Israel Claims Two Hostages were Freed from Gaza in a Special Mission

Israel Claims Two Hostages were Freed

The southern Gazan city of Rafah was subjected to continuous Israeli bombardment during the night, and on Monday the Israeli military announced that it had successfully freed two captives during a special operation there.

The two captives, Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were captured 128 days ago during Hamas’ onslaught on Israel on October 7.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the two are in good health and have been sent to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer. It stated that the Israeli Security Agency and Israel Police conducted the combined operation. 

The secret operation with removal under fire started at 1:49 a.m. local time, according to IDF spokesman Danial Hagari, who briefed reporters on Monday. Aerial strikes then ensued.

He said that the Israeli forces met with resistance and that the detainees had to be transported out of Rafah under fire from Hamas before they could receive medical assistance in a safe location. Then a helicopter took them out of Gaza by airlift.

In a post on X, the former Twitter platform, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant praised the remarkable release operation, stating that he, together with senior commanders and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had monitored it from the Command Center.

He further said that the two hostages had been abducted from the Nir Yitzhak kibbutz. Nir Yitzhak was among several kibbutzim along the Gaza border that were targeted by Hamas militants during their October 7 assault, which resulted in the deaths of almost 1,200 people and the kidnapping of over 240 more.

Gaza has experienced widespread destruction as a result of Israel’s response. According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, which is under the leadership of Hamas, the total number of deaths since October 7 has surpassed 27,500.

The announcement of the hostage release coincides with Israeli attacks on Rafah. More than a hundred individuals were murdered in overnight airstrikes on Rafah, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), and the death toll could rise as more people remain trapped under the wreckage.

Sources are unable to independently confirm the figures. The city was previously the subject of “intense targeting,” according to the PRCS.

Israel Claims Two Hostages were Freed from Gaza in a Special Mission
Israeli military announced that it had successfully freed two captives during a special operation there

The Rafah municipality reported on Monday that the strikes targeted at least two mosques and about a dozen residences.

The southern Gaza Strip’s Shaboura neighborhood is a part of Rafah, and the Israel Defense Forces acknowledged on Monday that they carried out “a series of strikes” on several targets there.

The IDF declared in a statement that “the strikes have completed.”

“Forced relocation attempts” and “horrific murders against innocent and uprooted children, women, and elderly people” were the terms used by Hamas to denounce the strikes on Monday.

Additionally, it claimed that the government of US President Joe Biden was “fully responsible” for the deaths of civilians.

Biden on Israel Situation

Speaking on Sunday, Biden and Netanyahu talked about Israel’s planned ground attack on Rafah and an agreement to secure the release of hostages in Gaza, a senior administration official said.

As per the White House, Biden restated his belief that a military operation in Rafah must include a feasible and workable plan to guarantee the security and assistance of the over a million individuals who are seeking shelter there.

Palestinians escaping southward to evade Israel’s air and ground operations throughout the densely populated enclave now turn to Rafah as their last port of safety. The UN estimates that over 1.3 million people—the majority of whom are internally displaced from other sections of Gaza—are in Rafah.

Additionally, they have no other means of escape because the city borders Egypt, and both Gaza’s borders and the only entry point into that nation have been blocked for months.

Ahead of the expected ground invasion on Rafah, international concern is growing. Netanyahu has dismissed growing criticism of the preparations, claiming that pleas to stay out of Rafah are equivalent to ordering Israel to lose the war. He promised to give civilians safe passage, but he didn’t say anything.

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