IDF: Hamas terrorist and journalist was holding 3 hostages in home alongside family

Abdallah Aljamal, news contributor and ex-Hamas spokesman, was killed by troops in hostage rescue in Nuseirat; he was holding Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv captive

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Abdallah Aljamal, who was holding three Israeli hostages captive in his home in central Gaza's Nuseirat. Aljamal was killed and the hostages were rescued on June 8, 2024. (Social media)
Abdallah Aljamal, who was holding three Israeli hostages captive in his home in central Gaza's Nuseirat. Aljamal was killed and the hostages were rescued on June 8, 2024. (Social media)

Three of four hostages rescued by special forces from the central Gaza Strip over the weekend were being held at the home of Abdallah Aljamal, a Palestinian journalist and member of the Hamas terror group, the Israeli military confirmed on Sunday.

Rumors had circulated on social media after Ramy Abdu, head of the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, said in a post on X that soldiers had climbed into the Aljamals’ home during the raid in Nuseirat on Saturday, killing several members of the family, including Abdallah and his father, Dr. Ahmed Aljamal.

Abdu published an image ostensibly from the Aljamals’ home alongside his post, though he made no mention of the possibility that hostages were held there.

Abdallah Aljamal was previously a spokesman for the Hamas-run labor ministry in Gaza and has contributed to several news outlets in the past.

Amid the war in Gaza, numerous articles by Aljamal had been published by the Palestine Chronicle outlet, including while hostages Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv were allegedly being held captive in his home. The fourth hostage, Noa Argamani, was rescued from a nearby building in Saturday’s operation.

The Israel Defense Forces in a statement said that it and the Shin Bet security agency could confirm that Aljamal had been holding the three hostages in his home in Nuseirat, alongside his own family.

“This is further proof that the Hamas terrorist organization uses the civilian population as a human shield,” the military said.

Amid the raid on the Aljamals’ home, Yamam commander Ch. Insp. Arnon Zmora was fatally wounded by Hamas terrorists’ gunfire.

Zmora died upon arriving at a hospital in Israel, and the rescue mission was later named “Operation Arnon” in his honor.

Read more: ‘Operation Arnon’: How 4 hostages were freed from Hamas captivity in central Gaza

Israeli hostages pictured after their rescue from Hamas captivity in Gaza on June 8, 2024. From left: Shlomi Ziv (IDF); Andrey Kozlov and Almog Meir Jan (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90), and Noa Argamani (Courtesy)

Aljamal also wrote one column for Al Jazeera in 2019, prompting rumors that he was a Gazan correspondent for the Qatari news outlet — a claim that the network stridently denied on Sunday.

Argamani, Meir Jan, Kozlov and Ziv had been abducted from the Supernova music festival near the community of Re’im on the morning of October 7, when some 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists killed 1,200 people and took 251 hostages in a murderous rampage in southern Israel.

Officers of the police’s elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit, along with Shin Bet agents, simultaneously raided two multi-story buildings in the heart of Nuseirat, where the four hostages were being held by Hamas-affiliated families and guards of the terror group, according to the military.

Hamas’s government media office claimed at least 274 people were killed amid the operation, an unverified figure that also does not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

The IDF acknowledged that it killed Palestinian civilians amid the fighting, but it placed the blame on Hamas for holding hostages and fighting in a dense civilian environment. “We know about under 100 [Palestinian] casualties. I don’t know how many of them are terrorists,” IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Saturday.

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