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Israel-Hamas deal: These are the 10 hostages released on Tuesday



Israel-Hamas deal: These are the 10 hostages released on Tuesday

Israel has confirmed the identities of the 10 hostages that were released Tuesday evening, after 52 days of being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The group is made up of mainly elderly hostages and certain family members.

An additional two Thai citizens were released by Hamas on Tuesday.

Ditza Heiman

Ditza Heiman (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Ditza Heiman, 81, lived alone on Kibbutz Nir Oz and was famous for her “grandma’s soup.” As she locked herself in the safe room during the Hamas attacks on October 7, she spoke with family members as they as they checked up on the mother of four, stepmother of three, grandmother to 20 and great-grandmother of five.

The last time contact was made with Heiman was around 10 a.m., when, at 4 p.m., someone answered her phone and began speaking in Arabic.

Tamar Metzger 

Tamar Metzger (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)
Tamar Metzger, 78, was born in Tel Aviv into a Yemenite family. On October 7, along with her husband Yoram, 80, she went into their bomb shelter on Kibbutz Nir Oz as Hamas launched hundreds of rockets toward Israel. 

Ofir, the Metzger’s grandson, said after the attacks that he was in touch with his grandfather via WhatsApp and that Yorem appeared to suggest everything was ok until contact was cut. 

A week later, the family was told that phone tracking proved that Yoram and Tamar were in Gaza. When Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Yitzhak, also members of Kibbutz Nir Oz, were released from Hamas captivity on 26 October, Yocheved let the family know that she had seen Yoram and Tamar alive in Gaza.

Noralin Babadilla Agojo 

Noralin Babadilla Agojo (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Noralin Babadilla Agojo, 60, and her partner, Gidon Babani, were visiting friends in Kibbutz Nirim to celebrate its 70th anniversary when Hamas attacked. Gidon was tragically killed and Noralin was kidnapped by Hamas and taken to Gaza. 

Exo, her brother, recalled later her last words to him before contact was cut: “We just wanted to celebrate. I’m shaking; maybe I won’t come home.”

Ada Sagi 

Ada Sagi (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Ada Sagi, 75, is a mother of three and described as a kind, peace-loving person. Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Poland, Ada learned Arabic in order to make friends with her neighbors close to Kibbutz Nir Oz and later taught the language to others as a way to improve communication with the Palestinians who live on the Israel-Gaza border.

Her son Noam stated he last heard from his mother at 9:20 a.m. on October, when his mother called to say she could hear voices speaking in Arabic outside her home, after which she entered the safe room.

Ada suffers from asthma and other significant allergies and it is assumed she has had not had access to an EpiPen during her time in captivity.

Ada Sagi was preparing to travel to London to celebrate her birthday.

Merav Tal

Merav Tal (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Yair Yaakov, 59, and his girlfriend, Merav Tal, 53, were taken captive from their Kibbutz Nir Oz home during the Hamas attacks on October 7.

Yair’s two sons, Or and Yagil, 16 and 12, were not with the couple but were at their mother’s house, also on Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Merav sent a voice message at 9:20 a.m. that Hamas terrorists had entered their home and that Yair was trying to secure the door to the safe room to fend off the terrorists. That was the last time they were heard from.

Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav

Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav, 36, who worked in alternative medicine, and her husband, Yagev Buchshtav, 34, were taken hostage from Kibbutz Nirim on October 7..

The couple met in high school and married in 2021. They were hiding in the safe room of their home when Rimon messaged her family saying she saw fire and terrorists shooting outside “everywhere.” She sent her parents, who were also sheltering in nearby community, a voice message saying, ” “I love you, Mom. I’m so sorry I can’t be there with you. I love you.”

Rimon was later seen looking gaunt and without her glasses in a video of hostages released by Hamas.

Ofelia Roitman 

Ofelia Roitman (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Argentine olah, Ofelia Roitman, 77, has been held in captivity since Hamas captured her from her home on Kibbutz Nir Oz, where Ofelia has lived for the last 38 years.

Early in the morning of October 7, as Hamas terrorists reached the Kibbutz, Ofelia contacted her family and told them what was happening at the kibbutz.

At 9:37 a.m., the family received their last text message from her: “Please send help, the Palestinians are here,” she wrote.

Marman-Leimberg family

Clara Marman (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Argentina-born Clara Marman, 62, and her partner Louis Har were hiding in their home’s safe room on October 7, together with Marman’s siblings Fernando Marman and Gabriela Leimberg, 59, and Gabriela’s daughter, Mia Leimberg, 17, attempting to keep the door to the safe room locked. They were captured and taken to Gaza by Hamas terrorists.

Clara was a retired kindergarten teacher.

Gabriela Leimberg is the director of Eyal’s Farm, an ecological ranch for autistic adults at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem.

Gabriela and Mia were down South visiting their family on the kibbutz for the Simchat Torah festival. 

Gabriela Leimberg (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)
Mia Leimberg (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

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Watch: IDF, security forces arrest explosive-wielding terrorists in intense West Bank operation




Watch: IDF, security forces arrest explosive-wielding terrorists in intense West Bank operation

The IDF, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and Border Police operated throughout Saturday evening and arrested eight wanted individuals in the West Bank, the IDF announced Sunday. 

Soldiers shot at a terrorist who threw an explosive device at them in Nablus, and interrogated suspects, finding weapons. 

In the village of Rujeib, near Nablus, soldiers arrested a wanted man and confiscated a gun and other weapons. 

