Noa Argamani’s mother dies of cancer three weeks after her daughter was rescued

Liora Argamani spent her final days alongside her daughter Noa


Liora Argamani, mother of hostage Noa Argamani, at a meeting at the Knesset to lobby for the release of her daughter in January 2024. (Photo: Flash90)

Liora Argamani, whose daughter Noa was held captive in Gaza for 246 days following Hamas’s October 7 attacks, died on Tuesday after a prolonged battle with brain cancer.

Argamani’s final wish to see her daughter one last time was granted just three weeks before her passing, after Israeli forces rescued Noa in a daring raid last month to free her and three other Israeli hostages, marking a poignant end to a story that captivated Israel and the world.

The 61-year-old nurse, who had traversed continents in pursuit of a dream, found her final solace in the arms of her daughter, Noa, whose lengthy ordeal as a captive in Gaza had become emblematic of a nation’s anguish.

“Liora spent her final days alongside her daughter, Noa, who had returned from captivity, and her close family,” the hospital said in a statement that seemed to capture both relief and sorrow in equal measure.

The family’s request for privacy underscored the deeply personal nature of their loss, even as it played out on the international stage.

The story of the Argamanis is one of stark contrasts of joy and despair, of reunion and separation.

Liora, born in the bustling city of Wuhan, China, had come to Israel in 1994 for what was meant to be a brief professional sojourn. Instead, she found love in the desert city of Beer Sheva, marrying Yaakov and giving birth to their only child, Noa.

It was Noa who became the centre of a national vigil after her abduction from the Nova music festival on that fateful October day. As the weeks turned to months, Liora’s private battle with cancer became inextricably linked with the public campaign for her daughter’s release.

In a video that would later be seen by millions, Liora made a heartrending appeal. “I’m now a cancer patient, brain cancer. I don’t know how much time I have left,” she said, her eyes reflecting a mixture of determination and despair. “I want to be able to see my Noa at home.”

Her words, directed at world leaders and humanitarian organisations, carried the weight of a mother’s love a force that seemed to transcend the boundaries of politics and conflict. “Noa, I want to tell you, if I don’t see you, know that I love you the most,” Liora said, her voice breaking with emotion. “The whole world loves you.”

The long-awaited reunion a wordless embrace in a hospital room became a powerful symbol of closure, not just for the Argamani family, but for a nation scarred by conflict.

Amnon Regev, Noa’s cousin, recounted the bittersweet moment in an interview. “Noa can’t communicate with Liora, but she said she wanted one last hug, and I think she got it,” he said. “This is her victory and all of ours.”

As news of Liora’s passing spread, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum released a statement that read: “We bow our heads in deep sorrow.”

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