Israel rescues four hostages from two locations in Gaza after eight month ordeal

Israel rescues four hostages from two locations in Gaza after eight month ordeal

Israeli forces rescued four hostages alive from two separate locations in the central Gaza area of al-Nuseirat on Saturday, the military said.

The four hostages, three males and one female who were kidnapped by Hamas-led militants from the Nova music festival in southern Israel on October 7 last year, were taken to hospital for medical checks, the military said, and were in good health.

They were identified as Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40.

After eight months of devastating war in Gaza precipitated by Hamas' October 7 attack, 116 of the around 250 hostages abducted by militants are left in the Palestinian enclave, according to Israeli tallies - at least 40 of whom have been declared dead in absentia by authorities.

A video of Ms Argamani receiving a telephone call from Israeli President Isaac Herzog was distributed by his office. "I am so happy to be here. Thank you for everything, thank you for this moment," said a smiling Ms Argamani, sitting with her father in a hospital room.

In another video, speaking on the phone with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ms Argamani said, "I am very moved. I haven't heard Hebrew for so long."

Earlier video of Argamani reunited with her father showed her smiling and embracing him.

She was kidnapped along with her boyfriend Avinatan Or from the Supernova festival on the morning of October 7. Her boyfriend is still believed to remain in captivity.

Ms Argamani became one of the faces of the hostage crisis when footage of her abduction by two men on a motorbike emerged online. In the footage, a distraught Ms Argamani shouts: "Don't kill me!"