostages. One Israeli soldier was killed.
  • The four: The AP has a look at the four hostages: Noa Argamani, 26; Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41. All were abducted during a music festival near the border on Oct. 7.
  • Noa's story: Perhaps the best known of the four hostages is Argamani, who was shown being driven away by her abductors on a motorcycle in an October video as she pleaded for her life. Her plight gained even more international attention when her mother, suffering from advanced brain cancer, made a plea for her release. On Saturday, Argamani was taken to the Israeli hospital where her mother, Liora Argamani, 61, is being treated, reports the Times of Israel. "The whole family has been reunited," says a hospital official. The whereabouts of Argamani's abducted boyfriend, Avinatan Or, are still unknown.
(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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