Her first question to her rescuers: Is my mother still alive?

‘Noa, we’re taking you home’: Helmet cam video shows rescue of hostage Noa Argamani

Newly released video shows Yamam officers protecting 26-year-old during extraction op from Hamas captivity in Gaza, as they are heard reassuring her she is safe

Helmet cam video released by police shows officers of the Yamam counter-terrorism unit rescuing hostage Noa Argamani from Hamas captivity in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp, June 8, 2024. (Israel Police)

Police released new footage on Saturday showing the rescue of Noa Argamani from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip a week earlier.

The helmet camera video shows members of the elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit storming an apartment in central Gaza’s Nuseirat, where the 26-year-old hostage was being held.

“Everything is okay, Noa, we are taking you home,” an officer says to Argamani in the clip. “You’re safe, we’re taking you to the vehicle.”

In the extraction vehicle, an officer is heard identifying the rescuers: “We are a group from the Yamam and the Shin Bet, we’re taking you home, we are very excited that you’re here, and we’re proud of you.”

Argamani is heard saying: “I am very excited, just very scared about the journey.”

“Everything is ok, you are with us, it’s all ok,” an officer responds.

In an interview at the weekend, one of the rescue team said Noa’s first question to the commandos who came to extricate her was whether her mother was still alive. “I told her, ‘Yes’,” he said, adding that she asked again, checking whether they were sure. “We told her, ‘Yes, that’s why we came, to bring you back to your mother’.”

Liora Argamani, 61, has stage four brain cancer and had said that her last wish was to see her daughter again. Noa visited her hours after her return to Israel.

On Monday, Israel released footage from the rescue of Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv, who were held together in another location nearby and rescued in the same operation.

Argamani, Meir Jan, Kozlov and Ziv were 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 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.

According to Israeli accounts, the rescue of Argamani, who was held separately from the three men rescued that day, was relatively smooth considering the circumstances, but a major gun battle erupted at the home where Meir Jan, Kozlov, and Ziv were held.

During the firefight, Chief Inspector Arnon Zmora was critically wounded by Hamas fire. He later died.

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 last Saturday.

Rescued hostage Noa Argamani is reunited with her father Yaakov Argamani at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, June 8, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Argamani has been one of the most recognizable faces of those abducted on October 7, following a widely circulated video of terrorists taking her from the Nova music festival on October 7, and separating her from her boyfriend, Avinatan Or, who remains in captivity.

Doctors who treated the rescued hostages said they were suffering from malnutrition, were beaten regularly and experienced great psychological distress during their captivity.

It is believed that 116 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza — not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November, and four hostages were released prior to that.

Seven hostages have 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 new 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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