Israeli Military Rescues Hostages in Special Operation
Hostages Freed from Hamas Captivity
The Israeli military has successfully rescued two hostages in a daring overnight operation conducted in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. The hostages, 60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year-old Louis Har, were taken captive by Hamas during an attack on Israel 128 days ago. Both hostages are now in good medical condition and have been transferred to the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Joint Operation with Israeli Security Agencies
The rescue operation was carried out in collaboration with the Israeli Security Agency and the Israel Police. IDF spokesperson Danial Hagari revealed that the covert operation, which involved extraction under fire, began at 1:49 a.m. local time. The Israeli forces faced resistance from Hamas during the rescue, with the hostages being escorted out amidst gunfire. They were then taken to a safe location within Rafah for immediate medical attention and subsequently airlifted out of Gaza by helicopter.
Impressive Release Operation Hailed by Israeli Defense Minister
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant praised the operation as an “impressive release operation.” He stated that he closely followed the operation in the Command Center, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior commanders. Gallant also highlighted that both hostages had been kidnapped from the Nir Yitzhak kibbutz, which was one of several targeted by Hamas militants during their rampage on October 7.
Devastation in Gaza
Since the October 7 attack, Israel’s response has resulted in significant devastation across Gaza. The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza reported a cumulative death toll of over 27,500, although these numbers have not been independently verified. As news of the hostage release broke, Rafah continued to face heavy Israeli airstrikes. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that more than 100 people were killed in the overnight airstrikes, with the possibility of the toll rising as more individuals remain trapped under rubble.
Israel’s Airstrikes on Rafah
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that they conducted a series of strikes on targets in the Shaboura district of Rafah. According to the IDF, the strikes have concluded. Hamas condemned the airstrikes, referring to them as “forced displacement attempts” and “horrific massacres against defenseless civilians and displaced children, women, and the elderly.” The group also placed blame on US President Joe Biden and his administration for the civilian deaths.
Concerns and Discussions
International concern is now mounting as an Israeli ground assault on Rafah is anticipated. President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu recently discussed a deal to secure the release of hostages in Gaza, as well as the planned ground assault on Rafah. The White House emphasized the need for a credible and executable plan to ensure the safety and support of the more than one million people sheltering in Rafah. However, the city’s residents have no remaining escape route, as the crossing into Egypt has been closed for months along with the rest of Gaza’s borders.
Pledge for Safe Passage
Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to provide safe passage for civilians during the assault on Rafah, although specific details were not provided. Despite mounting criticism of the plans, Netanyahu dismissed calls to refrain from entering Rafah, stating that it would be akin to telling Israel to lose the war.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2024-02-12 06:53:00
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