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Israeli hostage freed in raid ‘did not see daylight for 245 days’

In Europe
June 10, 2024

Israeli hostage Noa Argamani did not see daylight for 245 days during her captivity in Gaza and was held in a child’s bedroom, it was reported on Monday.

The 26-year-old had become one of the faces of the October 7 terror attacks after video emerged of her being kidnapped from the Nova music festival by Hamas militants on motorbikes.

She was rescued in a raid in Gaza by Israeli special forces on Saturday along with 21-year-old Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40, who were also attending the festival.

But the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said the raid on the Nuseirat refugee camp, where the hostages were being held, killed 274 people, including children and other civilians, with nearly 700 wounded. The Israeli military said its forces came under heavy fire during the complex daytime operation deep in central Gaza.

All four hostages were said to be in a “good medical condition” but were being kept at Sheba Medical Centre, near Tel Aviv, as a precaution.

Ms Argamani has revealed she was held by a “well-to-do” family but kept under armed guard, was rarely allowed to wash and never saw daylight. Pictures emerged of a room where she was held for some of the time, showing two teddy bears on a bed with a child’s bedding.

Ms Argamani’s mother Liora, who is terminally ill with stage-four brain cancer, had previously said she feared she might never see her again.

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Antony Blinken was returning to the Middle East as a proposed Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal hangs in the balance. With no firm response yet from Hamas to the proposal received 10 days ago, Mr Blinken was starting his eighth diplomatic mission to the region since the conflict began in October. He will meet Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo before travelling to Israel, Jordan and Qatar. While the US has praised the hostage rescue, the deaths of a large number of Palestinian civilians in the raid could complicate the ceasefire push.

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