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Israeli special forces disguised themselves as displaced Gazans to infiltrate a refugee camp and rescue 4 hostages, reports say

Rebecca Rommen   

Israeli special forces disguised themselves as displaced Gazans to infiltrate a refugee camp and rescue 4 hostages, reports say
  • Israeli special forces rescued four hostages in Gaza by posing as displaced Gazans, reports said.
  • Israel's elite Yamam unit took part in the operation, and one of its officers was killed.

Israeli special forces liberated four hostages held by militants in Gaza by disguising themselves as displaced Palestinians, reports said.

Two Israeli security sources confirmed to ABC News that Israeli soldiers posed as refugees from Rafah to carry out the rescue mission on Saturday.

According to residents interviewed by the Saudi Arabian-owned Asharq news channel, male and female Israeli soldiers impersonated Palestinian refugees from Rafah to infiltrate the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, per The Times of Israel.

They arrived in a white vehicle with mattresses. When questioned by residents, the disguised soldiers who spoke Arabic claimed they were fleeing the IDF's offensive in the south of Gaza, said the Saudi report.

They pointed out apartments where hostage Noa Argamani was held which they claimed they had rented, witnesses told Asharq news channel. Three other hostages — Andrey Kozlov, Shlomi Ziv, and Almog Meir Jan — were detained in a building nearby.

The Israeli sources who spoke to ABC News confirmed the disguised soldiers used the cover-story that they were looking for a place to live.

BBC News spoke to a witness who said the Israelis came in a truck filled with furniture.

"Suddenly, special forces came out of it and started shooting," Isaam Jameel Arouqi told BBC News.

Eye witnesses told CNN that some Israeli soldiers were also dressed as Hamas fighters.

The hostage rescuers included the elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit, and one of its officers was killed in the operation.

Yamam, which is part of Israel's Border Police, was supported by the special forces troops of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Intelligence from US sources was also used in the raid, The New York Times reported.

The four hostages were among 40 people kidnapped by Hamas from the Nova music festival on October 7, where at least 260 people were massacred.

Noa Argamani's abduction went viral when she was taken hostage via motorbike eight months ago.

Meanwhile, Hamas-run Gaza's Health Ministry said at least 274 Palestinians in the Nuseirat refugee camp were killed during the operation, AP News reports.

The IDF said it launched an air attack when the hostage-rescue mission came under fire from gunmen, some armed with rocket-propelled grenades, AP said

In January, Israeli soldiers dressed as medics entered a hospital in Jenin on the West Bank and killed three alleged Palestinian militants.

The strategy of disguise used in the Gaza rescue raid echoed the Israeli political thriller series "Fauda." The hit Netflix show portrayed Arabic-speaking undercover agents impersonating locals to infiltrate West Bank Palestinian militant groups planning attacks on Israelis.

The creators of "Fauda" are developing a film about the events of October 7.




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