‘The diamonds have departed’: IDF publishes new footage from hostage rescue

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

The military releases footage from yesterday’s hostage rescue operation in central Gaza’s Nuseirat, showing the moment when Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman notified the IDF chief of staff that three of the four hostages had been extracted.

“Chief of staff I want to report to you that the three diamonds have departed [by helicopter] from the helipad just now toward the country,” Finkelman is heard saying in the video, using a codeword for hostages Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv. (Hostage Noa Argamani had been rescued from a separate building.)

The military says that the Paratroopers Brigade aided in extracting the special forces with the rescued hostages, bringing them to a makeshift helipad in Gaza, where they were then airlifted to Israel.

The IDF also publishes a clip showing troops of the Kfir Brigade operating in central Gaza amid the nearby rescue operation. The 7th Armored Brigade also battled Hamas operatives in the area, aiding in the rescue, the military says.

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