What To Know About The 4 Hostages Israel Rescued From Hamas

Published 4 days ago
By Forbes | Brian Bushard
Israeli Authorities Announce Rescue Of Four Hostages From Gaza
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 08: A woman holds a photo of an hostage during a rally calling for an hostages deal June 8, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Earlier today, the country's military announced the rescue of Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Zivm, four hostages held by Palestinian militants since the October 7th attacks. Around 120 other Israeli hostages are said to remain in Gaza, but it's unclear how many are alive.(Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

TOPLINE

Israeli officials said they rescued four hostages eight months after they were captured in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, a rescue mission that has resulted in the deaths of at least 125 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

KEY FACTS

The four hostages—Almog Meir Jan, 21, Noa Argamani, 26, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40—were rescued from two locations in central Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Saturday.

All four of those hostages had been captured during the Nova music festival in the southern Israeli kibbutz of Re’im, near the border of the Gaza Strip.

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Noa Argamani: An engineering student, had become one of the first faces seen in the immediate coverage of Hamas’ Oct. 7, with a video showing her kidnapping near the festival site along with her boyfriend Avinatan Or (also captured on Oct. 7 and remains in Hamas’ control).

Or’s mother told Israeli outlet Ynet in April the pair were separated after their capture, citing other returned hostages.

Argamani had been on the fence about attending the festival, according to four of Argamani’s friends who spoke to NBC News.

Argamani has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, according to a video shared on X by the prime minister’s former spokesperson Eylon Levy, while another video showed Argamani reuniting with her parents—her mother was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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Almog Meir Jan: He had been released from army service last July, The Times of Israel reported, and had been set to start a job at a tech company after attending the Nova music festival, multiple outlets reported.

Orit Meir, holds up a photograph of her son Almog Meir Jan, 21, who is currently being held in Gaza with other Israeli hostages, during a press conference at the Israel Embassy in London. Picture date: Monday November 20, 2023. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

His mother, Orit Meir, described her son as a “kid with so much love for life,” in a January interview with The Jerusalem Post, calling him a “doting son, brother, uncle, and grandson” with an “infectious” love of music.

Andrey Kozlov: A resident of the kibbutz of Rishon LeZion who had only recently moved to Israel, had been working as a security guard at the festival when he was taken by Hamas, multiple outlets reported.

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He is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, and was one of three Russian nationals captured in the Oct. 7 attack, along with Alexander Lobanov and Alexander Trufanov, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Kozlov immigrated to Israel alone, lived with friends and “wanted to learn more about [Israel],” according to hostage release organization Bring Them Home Now—his mother followed him from Russia after his capture in a bid for his release.

Shlomi Ziv: An interior designer and wholesale distributor from northern Israel, Ziv had also been working as a security guard at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7.

According to his sister, Adi Kikozashvili, he was a fan of racing cars and historical films, and had only recently graduated to “fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an interior designer,” she told Bring Our People Home.

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TANGENT

Casualty counts continue to grow, but by Saturday morning The Washington Post reported at least 125 Palestinian deaths, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, as a result of the rescue mission.

KEY BACKGROUND

The four hostages returned on Saturday add to over 100 Israelis who have already returned from Gaza, though the vast majority of those were returned through hostage agreements in return for Palestinian prisoners. Most of them were brought back in a short-lived November cease-fire agreement. More than 250 people had been captured in that attack, while Israeli officials estimate roughly 1,200 people were killed.