Israel hostage abducted on motorbike pleads for rescue as two more captives killed

Noa Argamani was seen desperately calling out to her partner while being abducted by motorcycle from the music festival
Noa Argamani was seen desperately calling out to her partner while being abducted by motorcycle from the music festival

A young Israeli woman abducted by Hamas on a motorbike in one of the defining images of the Oct 7 attacks said two of her fellow hostages had been killed in air strikes.

Noa Argamani, 26, was last seen desperately calling out to her partner while being dragged away from the music festival during the massacre by the terrorists.

She said in a new video published by Hamas on Monday that two other hostages – Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itay Svirsky, 38 – kept together with her, had been killed in Israeli air strikes.

Hamas had revealed earlier on Monday that two hostages had died in their captivity and asked the public to “guess” who they were.

The new video shows Ms Argamani pleading for rescue, saying they were running out of food and water in Gaza. It then cuts to images of the bloodied body of one of the other hostages alleged to have been killed.

The Hamas video is likely aimed at putting more pressure on the Israeli government to halt the war in Gaza. It is one of a limited number of “proof of life” videos that Hamas has released during the course of the Gaza war.

At least 136 Israelis are still believed to be in captivity in Gaza after the terrorist group overran swathes of Israel in a daring attack last October.

The Israeli government is under intense pressure from families to rescue the hostages, while facing orders from the US to wind down its operation in Gaza.

Ms Argamani said in the new video that she was kept with the two other hostages and Hamas’s Al Qassam brigade fighters at one location in Gaza before it was bombed by an Israeli air strike.

She said she and Mr Svirsky were pulled out of the rubble alive, unlike Mr Sharabi. It is not clear if she was under duress while she spoke.

When they were being moved to another location, their vehicle came under an attack that killed Mr Svirsky.

“While we still are alive, bring us home,” Mr Argamani said in Hebrew, her words repeated with an echo effect and edited with a trademark high quality by Hamas’s propaganda team.

‘Don’t kill me’

The young woman with long, dark hair yelling “Don’t kill me” as she was put on a motorbike and abducted by Hamas fighters was one of the first images of Hamas atrocities in Israel on Oct 7.

Monday’s clip ended with close-up images of two dead bodies, resembling Mr Sharabi and Mr Svirsky, who both lived in the kibbutz Be’eri.

Israel’s army criticised the new video, saying it was a “brutal use of innocent hostages”.

Daniel Hagari, a military spokesman, also rejected Hamas’s claim that two hostages were killed by Israeli bombing, saying: “This is a lie by Hamas.”

The group representing families of the Israeli hostages has not confirmed the reports of the two men’s deaths.

Talks between Israel and Hamas to release the hostages have stalled as the Israeli government baulked at Hamas’s suggestion of truce or any long-term ceasefire in exchange for the hostages’ release. Israel’s top officials including the prime minister and the defence minister insist that a longer pause would allow Hamas to rest and regroup.

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