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Israel Police say commando killed in hostage rescue operation

Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora of Yamam counterterrorism unit critically wounded during mission, succumbs to injuries in hospital

Israel police announced Saturday afternoon that Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora of the Yamam counterterrorism unit was killed in the heroic rescue operation of four hostages in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.
The police eulogized him, describing his actions as "heroism under fire." According to the statement, Zamora was critically wounded in the operation, evacuated to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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פקד ארנון זמורה ז״ל
פקד ארנון זמורה ז״ל
Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora
(Photo: Israel Police)
Zamora, 36, lived in Sde David near the southern city of Sderot. He is survived by his wife and two children.
In the daring operation, the hostages Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Shlomi Ziv, 40, and Andrey Kozlov, 27, were rescued alive after 246 days in Hamas captivity.
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המפגש הראשון של אלמוג מאיר ג'אן עם משפחתו
המפגש הראשון של אלמוג מאיר ג'אן עם משפחתו
Almog Meir Jan reunites with his mother
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
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המפגש הראשון של נועה ארגמני עם אביה יעקב
המפגש הראשון של נועה ארגמני עם אביה יעקב
Noa Argamani and her father Yaakov
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The four were abducted on October 7 from Nova music festival where they were either working or attending with friends. The complex operation involved IDF forces, the Shin Bet and Israel Police, operating in the heart of Nuseirat in central Gaza.
Shortly before the announcement of Zamora's death, Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai was seen arriving at Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, and before the announcement of the commando’s death, President Isaac Herzog spoke with the police chief and the Border Police and Yamam commanders, thanking them for the heroic operation.
"I am very moved to speak with you and thank you on behalf of all of Israel and many more people around the world. I want to thank you for your bravery, courage, determination and the exceptional execution that led to saving lives and rescuing hostages. I hope you will succeed in many more such missions in the future," Herzog said.
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רונן בר והרצי הלוי
רונן בר והרצי הלוי
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar
(Photo: Shin Bet)
A political source told Ynet Saturday afternoon that the operation plan was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday evening. During the discussion, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar presented the operation in detail, including the options, risks and implications, and the operation was subsequently approved.
According to the source, Netanyahu arrived at the Shin Bet's command center Saturday morning, from where the operation was managed, and monitored its progress along with Defense Minister Gallant, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, Shin Bet Director Bar, Netanyahu’s military secretary Major General Roman Gofman and Police Commissioner Shabtai.
Following the operation, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to the defense minister, the IDF chief, the head of the Shin Bet and the team that managed the operation.
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Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Halevi and Bar
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Halevi and Bar
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Halevi and Bar
"The entire nation salutes you and the brave fighters who risked their lives today to save lives. Once again, you have proven that Israel does not succumb to terrorism and acts with boundless creativity and daring to bring our hostages home," Netanyahu said. "We are committed to continuing this mission. We will not relent until we complete the task and bring all our hostages home, both the living and the fallen."
This marks the third rescue operation of live hostages since the war began. Last February, Fernando Simon Merman and Luis Har were rescued from Rafah after 129 days in captivity, and at the end of October, soldier Ori Magidish was rescued. Current estimates indicate that 120 hostages are being held in Gaza, many of whom are believed to be deceased.
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