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Hamas has claimed an Israeli offensive that rescued four hostages and killed some 210 Palestinians ‘killed some’ of the captives in the process.

Israeli forces rescued four hostages in the town of Nuseirat in central Gaza who had been held captive since the Hamas-led attack on October 7 – 245 days ago.

The four hostages – Noa Argamani, 26; Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41 – were located in two separate buildings at a refugee camp, the IDF said.

They have since been taken to the ‘Sheba’ Tel-HaShomer Medical Center in Israel for further medical examinations.

The operation to rescue hostages involved heavy aerial bombardment and ground operations that saw troops tear Nuseirat and Deir al-Balah.

Abu Obaida, a spokesperson for the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said on Telegram hours after the 11am operation that the Israeli army had unwittingly ‘killed’ other hostages.

‘An enemy who, through committing horrific massacres, was able to free some of his captives,’ he said.

‘But at the same time, he killed some of them during the operation.

‘The operation will pose a great danger to the enemy prisoners and will have a devastating impact on their conditions and lives.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today said Israel was operating ‘creatively and bravely’ to rescue the hostages.

‘We will not let up until we complete the mission and return home all the hostages, both those alive and dead,’ Netanyahu said.

Just this week, Israel confirmed reports that British citizen Nadav Popplewell was among four hostages who died during an Israeli military operation in Khan Younis, Gaza, in April.

Hundreds of Palestinians were killed during Saturday’s operation amid intense bombardments at the Nuseirat refugee camp, with the current toll from the Gaza government media office being 210 with more than 400 injured.

Images have emerged of a man kissing a dead toddler’s forehead, bloody bodies lining the floor of a hospital, and corpses – one with a blown-off leg – scattered around a market.

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Al Jazeera reporter Anas al-Sharif reported that Israeli forces accessed the refuge camp in vehicles disguised as humanitarian aid trucks.

The bodies of those killed were taken to Al-Aqsa Hospital, the last one working in central Gaza where there are ‘explosions every minute’, Al Jazeera reported.

It ‘is a complete bloodbath’, Dr Tanya Haj-Hassan with Doctors Without Borders told the outlet. ‘It looks like a slaughterhouse.’

At the bloody chaos of the hospital, Khalil Degran said: ‘My two cousins were killed, and two other cousins were seriously injured.

‘They did not commit any sin. They were sitting at home.’

They add to the more than 36,600 Palestinian deaths in Gaza since October 7, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Israel’s military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, estimated the number of casualties to be under 100.

One Israeli soldier has died after sustaining injuries during the operation.

Nuseirat’s Mayor Iyad al-Maghari was killed yesterday, and a UN-run school was damaged on Thursday in a strike that killed 33 people.

Israel claimed the dead – including an eight-year-old boy – were militants, accusing Hamas of using ‘fake documents disguising terrorists as women or children’.

Hamas said in an earlier statement: ‘The “Israeli” occupation army launches a barbaric and brutal aggression against the Nuseirat camp, central Gaza Strip, and directly targets civilians.

‘There are dozens of bodies of martyrs and wounded lying on the ground, in the streets, and inside safe houses, and ambulances and civil defence cannot reach the place due to the intensity of the bombing and aggression.’

It added: ‘We condemn the “Israeli” occupation’s attack on Nuseirat and all areas in the Central Governorate.

‘We condemn this aggression against civilians, children, women, and against safe homes.

‘We hold the occupation and the American administration fully responsible for this catastrophic crime in which the blood of dozens of innocent civilians was shed.

‘We call on the international community and all international and international organizations to stop this brutal aggression continued by the “Israeli” occupation, and we demand that they stop the genocidal war immediately and urgently.’

Netanyahu added on X this evening: ‘We’re committed to getting the release of all the hostages, and we expect Hamas to release them all – but if they don’t, we’ll do whatever it takes to get them all back home.’

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Today’s rescue mission had been planned by the Shin Bet intelligence agency and Israel’s Navy for weeks, and was carried out using ‘precise intelligence’, the IDF said.

Outside of prisoner exchanges, it is the largest liberation of Israeli hostages since the war in Gaza began last October.

Two men were rescued in February and a woman was rescued in the aftermath of the October attack.

Israeli forces have recovered the bodies of at least 16 hostages, according to Israel’s government.

Homes, schools, refugee camps, hospitals and farms have been destroyed in a so-far failed bid to destroy Hamas and liberate the hostages.

In one of the first and most widely shared clips to emerge from October 7, a video of Argamani reaching out her arm and screaming ‘Please don’t kill me’ as militants drove her away on a motorbike was.

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Now, 245 days after the student was kidnapped, new footage shows her smiling as she hugs and kisses her father after she was rescued.

Later she was handed a phone so she could speak directly with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog.

Noa’s mother, Liora, who has stage four brain cancer, released a video in April pleading to see her daughter before she dies.

Noa’s boyfriend, Avinatan Or, was also seen walking away with his hands behind his back in the original footage of the kidnapping.

He remains in Hamas captivity in Gaza, along with roughly 120 other hostages, more than 40 of whom are believed to be dead.

Both had been at the Nova music festival, near the Gaza border, where more than 360 people, mostly under 30 years of age, were killed.

The dead bodies of three other festivalgoers taken that day – Shani Louk, Amit Buskila and Itzhak Gelerenter – were recovered by Israeli forces in Gaza last month.

Shani Louk, a 22-year-old German citizen, had been pictured surrounded by gun-waving militants as they paraded her half-naked, lifeless body through the streets in the back of a truck.

Her father, Nissim, said: ‘She was dancing the whole night. She was so happy,’ Nissim Louk said.

‘She never thought that there is evil in the world because she was a free spirit. She saw it only for a couple of seconds.’

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