“Four Israeli hostages freed in Gaza, sparking tears of joy.”

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Four Israeli hostages freed in Gaza, sparking tears of joy.

 

Jewish Australians are celebrating the rescue of four Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, in an operation Palestinian officials say killed 210 of their people.

The four hostages – Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv – had been held since the deadly October 7 raid on Israel by Hamas-led militants.

More than 115 of the 250 hostages initially taken remain in Gaza, with more than 36,000 Palestinians killed in retaliation according to their health ministry.

“For so long we’d hoped and prayed that they would be home and safe, and to know that today … they are home with their families is a beautiful thing.”

Pro-Palestine protests were expected across Australia on Sunday, including at Sydney’s Hyde Park and the State Library of Victoria.

Mr Ryvchin defended the scale of the casualties required to free the four hostages, believing it was not a “trade” but rather a “tragedy”.

“But when you’re talking about this sort of operation in densely populated civilian areas, (death is) an inevitability,” he said.

“A hundred and twenty hostages remain in captivity and we will not stop, we will not stop fighting, we will not stop praying and calling for their release.”

Israel has faced strong criticism for the operation and the mass casualties, including from top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories Francesa Albanese.

“Israel has used hostages to legitimise killing, injuring, maiming, starving and traumatising Palestinians in Gaza,” she said

Australian Associated Press

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