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The father of the Israeli hostage died the day before his son was rescued

Via Jake Lapham, BBC news

Reuters Almog Meir Jan hugs a family memberReuters

Almog Meir Jan hugs a family member after being rescued from Gaza

The father of an Israeli hostage rescued during a military operation in Gaza died a day before he was reunited with his son, a relative said.

Almog Meir Jan, 22, was detained in Gaza for eight months after being kidnapped from the Nova music festival on October 7.

He was one of four hostages rescued from central Gaza on Saturday, in an air and ground raid that also killed dozens of Palestinians.

In the months before Almog’s release, his father Yossi’s health deteriorated and he was “glued to the television,” his sister Dina told Israel’s Kan television station.

“He was worried that he (Almog) was in the hands of murderers and about what was happening to him and what he was going through,” Ms. Jan said.

Yossi Jan is believed to have died of a heart attack.

“My brother died of grief and not being able to see his son return,” Dina Jan said.

The rescue of Almog Jan and three other hostages was met with jubilation and relief in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netyanhu praising the special forces for their “creative and brave” work.

However, the humanitarian toll of the campaign, which included a series of Israeli air strikes, has drawn condemnation.

Grief in Gaza as dozens killed in IDF hostage raid

Gaza’s Hamas-run Ministry of Health said 274 people were killed in this operation. If confirmed, it would be one of the deadliest days in Gaza since the start of the conflict.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the death toll was less than 100.

Qatar’s prime minister called for increased global pressure on Israel to stop the “barbaric aggression” in Gaza, during a summit in Doha on Sunday.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, condemned the killing as “yet another massacre of civilians”.

An Israeli minister said that instead of condemning Hamas for hiding behind civilians, the EU condemned Israel for saving its citizens.

Israeli forces, supported by airstrikes, engaged in a fierce exchange of gunfire with Hamas in the Nuseirat area, in what the Israel Defense Forces called a “complex, high-risk mission” based on information “accurate” intelligence.

Reuters Protesters hide from Israeli police water cannons, at a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and calling for the release of hostages in Gaza, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Tel AvivReuters

Anti-government protesters appeared on the streets of Tel Aviv again on Saturday night

In addition to Almog Meir Jan, hostages Noa Argamani, 26, Andrei Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were rescued during the operation.

Some 116 people kidnapped in October are still being held. More than a third of them have been confirmed dead, but that number is believed to be higher.

Benjamin Netanyahu visited four returned hostages in hospital, telling one “we have not abandoned you for a moment”.

“We hope Hamas will release them all. But if they don’t, we will do everything to bring them all home,” Netanyahu said outside the hospital.

On Sunday, Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said 37,084 people had been killed since the start of the conflict.


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