Palestinian family recounts horror of Israel’s hostage rescue raid that left a grandfather in mourning

June 13, 2024
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Tel Aviv — Since this weekend, when Israeli special forces carried out the mission to rescue four hostages — Andrey Kozlov, Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir, and Noa Argamani — dramatic video of the raid shared by the Israeli military has been seen around the world. What’s been less visible, however, is the aftermath of that operation, and the Palestinian civilians who survived it.

CBS News’ team in Gaza met eyewitness Abedelraof Meqdad, 60, who walked us through his bullet-ridden home, just across the street from where one of the Israeli military vehicles broke down under heavy Hamas gunfire. 

The commandos burst into his family apartment, he says, and blindfolded and bound the hands of the men before interrogating them.

“There were sound grenades. Women and children were screaming. I told them, ‘Why are you shouting? You are scaring the children.’ He said, ‘shut up or I will shoot you and them.'”

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Abedelraof Meqdad, 60, gestures as he speaks with CBS News inside his home in the central Gaza Strip, June 13, 2024, five days after he says Israeli special forces burst in and interrogated him and his family amid a raid to rescue hostages.

CBS News


Meqdad told CBS News the Israeli forces then dragged him to the living room, demanding to know if there were fighters or weapons in his home.  

“I told them there are no fighters here and no weapons, I am just a merchant,” he said.

When it was all over, two of Meqdad’s grandsons had been shot.

CBS News found one of them, 16-year-old Moamen Mattar, as doctors reconstructed his mangled arm in a hospital. 

He told us his brother didn’t survive. 

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Doctors treat 16-year-old Palestinian Moamen Mattar at a hospital in central Gaza for a gunshot wound his family says he sustained during Israel’s June 8, 2024 operation to rescue four hostages, on June 13, 2024.

CBS News


“He was shot right next to me, in the stomach and the leg,” Mattar said. “He was 12.”

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says 274 people were killed in the rescue operation, and many hundreds more wounded. Israel disputes that number and says casualties are the fault of Hamas, for surrounding the hostages with civilians. 

James Elder, the spokesperson for the U.N.’s children’s charity UNICEF, is in Gaza this week and he told CBS News he saw the grisly scenes after the raid at the hospital himself. 

“Walking in this hospital, absolutely heaving with people, little 3-year-olds, 7-year-olds with these grotesque wounds of war — head injuries and the burns,” he said. “It’s the smell of burning flesh — it’s very hard to get out of one’s head.”


Hezbollah launches airstrikes on Israel, and other top headlines

02:34

According to the most recently reported data, about 47% of Gaza’s overall population is under 18, accounting for the high proportion of child deaths reported in this conflict.

The prospect of a cease-fire in the war remains in limbo, meanwhile. A frustrated Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that Hamas had “waited two weeks and proposed changes” to the current U.S.-backed proposal on the table — which he said Israel had also accepted. “As a result, the war Hamas started will go on.”

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