Noa Argamani was abducted not by Hamas but by civilian mob, NBC report suggests

Israel’s Channel 12 reports that freed hostages saw the 26-year-old Argamani during captivity, casting doubt on US outlet’s report

Noa Argamani, 26, who was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 during a massacre at the Supernova desert rave. (Courtesy)
Noa Argamani, 26, who was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 during a massacre at the Supernova desert rave. (Courtesy)

Noa Argamani, who was taken hostage on the morning of October 7 during the deadly Hamas onslaught in southern Israel, may not have been kidnapped by Hamas but rather by a mob of Gaza civilians, a new report has suggested.

An investigation conducted by US news outlet NBC and published on Tuesday examined the potential whereabouts of the 26-year-old Argamani after she wasn’t released during a week-long truce deal between Israel and Hamas in late November.

The truce saw the release of 105 people, mostly women and children, held by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Yet Argamani wasn’t among them, and no signs of life have been received by her loved ones since the earliest days of the war.

Argamani was kidnapped from the Supernova music festival on the morning of October 7, and a video of her abduction was one of the first to be published online as Hamas terrorists massacred some 360 partygoers and abducted dozens more.

In the video shared online, Argamani is seen on the back of a motorcycle being driven by her captor, screaming “Don’t kill me!” As she is driven away, she attempts to reach for her boyfriend Avinatan Or, who was also taken captive.

While it has been widely assumed that Argamani was taken captive by Hamas, as some 240 others were, NBC suggested that she was instead captured by a civilian mob who took advantage of the Hamas attacks to enter Israel at the same time.

This possibility, the report said, could explain why Argamani was not released during the November truce, as Hamas may not know where she is being held inside the Gaza Strip.

Yaakov Argamani, father of 26-year-old Israeli hostage Noa Argamani, speaks to media outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, now informally called ‘Hostages Square,’ in Tel Aviv on December 16, 2023. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP)

Speaking to NBC, unnamed Israeli military officials explained that while the massacre at the Supernova festival was carried out by Hamas’s elite Nukhba Force, the men who were seen driving away with Argamani did not seem to be armed or wearing any sort of military uniform.

In addition, the report said that through an analysis of the sun and visible shadow in the footage of her kidnapping, Argamani seemed to have been abducted several hours after Hamas’s elite Nukhba unit stormed into the music festival, mowing down partygoers as they went.

Shortly after the NBC report was published, Israeli news outlet Channel 12 said that freed hostages had shared that they had seen Argamani during their time in captivity, suggesting that she might have been transferred to Hamas after being taken hostage, but official sources have not confirmed as much.

A video shared by Hamas on the evening of October 7, that appeared to show her sitting on a couch and drinking water inside a house in Gaza, could also contradict the theory published by NBC.

Argamani is a second-year university student at Ben Gurion University and the only child of Yaakov and Liora Argamani.

Her mother, who battling stage-four brain cancer, on November 29 shared a painful video in which she pleaded to see her daughter before it is too late.

“I have cancer, brain cancer,” said Liora in the video message, sitting in the family’s temporary apartment in Tel Aviv, near her cancer treatment clinic. “I don’t know how much time I have left. I wish for the chance to see my Noa at home.”

“Noa,” her mother added, “I want to tell you if I don’t see you, please know we did everything we could to get you released fast. The whole world loves you.”

It is believed that 128 hostages remain in Gaza — not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during the weeklong truce in late November.

Four hostages were released prior to that, and one was rescued by troops. The bodies of eight hostages have also been recovered, as have three hostages who were mistakenly killed by the military.

The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed the deaths of 21 of those still held by Hamas, citing new intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza.

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