During these operations, soldiers surrounded a building and arrested an additional two wanted persons, and confiscated weapons and destroyed an explosive device found in the area. 

Israeli forces arrest suspects implicated in terror activities 

In Beit Rima and Kafr Nima, near Ramallah, soldiers arrested two suspects implicated in terrorist activities. 

IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank overnight, June 16, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

In al-Khader, two wanted men were arrested, and in Idna, soldiers arrested another wanted man. 

The wanted persons who were arrested had their weapons confiscated and were transferred to security forces for further investigation. 

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, approximately 4,150 wanted persons have been arrested throughout the West Bank, and approximately 1,750 are associated with terror organization Hamas. 

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US officials worry Israel will drag America into war against Hezbollah – CBS




US officials worry Israel will drag America into war against Hezbollah – CBS

The Biden administration has become increasingly concerned that the increasing conflict and rocket exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah could expand through the region, anonymous US officials told CBS News on Friday.

An official said that the administration had been working toward lowering the risk that US troops face in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. 

Additionally, diplomatic advisor Amos Hochstein is heading to Israel on Monday with the reported purpose of trying to de-escalate tensions before they spread throughout the region.

IAF strikes deeper into Lebanon

Some of the US officials told CBS that they interpreted the deepening IDF strikes in Lebanese territory as a preparatory measure for a sweeping assault. This, the officials worry, could start a war with Lebanon that Israel would require US support to win.  

Other officials told CBS they were concerned that, in response to the deepening strikes, Hezbollah would escalate attacks, resulting in an unintended war.

Smoke is seen following rockets that were fired towards Israel from Lebanon, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, June 1, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/Avi Ohayon)

The rocket exchanges on the northern border are also creating new barriers in pushing for a hostage-ceasefire deal, the CBS report added.

A senior Biden administration official said, “The most important thing about the hostage release and ceasefire deal that’s on the table now is that if it’s achieved, it can have an impact in the north [of Israel], so that is an opportunity for us to be able to bring this conflict to a full close.”

“There has to be an agreement that allows Israelis to return to their homes in the North with security guarantees that it is not Oct. 6 of Hezbollah … sitting right on the blue line,” the official added.

Inflaming tensions 

After senior Hezbollah official Sami Taleb Abdullah was eliminated in a strike, Hezbollah increased its rocket attacks against Israel. Approximately 250 rockets were launched on Wednesday towards northern Israel, disrupting civilians trying to partake in the holiday of Shavuot. 

Abdullah is the most senior member of Hezbollah to be eliminated since October 7.

“The powerful elimination worries Hezbollah members. They now understand that the IDF knows much more about them than we do. Additionally, the operation indicates that Hezbollah’s field security is not airtight and that the organization’s intelligence system has been penetrated to such an extent that we were able to eliminate such an important sector commander. The IDF managed to infiltrate their networks and systems and identify the right people for elimination,” said Professor Amatzia Baram, suggesting that this also impacts the leader of the terrorist organization.

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Israel must target civilian infrastructure in Lebanon to pressure Hezbollah, IDSF head says




Israel must target civilian infrastructure in Lebanon to pressure Hezbollah, IDSF head says

Israel Defense and Security Forum CEO Lt. Col. (res.) Yaron Buskila spoke recently with Yoav Minitz on Radio North 104.5FM and referred to the future of the conflict with the terrorist organization Hezbollah on the northern border.

Buskila stated, “The North is facing the issue of UAVs, which seems like a kind of Russian roulette. How can the security system deal with this.

“To explain why occasionally there are no sirens, Hezbollah learned to operate with UAVs at a low altitude close to the ground. Because of this, the UAV is not identified, and Hezbollah manages to operate them and attack before the Israeli detection and identification system operates. This has become a challenge for us, but we continue to face Hezbollah as we have in recent years in a symmetrical manner. For every attack they launch at us, we retaliate proportionally.

“This is not how to deal with a terror organization, certainly not at this stage. Hezbollah understands that we are in negotiations over the hostages, and they want to pressure the State of Israel. We must not play into their hands. This is exactly the time to take action against Hezbollah and Lebanon as a country and attack civilian infrastructures. Hezbollah is also subject to social and public pressure within Lebanon.”

Which infrastructures and targets are worth it for Israel to attack? 

“If we do not know how to attack such civilian infrastructures that the Lebanese society will put pressure on Hezbollah, we will not come out of this. We needed to escalate matters long ago. The economic interest they had with the gas agreement needs to be canceled immediately and transferred to our hands as one of the first steps in response to Hezbollah’s activities. The economy in Lebanon is so fragile that the last thing they need is escalation and entry into a war from Israel, which will destroy the Lebanese economy.

A Hezbollah flag flutters in the southern Lebanese village of Khiam, near the border with Israel, Lebanon July 28, 2020 (credit: REUTERS/AZIZ TAHER)

Buskila continued, “We are at war. Any target within Lebanon that causes pressure on Lebanese society is legitimate. It could be an airport, energy areas, and others. These are part of the steps taken in war, and we are at war. We are in a fateful year that will determine the future of the State of Israel in terms of security in the next 50 years. The sharper this war becomes and the more significant the achievements, the more peace we will acquire in the coming years.”

“The State of Israel and the security system are afraid to carry out attacks for fear that Hezbollah may achieve long-range targets, farther than Haifa and Hadera. As Ofer Shelah wrote in his book, The Courage to Win, even winning requires courage. It also requires the ability to absorb, but ultimately, whoever has endurance and ability and knows his right is the one who wins.”

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