Israel announced on Monday that IDF forces on an offensive inside Gaza, succeeded overnight in releasing a member of the IDF who was taken hostage by Hamas during their terror attack on October 7. The military said 239 hostages were confirmed held by Hamas in Gaza
Or Magidish who served as a lookout on the Gaza border was found to be in good health and was reunited with her family, the Shin Bet said.
"Ori Magidish was released during ground operations. PVT Magidish was kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th. The soldier was medically checked, is doing well, and has met with her family. The IDF and ISA will continue to do everything it takes in order to release the hostages," the IDF said in a statement.
"We are overjoyed," Smadar, Ori's aunt said outside the family home in Kiryat Gat. "We are excited and grateful to the All Mighty, to all the people of Israel, to our soldiers," she said. "It is thanks to our prayers that she is freed. We are happy and when she finally comes home we will have a bit party.
"There is no one like the people of Israel, and no one like our soldiers. we thank all of them. There is nothing like our Ori. Your are strong, you are our hero and we love you and are waiting for you right here," the aunt said.
The military said there were no injuries sustained by troops during the operation to release Magidish although they exchanged fire with the Hamas terrorists guarding her, but did not want to release any further information so as not to hamper possible further successful releases of captives. the military said the intelligence and operational efforts to free the hostages continue.
They said the dangerous operation was carried out in cooperation with the Shin Bet and with the help of Mossad. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar already met Magidish and her initial debrief was completed although it may be resumed later.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Shin Bet and said the operation exhibited Israel's commitment to bringing the hostages home. "The entire people of Israel salute the Shin Bet and salute the military," Netanyahu said. "To the terrorists of Hamas and ISIS, I say - you are monsters. We will pursue you, we will hunt you down. We will strike you until you fall."
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the successful release of the hostage was proof of IDF's ability to reach the hostages. " It proves the importance of the ground incursion and especially our commitment to each and every one of the hostages held by the Hamas terror group."
National Unity leader Benny Gantz who joined the war cabinet said Israel will continue to make every effort to bring all "our boys and girls home," referring to members of the IDF. "I was moved to see the soldier Ori Magidish return to her loving family after the courageous operation of the IDF troops and the Shin Bet. Our security forces are working around the clock in Gaza, on the northern border, in the West Bank and everywhere, on land sea and air, with endless dedication and at a risk to their lives, with a sense of calling and love of country and its people," he said.
Earlier Hamas released on Monday a video showing three hostages held captive in the Gaza Strip, in which one of them criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking at the start of the cabinet meeting Netanyahu said the efforts to release the hostages continues even during the ground maneuver, which he said may present opportunities to achieve their release, which Israel will not miss.
"This battle will take time, will be marred by obstacles and loss of life but there will also be surprises and when it ends, I promise you one thing: Hamas will be beaten and Gaza will not be the same. For this we need time and to ensure we have time, we must receive international support," he said.
The prime minister said he is in daily contact with U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli teams are in constant contact with their American counterparts. "We are making clear that we are fighting their war as well as ours because if Hamas is not defeated, the axis of evil wins and the free world loses, the West, the Arab world, everyone loses and the threat to humanity will be great."
First published: 18:49, 10.30.23