Tragedy: Father of Hostage Found Dead in Home When IDF Came to Announce Son’s Rescue

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Israeli hostages freed by IDF. (Credit: The official X account of the State of Israel)

The IDF rescued four hostages who had been held hostage for eight months by the terrorist group Hamas in one of the most daring, triumphant military operations of the decade. Stories will be told for many years about this special mission and how the IDF surgically and masterfully extracted the captives. 

The videos of reunions with family were heartwarming and celebrated all around the world. However, in a tragic turn of events, it is reported that the father of one of the hostages was found dead in his home by the IDF when they came to announce the rescue. Some reports say he was found by family members first. 

Almog Meir Jan, 21, was taken hostage on Oct. 7th from the Nova festival and was featured in one of the first released videos of hostages by Hamas. While held captive, he was able to see video footage in Israel of people advocating for the hostages and saw his face on a poster. He also says Hamas forced him to film a video on his birthday in May, but to his surprise, the video was not released.

Although Almog’s father, Yossi Meir, was ill before his death, his family believes he died of grief.

Meir’s sister Dina told KAN News Meir was “glued to the television, clinging to every piece of information… he wanted to know everything that was happening to [Almog] and what he was going through.”

Yossi Meir’s heart reportedly stopped the night before the rescue. 

Rabbi Lior Engelman, a close friend of Meir, told Israeli media outlets: “On Friday, I came to Yossi to give him a challah… and I didn’t know what was behind the door. Yossi loved Almog with all his heart and was tormented day after day. His heart could not stand it, and tragically, 20 hours before the happiness that awaited him, it went quiet.”

This tragic part of the story feels too cruel to be true. Almog was seen triumphantly lifting his hands after the rescue and celebrating with his friends. The joy was infectious, felt even through the video screens watched around the world. It just seems unbearable to think that his father wasn’t able to witness this moment before his death.

This highlights the immense grief of the hostage families and the reality that this isn’t a storybook– it’s real life with no happy endings guaranteed. Hamas has stolen so much from the people of Israel, and even if all of the hostages came home today, the pain and loss will endure in many different ways for years to come. There is hope for healing, but it must start with putting the families back together as soon as possible so no more moments are lost. As we have seen with Yossi Meir, even one moment may be too late. Every hour and every minute counts.

Noa Argamani, one of the other three hostages rescued in Operation Arnon, named after the IDF soldier who lost his life in the mission, returned home to a mother, Liora, who is battling brain cancer. Her mother’s dying wish was to be able to see her daughter again. 

“Noa’s mother is hospitalized here due to a very advanced cancer, the last eight months have been extremely complex and difficult, and her condition has progressed even over the past few days and it’s a serious situation,” Gamzu says.
Indicating Liora’s dire condition, Ganzu says hospital staff “estimate that yes, Liora understands the situation and Noa’s return.

Noa’s father gives more details about the condition of her mother and the reunion:

 “Unfortunately, her mother is in very poor condition,” Yaakov said. “She barely looked at Noa. They met after eight months, but it was very difficult.” he said he believed that his wife understood. “There was a kind of response.  Liora understood but simply couldn’t express her emotions or say what she had longed to tell Noa when she finally met her.”

We celebrate this reunion for Noa and the Argamani family but also grieve with them for the condition of Liora. With what could be only a few moments left, we are thankful Noa gets to spend them with her mother. Having to process the last eight months, her own captivity, return, and the dire condition of her mother all within hours is unimaginably difficult. However, its more than most of the hostage families have right now. There are still many more reunions we long to see, and time is short. That is why the IDF must continue to push forward and achieve victory. 

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