Israel Rescues 4 Hostages in Assault; Gaza Officials Say Scores Are Killed: Live Updates

Israel Rescues 4 Hostages in Assault; Gaza Officials Say Scores Are Killed: Live Updates

Four hostages abducted from the Nova music festival and held by militants in Gaza for the last eight months were rescued by Israeli forces on Saturday.

Since the Hamas-led terrorist attack on Oct. 7, Israel has freed only a small number of hostages through military force. Saturday’s rescues occurred in Nuseirat in central Gaza, where health officials reported that dozens of Palestinians had been killed.

Here is what we know about the four hostages who were brought back to Israel.

Noa Argamani

Noa Argamani, 26, was taken hostage in the Oct. 7 attack alongside her boyfriend, Avinatan Or. Viral footage showed Ms. Argamani being taken into Gaza on the back of a motorcycle as she cried out in desperation.

Ms. Argamani and her boyfriend were abducted from the Nova music festival in southern Israel, where militants carried out brutal atrocities against partygoers. The fate of Ms. Argamani’s boyfriend is unknown.

The plight of Ms. Argamani received outsized attention, in part because her mother, Liora, has brain cancer and her condition has deteriorated significantly in recent months.

“I don’t know how much time I have left,” the mother said last year. “I wish to see my Noa at home.”

Andrey Kozlov

Andrey Kozlov, 27, was working as a security guard at the music festival when he was taken. He recently immigrated to Israel from Russia and was a resident of Rishon Lezion, a city in central Israel.

In January, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, told Hamas officials that the release of civilians captured in the Oct. 7 attack, including Mr. Kozlov and two other Russian citizens, should be sped up, according to a statement from the Russian foreign ministry.

In footage shared on social media on Saturday, Mr. Kozlov could be seen smiling as he was escorted by troops from a military helicopter.

Almog Meir Jan

Almog Meir Jan, 22, was kidnapped a day before he was supposed to start a new job at a technology company, according to the Hostage Families Forum.

In December, Sky News aired an interview with his mother, Orit, who said that her son had called her on Oct. 7 at 7:45 a.m. and described the chaotic scenes unfolding at the festival site.

“Mom, they closed the festival,” she recalled him saying. “There are rockets and shooting everywhere.”

On Saturday, footage of Mr. Meir Jan’s family celebrating the news of his freedom was shared on social media. “I’m so excited,” his mother said.

Shlomi Ziv

Shlomi Ziv, 41, was working as a security guard at the festival. He is a resident of Elkosh, a community in northern Israel, where he lived with his wife, Miran, according to the Hostage Families Forum.

Shlomi Ziv, 41, left, Andrey Kozlov, 27, center with headphones, and Almog Meir Jan, 22, right, arrived by helicopter at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel on Saturday.Credit…Tomer Appelbaum/Associated Press

Last year, Ms. Ziv said that she was certain he would return and that she was already preparing for the challenges of welcoming someone who had spent months in captivity.

“We will be receiving a person who we don’t know what he saw, what he experienced, what he knows and what he doesn’t know,” she told Seven10Stories, an initiative that has collected testimonials from survivors of Oct. 7. “This won’t be simple.”