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Great joy in Israel after the release of four hostages

A small group, Israeli flags flying. the hand, forms in front of the hospital where where are the four freed hostages, inside, Benjamin Netanyahu hugs one of them, a lifeguard announces the news on the beach in Tel Aviv through the speakers: Israel is à the party this Saturday.

Earlier, the army announced the release, during a “complex” military operation in Nouisserat, in the center of the Gaza Strip, of Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrey Kozlov , 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41. All four were kidnapped from the site of the Nova electro music festival by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on October 7.

At Ichilov hospital in Tel -Aviv, patients gathered in the hall hoping to see Noa Argamani, where the mother, suffering from brain cancer, is hospitalized, noted an AFP journalist. Saturday evening, the young woman arrived at this hospital, according to the Hostage Families Forum.

Great joy in Israel after the release of four hostages

Friends of Almog Meir Jan, one of the four hostages released by Israel in Gaza, pose for a photo on June 8, 2024 in front of the Sheba Tel-HaShomer hospital in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, where he was admitted with three other ex hostages, against a backdrop of war in the Gaza Strip, where a conflict pits Israel against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas © AFP – JACK GUEZ

“For eight months, we have only received stabs in the heart. I am not talking about myself, I am talking about the whole nation,” says Shlomo Akad, 72 years old.

< p>The image of this Israeli woman shouting “Don’t kill me!” to Hamas fighters had traveled around the world.

“And suddenly, for the first time, it was an explosion of joy after she was saved”, continues, behind large rectangular glasses, the septuagenarian , who claims to have cried when he heard the news of the young woman's release.

On Saturday evening, thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv, like every week, to demand an agreement from the government to bring the hostages back to Israel, noted an AFP journalist. On the big screen, images of the freed hostages were broadcast, to the applause of the crowd, waving numerous Israeli flags.

“It gave me a little hope because when we saw them, we saw their state of health, we had a little hope let them be fed there,” Yair Moses, whose father Gadi Moses is hostage in Gaza, told AFP.

– “Very moving day” –

Great joy in Israel after the release of four hostages

Photo transmitted by the Israeli army on June 8, 2024 shows Almog Meir Jan (L), one of the hostages freed by the Israeli army during an operation, with his relatives at the Sheba Tel-HaShomer hospital in Ramat Gan , near Tel Aviv © Israeli Army – –

At the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv, the Israeli Prime Minister met the newly released hostages, according to images shared by his office.

Benjamin Netanyahu is filmed applauding as a small group of people wish Noa Argamani's father a “happy birthday”, his daughter at his side for the first time since eight months.

“Noa is fine,” rejoiced Yaakov Argamani. “Today is my birthday. What a gift I received,” he added in a video published by the Hostage Families Forum.

On another video, shared by this same organization, Shlomi Ziv hugs her sister and her cousin when two relatives of Almog Meir Jan, extremely moved, take the 22-year-old young man in their arms, in a photo broadcast by the 'Israeli army.

“I cried so much in front of so much joy, I couldn't hold back my tears”, confided to AFP Hilla Israeli, 38 years old, who was at the edge of a lake when she heard the news.

Great joy in Israel after the release of four hostages

A woman photographs the portraits of the four hostages freed by the Israeli army during an operation, June 8, 2024 in Tel Aviv © AFP – GIL COHEN-MAGEN

“In an instant, everyone started taking out their phones, people came out of the water, screams of joy came from different directions,” continues this teacher.

“It’s a very moving day,” says Uriya Bekenstein, 42 years old.

“It’s invigorating, to say the least, to see the release of four hostages and their return home to their families,” Cécile told AFP Belilius.

– “Mixed” feelings –

At the same time, the sixty-year-old says she feels “mixed feelings”, when talking about the Palestinian civilian victims.

Great joy in Israel after the release of four hostages

The Hamas government press service reported Saturday that at least 210 people were killed and more than 400 injured in Israeli attacks in Nusseirat, without mentioning the release of hostages. AFP was not able to confirm this assessment independently.

After this release, Cécile Belilius “hopes” for the acceleration of negotiations to free the hostages and achieve a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel .

“They will not be able to free them all during a military operation”, estimated Michael Levy, brother of the hostage Or Levy, interviewed by AFP on the hostage square in Tel Aviv.

The war in this Palestinian territory was triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7 in the south of Israel which led to the death of 1,194 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data.

During this attack, 251 people were taken as hostages. 116 hostages are still being held in Gaza, including 41 dead, according to the Israeli army.

In retaliation, the Israeli army launched a vast offensive in the small coastal territory . At least 36,801 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed there, according to the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

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All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116