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“Undercover Agents Walked Down The Gazan Street As If It Was Tel Aviv”

The Jewish Chronicle revealed fascinating and harrowing details of the dramatic hostage rescue in Gaza last Shabbos.

Almost a month prior to the rescue, Israel obtained intelligence about the location of four hostages in the Nuseirat refugee camp area in the Gaza Strip. However, the exact locations of the apartments where the hostages were being held were unknown. An intense effort by every branch of Israeli intelligence was launched to pinpoint the locations.

After 19 days of intensive work, intelligence forces gathered reliable information that Noa Argamani was being held in a first-floor apartment 800 meters away from the building where the three male hostages were being held on the third floor.

The information, which was kept top secret, was presented to the war cabinet, whose members asked the IDF Chief of Staff and the Shin Bet head to formulate a rescue plan. Meanwhile, training for a potential operation began.

A team of undercover officers (including several women dressed in hijabs and long black dresses) were sent into the Nuseirat refugee camp posing as two displaced Gazan families searching for a house to rent. They arrived in the area with two old cars filled with mattresses and clothing typical of those used by locals.

They told locals that they had escaped from “deadly shelling of the Israeli army” in Rafah and expressed interest in renting an apartment in the area, pointing to the building where Argamani was being held. To facilitate matters, they pulled out a large amount of cash and offered to pay triple the going rate. Within three hours, the locals helped them find a large house to rent on the street where Argamani was being held.

The Gazan “refugees” settled in the house, bought food in the local market, and after a few days, when they felt that their presence was not arousing suspicion, they began their work of verifying the exact locations of the apartments.

They split into two teams. One team consisted of two commandos disguised as a typical Gazan couple – the woman dressed in a long black dress and hijab. Their mission was to confirm the exact address where Argamani was being held.

The makeup room used in preparation for Operation Arnon. (Shin Bet)

The couple walked down the street “with complete confidence as if they were walking down a street in Tel Aviv. To add to their authenticity, they stopped from time to time at stalls along the sides of the street, showing interest in the products while complaining about the difficult situation in Gaza. This was done in fluent Arabic with a perfect Gazan accent. Behind them, walked four more undercover men, armed to give backup in case a ‘Fauda-like’ situation occurred (Fauda in Arabic means unexpected chaos).”

The second team was comprised of four female soldiers dressed as typical Gazan locals, (with one even feigning a pregnancy), carrying plastic bags full of groceries. “They walked in two pairs (a young Muslim woman is not allowed to walk around alone) towards a nearby residential building, where, on the third floor, the three male hostages were held. Behind them walked four more undercover men armed to give them backup.”

Five additional undercover officers remained at the rental house as backup.

Three hours later, both teams returned to the rental house after successfully fulfilling their missions – they had confirmed the exact locations of both apartments where the hostages were being held.

The verification was presented to the war cabinet and its members decided to approve a rescue operation. Twenty-eight Yamam commander officers began training on two models designed to replicate the two buildings where the hostages were being held. Three days later, the Yamam commander informed the IDF Chief of Staff that they were ready to launch the operation.

On June 5th, the undercover team still in Nuseirat was instructed to leave the area without arousing suspicion. However, four undercover officers remained in the area to keep an eye on the apartments and ensure the hostages weren’t transferred to another location. At this point, senior IDF commanders and other cabinet members were informed about the operation.

On Friday morning, June 6, the 28 Yamam commandos drove toward the buildings in the Nuseirat refugee camp in two trucks. They arrived there at 11 a.m. and awaited the order to attack. Meanwhile, live coverage of the street and alleys separating the two buildings were screened to two command and control rooms in Israel.

Senior IDF and Shin Bet officials during the launch of Operation Arnon. (Shin Bet)

At 11 a.m., the two teams received the order to attack and stormed both buildings simultaneously. Argamani’s rescue went smoothly, with the commandos immediately eliminating the three terrorists in the apartment and evacuating her to the waiting rescue vehicle within three minutes.

However, the rescue of the three male hostages hit major and perilous snags. The team of commandos that broke into the apartment was met with massive fire from about 30 Hamas terrorists with machine guns, grenades, and even rocket-propelled grenade missiles. The presence of the 30 terrorists in the apartment was unknown to the Israeli security forces and the assumption is that they had arrived only that morning or the night before to help guard the three hostages. A lengthy gun battle ensued, during which the three hostages hid in the bathroom, protected by several commandos.

The commandos eventually managed to kill all the terrorists in the apartment but at a steep price as this was when Arnon Zamora,H’yd, was hit. He fell to the floor bleeding and three medics and a doctor leaned over him and tried to save his life while under heavy fire.

The commandos then exited the apartment carrying Zamora on a stretcher but they were met with dozens of terrorists who left their tunnels around the building and fired at them with machine guns and RPGs. They attempted to make their way to the rescue vehicle but it was hit by RPG missiles. This scenario occurred in alleys near the market crowded with thousands of “innocent” Gazans who were also a very real danger to the Israelis.

“Plan B” was then activated – a plan that had been prepared in advance for such a scenario. Hundreds of IDF soldiers and tanks rushed into the refugee camp and engaged the terrorists in close combat while Air Force jets fired from the air and Navy ships fired from the west. Airstrikes hit terrorists only ten meters (32 feet) away from IDF soldiers. Meanwhile, the forces securing the hostages managed to escape the area and rush them to a helipad on the Gazan coast, from where they were flown to Israel.

In an open neis, the special forces soldiers managed to eliminate the threats in the area and escape unscathed to the other two helicopters. On the way back to Israel, they continued resuscitation techniques on Zamora, H’yd, but sadly he was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital in Israel.

Watch headcam footage of Operation Arnon below:

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

6 Responses

  1. @DavidtheKanoi The only reason why YWN even knows this much to publish is because IDF Intelligence has decided that it is significantly inconsequential, intelligence-wise, that our enemies can’t do anything with it.

  2. Please enlighten me about what good can possibly come out from talking about how exactly they rescued the hostages? Unless it’s all not true and it’s just a distraction? Or is it all plain, old-fashioned stupidity?

  3. After they freed Ori Megidish at the beginning of the war, they never freed another female Israeli soldier. They broadcast then too how the operation went and what they did. We’ll see if it matters when we see if it happens again soon.

  4. All of this clearly explains/ clarifies why only the IDF can determine which people are even remotely anywhere near army material, and why clearly the wicked supreme court has so absolutely no comprehension whatsoever of the profound inner workings of the IDF

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