‘Common knowledge’: Report says rescued hostages were held by families with known Hamas ties

Hostages Almog Meir Jan and Andrey Kozlov are seen being rescued by forces of the Yamam unit, in central Gaza's Nuseirat, June 8, 2024. (Israel Police)
Hostages Almog Meir Jan and Andrey Kozlov are seen being rescued by forces of the Yamam unit, in central Gaza's Nuseirat, June 8, 2024. (Israel Police)

The Wall Street Journal says the hostages rescued in the Israeli raid last week were held by two families with widely known links to the Hamas terror group.

The IDF said last week that three of four hostages rescued by special forces from the central Gaza Strip were being held at the home of Abdallah Aljamal, a Palestinian journalist and member of the Hamas terror group.

The Journal reports that it was “common knowledge in Nuseirat” that the Aljamal family had close ties to Hamas, but says that “few people in the densely populated area in central Gaza knew of the secret locked in the small, darkened room in the family’s apartment.”

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 were published by the Palestine Chronicle outlet, including while hostages Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv were being held captive in his home. An article published days before the hostage raid had the headline “My House Will Always Be Open.”

Abdallah, his wife Fatma and his father Ahmad Al-Jamal were killed during the hostage rescue. Residents told the Wall Street Journal that the family’s children survived.

According to the report, Ahmad’s brother is a Hamas lawmaker on Gaza’s legislative council.

The outlet says that some residents said they were surprised by the fact that the Aljamals had imprisoned hostages in their home in the densely populated neighborhood, while others were said to be angered that Hamas had put them in danger by holding the captives there.

“Hamas should give us a map of the safe zones we can stay in, because if we knew there were hostages in the neighborhood, we would have looked for another place,” Mustafa Muhammad, 36, who fled from Gaza City to Nuseirat, tells the WSJ.

Ali Bkhit, a social media consultant, tells the outlet that Ahmad “was a nice character; his smile never left his face.”

The fourth hostage, Noa Argamani, was rescued from a nearby building in the operation.

The Journal says Argamani was held nearby by the Abu Nar family, which also has ties to Hamas, but was less prominent.

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.

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