Israel Defense Forces operation rescues four hostages and kills over 200 Palestinians

A joint operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Shin Bet, and Israeli police in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza rescued four hostages and killed over 200 Palestinians on Saturday.

The 4 hostages rescued were Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv. These four were abducted from the Nova Music Festival on October 7th, 2023 and they are reported to be in good medical condition. Gaza’s health ministry said the IDF operation killed at least 274 Palestinians. The Nuseirat refugee camp, where the operation occurred, is a developed refugee camp built in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

In a public statement, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the people involved in the operation and said Israel would continue to work to bring hostages home, saying, “We will not relent until we complete the mission and return all our hostages home, both the living and the deceased.”

To date, the IDF has recused 7 hostages, recovered 19 bodies, and mistakenly killed three hostages. The IDF has also confirmed the deaths of 41 hostages whose bodies remain in Hamas captivity. A further 105 hostages were released during a temporary ceasefire at the end of November 2023. 

President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, described the operation as a gruesome and disproportionate massacre, according to Palestinian state media. He has instructed Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations to request an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council and continued his call for international intervention to halt the deteriorating humanitarian situation unfolding in Gaza.

The United States National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, commented in response to the news that the US is “supporting all efforts to secure the release of hostages still held by Hamas, including American citizens. This includes through ongoing negotiations or other mean.” He went on to stress that a ceasefire deal “now on the table” would release the remaining hostages, provide “security assurances” for Israel and ensure a increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza:

This deal has the full backing of the United States and has been endorsed by countries from around the world, including the G7, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, and Qatar, as well as the sixteen countries with their citizens still being held by Hamas. They all must be released— now.