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Hostage rescue in Israel: how the operation took place

Video caption, Meetings after release of four Israeli hostages in IDF raid

Four hostages were rescued by the Israeli army from central Gaza, as part of an operation planned for weeks.

For Israelis, it brought joy and relief. For Palestinians, it led to more suffering, with hospitals saying dozens of people, including children, were killed in the raid on the densely populated Nuseirat camp.

Dubbed “Seeds of Summer,” the raid was unusually carried out during daylight hours – which the Israeli military said allowed it to have a greater element of surprise.

Mid-morning meant the streets were crowded with people shopping at a nearby market.

This also meant greater risk for Israeli special forces, not only entering, but especially exiting.

A special forces officer was injured and died in hospital, Israeli police said.

Legend, Nora Abu Khamees heartbroken after her child was killed in Israeli strike

“It was on a scale comparable to Entebbe,” according to IDF chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, referring to Israel’s rescue of 100 hostages in Uganda in 1976.

Acting on intelligence and after crossing into Gaza from Israel, he said specialist commandos simultaneously attacked two residential apartments in Nuseirat where the hostages were being held.

In an apartment there was hostage Noa Argamani, 26 years old. In the other were Shlomi Ziv, 41, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Almog Meir Jan, 22.

Mr. Hagari said they were not in cages but in locked rooms, surrounded by guards.

He explained that Israeli commandos, after forcing entry, captured the hostages by wrapping themselves around them to provide them with protective shields before herding them into military vehicles outside.

As they left, he said they encountered fierce resistance from Palestinian fighters.

Mr. Hagari said the Israeli army planned the raid in great detail, even going so far as to build models of the two apartments in which to train.

The United States also provided intelligence support to Israel for the operation, according to BBC partner CBS News, citing two American officials.

Cellphone video showed people diving for cover as missiles whizzed by and gunshots rang out.

Later images showed bodies strewn across the street.

Video caption, Mourning in Gaza: dozens killed in IDF hostage raid

The raid clearly involved a massive force. Doctors at two hospitals in central Gaza said they had counted more than 70 bodies.

Mr. Hagari estimated there were fewer than 100 deaths, while Hamas’ media office said more than 200 people were killed.

The BBC was unable to verify the number of casualties.

“I gathered the body parts of my child, my dear child,” Nora Abu Khamees, a refugee in Nuseirat, told the BBC as she broke down in tears.

“My other child is between life and death. Even my husband and my mother-in-law, our whole family is destroyed. It’s genocide.

Ten-year-old Areej Al Zahdneh, speaking at a nearby hospital, told us there were airstrikes, tanks and gunfire.

“We couldn’t breathe. My sister Reemaz was hit by shrapnel in the head and my sister Yara, five years old, was also hit by my shrapnel.

Legend, Two sisters of Areej Al Zahdneh, 10, were hit by shrapnel, she told the BBC from hospital.

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News Source : www.bbc.com

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