On Sunday, in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) successfully rescued two Israeli hostages. This commendable operation has brought immense joy to Israel and has instilled hope for the safe rescue of additional hostages.
The IDF and Israel Police ajnnounced:
“It was cleared for publication that during a joint IDF, ISA, and Israel Police operation in Rafah, overnight, two Israeli hostages were rescued, Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70), who were kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.
“They are both in good medical condition, and were transferred for medical examination at the Sheba Tel Hashomer hospital.
“Security forces will continue to operate with all means in order to return the hostages home.”
As per Israel’s Army Radio, the hostages were successfully rescued from a “refugee” camp located in Rafah, either from within or underneath it. Rafah, situated on the border with Egypt, is known as the final stronghold of Hamas, with four battalions believed to be concealed within the city.
Earlier on Sunday, President Joe Biden cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against launching an attack on Hamas in Rafah without a credible plan in place to evacuate the approximately one million Palestinian civilians who have sought refuge there from other parts of the Gaza Strip.
Numerous other nations have also attempted to persuade Israel to refrain from attacking Hamas in Rafah, ostensibly due to concerns about a potential humanitarian crisis or the potential influx of Palestinians into Egypt. Netanyahu has issued orders for an evacuation and attack strategy. These two hostages mark the first successful rescue operation since the IDF saved female soldier Ori Megidish in October. Unfortunately, in December, three hostages were unintentionally killed after managing to escape their Hamas captors and attempting to cross over to Israeli lines during a battle.
The Times of Israel reported:
“Asked on his first impressions of the pair, [Har’s son-in-law Idan] Bejerano said “They’re both in bed at the hospital. It’s difficult to know, but they look whole. Whether they’re healthy in spirit, in body, is still hard to know. But they look whole.”
“It seems they had strength of spirit for these 128 days, to remain strong and to come back to us.”
“He notes that neither is young, with Har turning 71 in a few weeks’ time, and Marman having marked his 61st birthday in captivity.”
There are 134 Israeli hostages remaining in Gaza, several dozens of whom are thought to be dead.