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“There was a knock on the door.  A voice said, ‘It’s the IDF.  We’ve come to take you home.’”

This is how former hostage Noa Argamani described her rescue from Hamas on the Sabbath — Saturday, June 8 — which also happened to be her father’s birthday.

Israelis spent the weekend cheering her rescue, along with the rescues of three other former hostages — Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv.

All four, ranging in age from 22 to 41, were kidnapped from the Nova music festival on October 7, Hamas’s notorious day of atrocities.

Israeli intelligence recently determined with certainty that they were being held in two separate buildings in Nuseirat, in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli command — which rose to the level of the prime minister and the war cabinet itself — decided to conduct two raids simultaneously, at 11:25 a.m.

Both buildings were heavily guarded by Hamas fighters, though the buildings looked, to all appearances, like regular civilian apartments.

It took the intelligence work of Shin Bet — an apparatus of the Israeli intelligence service — to identify the difference: these “civilian apartments” were in fact military locations in which Hamas was illegally holding several innocent hostages they had kidnapped 245 days earlier.

One Israeli commando — Chief Inspector Arnon Zmora — was killed in the shootout that freed the three men.  There were no Israeli losses in freeing Miss Argamani.

Prime Minister Netanyahu named the operation after him; it will be recorded in the history books as Operation Zmora, a fitting tribute to a heroic counter-terrorist who grew up revering Prime Minister Netanyahu’s brother Yoni, the hero who died at Entebbe in 1976.


The weekend has been full of revelations.

Those of us who have constantly focused on the lack of a clear dividing line between Hamas terrorists and the “innocent civilians” that the Gazans wail about were proven correct again, as these four hostages were found to have been held in “civilian” apartments, registered to Gazan civilians, but under 24-hour guard by Hamas militants, clearly making a mockery of the innocence of such “civilians.”

The weekend reinforced the position that the IDF has remained true to their policy of trying as hard as possible to only target genuine military targets, in contradiction to the way that Hamas has always targeted civilians.

The weekend’s attacks looked at first glance to be on civilian locations, and that’s how the pro-Hamas press always reports such actions, but the gunfights and rescues of hostages held at those locations conclusively proved that the sites were in fact legitimate military targets, terrorist cells in disguise.


While early reports had some of the details mixed up, the fascinating — and shameful — news is that the three male hostages were held in the apartment of a journalist.

Not just any journalist, mind you, but Abdallah Aljamal, a writer for the Palestine Chronicle and occasional contributor to other Arab publications like Al Jazeera.

Now, the Palestine Chronicle is a terribly biased mouthpiece of the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas left.

It’s a U.S. nonprofit, based in Washington state, a publication devoted to spinning the news of the war to make Israel look like the aggressors, constantly blurring the definitions of civilians and noncombatants, routinely parroting the falsified casualty numbers published by Hamas, to warp global understanding of the ongoing war.

Similarly, Al Jazeera — the Qatar-based global Arab news outlet — has been outed over the past eight months as being even more deeply involved with Hamas than most previously suspected.

We have learned that the outlet doesn’t limit its support of terrorism to spinning the news; numerous Al Jazeera correspondents have been found to participate in terrorist acts, before, during, and since October 7.

The discovery of three hostages in the home of Aljamal has now rightly brought this important issue back to the world’s attention.


How do some outlets know where to show up to take video?  How do some outlets know to put reporters on the scene, seemingly as soon as nightmares begin, sometimes even before?  Is it really just anonymous tips, hunches, or dumb luck — or is it more?

Well, a Tel Aviv court released a finding just before last weekend’s hostage rescue, listing numerous findings of collaboration between Al Jazeera and Hamas, making them more accessories or co-conspirators, not independent, unbiased reporters, as we in the West like to imagine journalists to be.

As the weeks and months go on, Israel continues to impress with their steadfast resolve, aiming for the destruction of Hamas and the goal of finding some future in which the innocent people of Gaza, whatever percentage of them that might be, can get a fresh chance at life without serving the political goals of Iranian/Qatari/Lebanese jihadists from cradle to grave.

City by city, house by house, the Israelis continue to focus on cutting through the Hamas veil of civilian garb and non-military sites, to find out what’s really going on, to destroy the jihadists and protect the true innocent refugees from our mutual foes.


And interestingly enough, of all weekends to choose, so-called “moderate” liberal politician Benny Gantz chose this one to announce his departure from the War Cabinet of Israel.

Gantz withdrew from the government, ostensibly over Netanyahu’s refusal to capitulate to the latest ceasefire proposal.

Timing is everything in politics; there have likely been times in recent months when Gantz’s admonishments and self-righteous withdrawal from the government would have had some political sting.

But now?

He chose the very weekend when so many of Netanyahu’s instincts have been proven correct, a weekend when Israeli forces heroically freed four hostages, a weekend when both “uninvolved” Gaza civilians and Arab reporters were proven to be active hostile combatants, and a weekend when the foreign sponsor of the latest sham agreement — America’s pretender-in-chief Joe Biden — embarrassed himself even more than usual on the world stage, demolishing what little moral high ground his administration ought to be able to boast in such peace talks.

This was a good weekend for the Netanyahu government, and any good weekend for Israel is a very bad week for the global Left.

With courage, tenacity, talent, and an incontestable moral high ground, Israel knows how to behave as a leader of the free world.

If only these United States, which used to own that title, still remembered how.


John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based international transportation manager, trade compliance trainer, and speaker.  A one-time Milwaukee County Republican Party chairman, he has been writing a regular column for Illinois Review since 2009.