Who Was Arnon Zamora? Hostage Rescue Mission Renamed 'Operation Arnon' after Israeli Commander Who Was Killed in Daring Raid in Gaza

Following his death, the name of the hostage rescue operation in which he was killed was changed from "Seeds of Summer" to "Operation Arnon" in his memory.

An officer from the elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit, critically wounded in a hostage rescue operation in central Gaza on Saturday morning, died a few hours later. He was identified as Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, 36, from Sde David. Zamora was a commander in the country's élite Counter-Terrorism Unit, officials said.

Zamora's unit played a crucial role in the rescue of hostages Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andri Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv, who were held captive at the Nuseirat refugee camp since October 7 following a deadly Hamas raid. Survived by his wife and two children, Zamora will be buried on Sunday afternoon at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.

Killed On Duty

Arnon Zamora
Arnon Zamora X

"Behind every rescue mission, are Israeli men and women who risk their lives. We are devastated to share that Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, commander and tactical operator in the Yamam (National Police Counter-Terrorism Unit), who was critically wounded in the operation to rescue hostages this morning, has succumbed to his wounds," Israeli's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Saturday on X, without providing more specifics.

Zamora, 36, lived in the village of Sde David, near the Israeli city of Sderot, located less than 15 miles from the Gaza border.

Arnon Zamora
Arnon Zamora X

He is survived by his wife Michal, two children, and his parents Reuven and Ruthi, as reported by Haaretz.

Operation Arnon

A major gun battle broke out during the extraction, during which Zamora's vehicle came under fire. Additional forces promptly arrived at the scene to rescue the injured officer and the hostages, transporting them to a makeshift helipad in Gaza.

Shlomi Ziv Andrey Kozlov Almog Meir Jan and Noa Argamani
The four hostages Shlomi Ziv Andrey, Kozlov, Almog Meir Jan and Noa Argamani were rescued on Saturday X

Zamora was evacuated in critical condition to a hospital in Israel, where he tragically passed away shortly thereafter due to his injuries.

Following his death, the name of the hostage rescue operation in which he was killed was changed from "Seeds of Summer" to "Operation Arnon" in his memory.

Zamora fought on October 7 in the Battle of Yad Mordechai, where he helped stop the advance of dozens of Hamas terrorists attempting to infiltrate the country, according to officials.

Following that battle, Zamora was also involved in fighting terrorists at the Nahal Oz base and at Kibbutz Be'eri.

Noa Argamani
Noa Agramani is seen at the hospital with her family after being rescued by IDF X

Other tributes to Zamora flooded in on Saturday. ""I salute Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, Commander in the elite Yamam Unit, who fell while leading a daring operation to rescue 4 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. He lived and fell a hero," Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement on X.

Ziv's sister, Revital Nasi, tearfully expressed gratitude to the fallen hero's family for his sacrifice in saving her brother.

"We are so sorry and just want to say thank you," she said, according to the Times of Israel.