Hostage Noa Argamani rescued in time to see her terminally ill mother

Hours after her extraction from Gaza in special ops raid with three other hostages, 26-year-old is transferred to Tel Hashomer hospital to be near her mother, who has brain cancer

Hours after she was rescued from Hamas captivity in Gaza, Noa Argamani arrives at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital to be reunited with her mother Liora who has terminal cancer, June 8, 2024 (Ichilov Hospital)
Hours after she was rescued from Hamas captivity in Gaza, Noa Argamani arrives at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital to be reunited with her mother Liora who has terminal cancer, June 8, 2024 (Ichilov Hospital)

Hours after being rescued from eight months of captivity at the hands of Hamas in Gaza, freed hostage Noa Argamani arrived at a hospital in Tel Aviv to see her terminally ill mother.

Argamani, 26, was one of the most recognized faces among the hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7. Harrowing footage of her being taken into Gaza on the back of a motorcycle, pleading for her life and reaching desperately toward her boyfriend being marched alongside her on foot circulated across the globe.

Argamani’s boyfriend, Avinatan Or, is still in captivity.

Argamani was rescued on Saturday, along with three other hostages, in an operation by Israeli special forces from an apartment building in central Gaza.

“I’m so happy to be here,” she said in a phone call with President Isaac Herzog upon her return, smiling and surrounded by friends and family.

She was later met with cheers upon arrival at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center where her mother, Liora, is being treated for terminal brain cancer.

An image depicting Noa Argamani (C), one of four Israeli hostages rescued by the Israeli army, is held up as activists rally during an anti-government demonstration, calling for the return of hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv, June 8 2024. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Back in October, shortly after her daughter was abducted from a music festival turned killing field in southern Israel, Liora, sitting in a wheelchair, was asked in an interview with a local television station how she imagined their reunion.

“At least to be able to hug her,” Liora answered.

Noa was kidnapped during Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people, seizing 251 hostages, mostly civilians, and perpetrating many acts of brutality and sexual assault. The rampage at the music festival left 360 dead, with over 40 taken hostage.

Liora and Yaakov Argamani speak to Channel 12 on October 13, 2023. (Screen capture/Channel 12)

Hospital CEO Ronni Gamzu said the mother’s condition was “complicated and tough.” He said Argamani was able to communicate with her mother, who they believe understood that her daughter had come home.

“For the last eight months we are trying to keep her in a status that she can communicate,” Gamzu said.

Argamani’s father, Yaakov, first met her after a military helicopter carried her back to Israel.

“Today is my birthday, and a gift like this I never believed I would get,” he said.

Rescued hostage Noa Argamani is seen reunited with her father, June 8, 2024 (Courtesy)

Nearby the hospital in central Tel Aviv, at what has become known as Hostages Square, thousands of Israelis rallied to mark the rescue of the four hostages and to demand the release of the 116 people abducted by Hamas on October 7 who are believed to remain in Gaza.

One hundred and five civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November, and four hostages were released prior to that. Seven hostages have now been rescued by troops alive, and the bodies of 19 hostages have also been recovered, including three mistakenly killed by the military.

The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 41 of those still held by Hamas, citing intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza.

One more person is listed as missing since October 7, and their fate is still unknown.

Hamas is also holding two Israeli civilians who entered the Strip in 2014 and 2015, as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed in 2014.

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