Wednesday, June 12, 2024

"Hi Noa, it's the IDF" - Minute by minute detail of the IDF recuse of their hostages from the Hamas terrorist (Re Post)

As seen on the Daily Mail this is a fascinating account of the rescue of the four Israeli hostages who were taken hostage by Hamas.  WOW - what an amazing rescue operation!

Thursday, June 6

War Cabinet dissolves amid fallout over hostage deal while special forces secretly start making final preparations to rescue four of the captives.

Saturday, June 8

10:45 am

Israeli ground surveillance and airborne technological tracking confirm the area is clear, with no suspicious movement detected in the two buildings.

10.58 am

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant meets nation’s top military brass in the Command Room. Following approval from Gallant, Lt Gen Halevi, head of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate, orders Yamam, the special counter terror police unit: ‘Go!’

Once the green light is given, all communication with the operatives on the ground is cut to remove any chance of the enemy picking up radio chatter and blowing the mission.

11.00 am

The central market in Al-Nuseirat is teeming with refugees doing their shopping, along with hundreds of Hamas terrorists.

At least 50 members of Israeli special forces are hiding among them. Some, disguised as displaced Gazans escaping the IDF operation in Rafah, had arrived in a white car with a mattress strapped to the roof as cover, and rented a base near the busy market. Others pose as members of the resistance, wearing helmets and resistance badges.

A second group, also posing as displaced persons, arrived in trucks filled with furniture.

All head, under cover, for the central market area where their targets are the two low-rise apartment blocks, 200 metres apart.

In the first building, Noa is under armed guard. She has been held with a relatively wealthy family, who allegedly forced her to clean for them and kept telling her: ‘Thank God that we are the family you ended up with.’

In the second building are the three men. Both buildings are inhabited by Gazan families as well as Hamas guards.

11.25 am

Two teams of between 20 and 25 Israeli elite special forces snake towards the two buildings.

‘They came out of the trucks in Yamam uniforms – and then everything started,’ Zohar Dvir, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Unit, tells the Daily Mail.

Israeli forces blast their way into each compound simultaneously – any delay between the two groups and Hamas would have executed the remaining hostages – and enter from every possible access point to maximise chaos and confusion.

In Noa’s building, some operatives climb in using a ladder; others take the stairs. Her guards are ‘surprised completely’ and are killed immediately by Israeli forces.

Noa is also shocked when the door to her room opens suddenly and a soldier says: ‘Hi Noa, it is the IDF.’

At first, after eight months of captivity, she assumes it is a joke and doesn’t move. But then the solider says: ‘I am going to put you over my shoulder, all right?’ And they set off.

She is extracted in less than 60 seconds. As they exit, her rescuers message back to base with the code word ‘Diamond’ to confirm they have her.

11.26 am

In the second building, the team is greeted by a storm of fire from militants.

The elite Yamam unit’s Chief Inspector, Arnon Zmora, is shot in the head as they enter the house.

As other Israeli forces advance up the stairs, they shoot and kill any residents they see, including Hamas terrorist Abdullah Al-Jamal along with his wife, both 36, and father, Dr Ahmed, 74.

Their daughter Zainab, 27, is also wounded.

The hostages he was holding are shocked and silent and not sure who to trust – until the Yamam teams shout: ‘This is the IDF, we came to rescue you!’

They are fitted with ceramic bullet-proof vests and raced to the exit on foot.

11.27 am

Despite the gun battle, the rescuers have all three hostages and the injured Zmora ready to leave in less than two minutes.

But as they head to the evacuation vehicle, they face a blizzard of fire.

‘After the firefight all the locals woke up and a lot of terrorists came from all over with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), missiles, everything in order to hit the trucks,’ says Zohar Dvir.

11.28 am

The Israelis’ escape vehicle is disabled in the crossfire and they are all forced back into a building to hide. This activates their back-up plan and the Israeli Air Force immediately launches a bombardment of air strikes and artillery.

In scenes reminiscent of America’s legendary Battle of Mogadishu, also known as the Black Hawk Down incident, aircraft provide cover to create a protective perimeter around the special forces sheltering in nearby buildings. They have to unleash a ‘ring of fire’ so ferocious it holds back the terrorist commandos.

‘They were completely surrounded, against a force with undercover networks,’ explains Dvir. ‘Terrorists can jump out from anywhere with RPGs – every place, houses, underground, running from shelter to shelter.’

Huge clouds of smoke billow into the sky above and buildings are reduced to rubble.

‘Gunfire was exchanged in a crazy manner,’ says one eye-witness. ‘We lay down on the ground and the planes started bombing from every direction.’


A replacement vehicle arrives to ferry the hostages to safety but it is also damaged in the brutal crossfire.

12.10 pm

The car Noa is in faces mechanical problems on the way to safety, possibly caused by crossfire, and it grinds to a sudden halt.

12.15 pm

Back in Al-Nuseirat, the Air Force continues its bombardment, the Yamam operatives rescuers continue to fight off fierce rocket fire and the hostages hide and await yet another car.

Chief Inspector Zmora is treated as they wait, but is fading fast.

12.30 pm

Noa (‘Diamond One’) reaches her helicopter rendezvous in an Israeli-controlled section of the Gazan coastline, south of a US-built floating pier.

The helicopter takes off towards Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv.

Her family is notified of the mission for the first time and told that she is on her way home. They rush to meet her.

12.50 pm

Noa lands and is greeted by her overjoyed father, whose birthday it is. ‘I am so happy to be here,’ she says. ‘Thank you for everything, thank you for this moment.’

She is also reunited with her mother, Liora, who has late-stage brain cancer and thought she might never see her daughter again.

1.15 pm approx

A third escape vehicle arrives to evacuate the trapped hostages and, eventually, under a hail of gunfire, the rescuers get them to the car and race them towards the same rendezvous point where they will link up with their helicopter extraction team.

1.35 pm

The three remaining hostages, along with the injured Zmora, board the helicopter. As it takes off, Major General Yaron Finkelman reports in: ‘Army tech. I want to report to you that the three Diamonds took off from the runway towards the country.’

Their families are informed that they have been rescued.

2 pm

Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv arrive at Sheba Medical Centre, eight months and one day after they were taken hostage.

Chief Inspector Zmora is rushed to emergency treatment, but doctors cannot save him. He is pronounced dead soon afterwards.

2.30 pm

Back in Al-Nuseirat the Palestinians survey the damage, count the dead and rush the wounded to hospital.

Some say they have never seen such a devastating barrage of fire in eight months of war.

According to the Palestinian health authorities, there are 274 dead and almost 700 people have been injured.

The Israeli authorities estimate a much lower figure: roughly 100 dead, most of whom they say were terrorists.

Though there is an outpouring of national joy in Israel at news of the rescue, about 120 hostages still remain unaccounted for, including Noa’s boyfriend.

For now, their fate remains in the lap of the gods.

Again a huge Hat Tip to The Daily Mail for this story.

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