Hostages Rescued and a Message from a Believer in Gaza

The message went over the tannoy on the beach: the IDF just rescued four hostages! The crowds erupted in jubilant celebration—it was such badly needed good news. Out of the hundreds that were kidnapped on that fateful day, only two of those held hostage in Gaza had been rescued alive up till that point. Now four more! And one of them, Noa Argamani, had become particularly well known for a few reasons. First, the images of her being forcibly abducted with horror on her face have become indellibly etched into all our minds, and second because her mother has been inching closer to death with stage four cancer. She wrote a letter to the US president saying all she wanted was to see her daughter again before she died. Her father had also vulnerably expressed his raw desperation shortly after the kidnapping, and the horror of what it meant to have a daughter in that hostage situation sent shudders down our collective spine. The news that Noa would see her mother again and embrace her father felt almost like a dream.

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. (Psalm 126:1)

And remarkably, Noa’s family name was mentioned in the biblical Torah portion read in synagogues all over the world this week!1

Hostage Rescue “Operation Arnon” under fire

But it wasn’t long before the media swung around and began blasting Israel for the Gazans killed in what has been named “Operation Arnon”, after a soldier who died in the rescue mission. Many lives were as the IDF fought to get the hostages free (although the Hamas figure far exceeds double the number the IDF has counted), and the BBC news asked the ridiculous question, “Why didn’t you give the Palestinians time to evacuate?” Apparently they had no idea of what’s involved in a sting operation. The element of surprise is critical for success—there would be no hostages back in Israel if they had given Hamas the heads up. Here’s what Noa recently told the Israeli press:

“I was held at a wealthy family’s home in Gaza. They kept telling me, ‘You should thank God you’re with us; there are far worse places.’ While I was there, they would open the door without knocking whenever they wanted me to clean the house. When I was rescued, a soldier opened the door and said, ‘Hello Noa, this is the IDF.’ I thought he was joking, so I didn’t move. Then he told me, ‘I’m going to pick you up over my shoulder, is that okay?’ That’s when I realized it was actually happening. During the departure, the truck got stuck, and it was terrifying. The soldiers were so brave. It was a matter of a few seconds, and I might not have been here today.” (Israeli News 12)

The wealthy family holding her captive included an Al Jazeera journalist and a doctor, which begs the question about who is really an “innocent civilian” in Gaza.

Gazan believer boldly speaks out

However, of course there are good people in Gaza and it’s important to remember that. We know some! We received this powerful message from a man who came to faith through our Arabic ministry a few years ago. Here’s what he wrote to us recently:

“I wish you would listen to what is in my heart, and convey my words to the Jewish brothers who believe in the Lord Jesus and I have no problem with my full name being exposed. We are fine and greetings from me and my wife and our children and you are in our prayers every day.

I also pray that the Defense Forces will continue boldly and destroy the murderous organization of Hamas! I and others see that the army is not at all responsible for the fall of victims in our country, even though there are indeed falls and injuries of innocent people such as children and others.. The entire responsibility lies with Hamas, which by its cunning initiative enters among the ordinary crowd seeking shelter, knowing that many victims are going to fall and this is a sacred goal for them in order to To influence the opinion of the world public and make them denounce Israel, and unfortunately they succeed in doing this at the expense of the innocent.

I want to thank all the believing soldiers who went to a war that is holy in my eyes against a terrorist and murderous organization (I’m not afraid to write this) that they feed from the same source as ISIS! I want to say to my brothers, the believing soldiers: you went to war respecting your country and your constitution according to which human dignity is always in front of your eyes and you do everything to save and return people at any cost, and do not use human beings as something to sell. You are always in our prayers that the Lord will protect you from those who wish to destroy you.

It is important that you know, my brother, if I had known about a kidnapping in the area where I live, I would have done everything to pass on all the information in order to return the abductees to their parents.

Another important thing, the first time I feel that I have enough freedom of expression and action in terms of my faith in the Lord Jesus Messiah who moved me from the darkness to the light. I finally liked that page and also subscribed to your YouTube channel after 5 years in the faith, and I even wrote in the comments. I have no fear anymore.”

Let’s take this opportunity to pray not only for those held hostage physically in Gaza, but also all those held in captivity in the kingdom of darkness. Freedom for the captives, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian. Let’s pray many more move from darkness to light, and may God bring every last hostage home.


  1. Argaman is a particular kind of purple which mentioned in Numbers 4:13, towards the end of the Torah Portion “BaMidbar”: “They shall remove the ashes from the altar and spread a cloth of Argamani purple wool over it.” וְדִשְּׁנ֖וּ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֑חַ וּפָֽרְשׂ֣וּ עָלָ֔יו בֶּ֖גֶד אַרְגָּמָֽן:
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