update deskOctober 7

Noa Argamani thanks security forces in first address since rescue

The freed hostage also expressed her gratitude to "everyone who made our voices heard when we couldn't speak."

Freed Israeli hostage Noa Argamani in her first public address since the June 8 rescue mission, June 29, 2024. Credit: Hostages and Missing Families Forum.
Freed Israeli hostage Noa Argamani in her first public address since the June 8 rescue mission, June 29, 2024. Credit: Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

In her first public address since being liberated from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip three weeks ago, Noa Argamani thanked the Israeli security forces and called for the release of the remaining hostages.

Argamani expressed her gratitude to “everyone who risked their lives so that I could return home” in a video message played at a rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

“I mourn with the family of Arnon Zamora, who fell during the rescue operation of myself and three other hostages. My heart is with his family. Arnon is a hero of Israel, and we are here because of him,” she said.

Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Andrey Kozlov and Almog Meir Jan were rescued from two separate locations in Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza on June 8. The operation was renamed in honor of Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, a member of the Israel Border Police’s “Yamam” National Counter-Terrorism Unit who was mortally wounded during the mission.

“As an only child to my parents and as a child to a mother with a terminal illness, my biggest worry in captivity was for my parents. It is a great privilege to be here after 246 days in Hamas captivity,” she added.

“A huge thank you to my family and friends, and to everyone who made our voices heard when we couldn’t speak,” Argamani said in the video message, while also thanking those who supported her relatives and “contributed, prayed and gave of themselves during this long period.”

More than 250 people were abducted to Gaza during Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion of the northwestern Negev. Thousands more were killed and wounded by the terrorist group, which committed numerous atrocities during the massacre.

One hundred twenty hostages remain in the Strip, of whom 116 were abducted on Oct. 7 (the other four were captured earlier). The figure includes both living and deceased men, women and children.

“I want to use this opportunity to remind everyone that there are 120 more hostages in Hamas captivity, including Avinatan Or, my partner from whom I was separated during the kidnapping,” said Argamani.

“Although I am home now, we cannot forget the hostages who are still in Hamas captivity and we must do everything possible to bring them home. I wish for all of us to have more peaceful days, quieter days, to be surrounded by family, friends and good people,” she added.

Citing officials familiar with the negotiations, Axios reported on Saturday that the Biden administration has proposed changes to the language of the ceasefire proposal announced by President Joe Biden on May 31, following its rejection by Hamas.

The Israeli government has accepted the U.S. proposal, which has also been approved by the U.N. Security Council. However, the Palestinian terror group rejected the deal, Washington officials said last week.

“They came back several weeks ago and rejected the proposal that was on the table,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. 

Hamas “rejected the proposal that had been put forward by Israel, that President Biden had outlined, that the United Nations Security Council and countries all around the world had endorsed,” he told reporters.

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