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Israel successfully rescued two captives
In a daring operation amidst the backdrop of a major airstrike, Israel successfully rescued two captives from southern Gaza’s Rafah during a “courageous” special campaign overnight, where at least 67 people were reported killed in the city.
According to a post by the IDF, Fernando Simon Marmán, 60, and Luis Haar, 70, were released on Monday, timely and secure, by a joint Israeli Defense Force-Security Agency-Police mission. Describing it as a complex operation named “Under Fire” based on Israeli intelligence, IDF spokesperson Daniel Haggari stated that it was executed with “a wave of airstrikes by the Israeli Air Force with aerial coverage and southern command’s leadership.”
“We’ve been preparing for this operation for some time, making necessary preparations and awaiting the conditions that would allow its execution. In the early hours, at 01:49, special forces infiltrated a building in the center of Rafah,” Haggari said in a press briefing.
“On the second floor, armed Hamas terrorists had detained Luis and Fernando, who were surrounded by terrorists in buildings around the apartment. With a breach and entry into the apartment, Yamam forces rescued Luis and Fernando, initiating a brave fight and engaging in heavy exchanges of fire at multiple locations with several terrorists,” he added.
Haggari mentioned that the operation lasted for about 60 seconds or a bit longer before special forces called for airstrikes and covering fire to extract the captives and the team.
According to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the rescued in-laws, who were abducted by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak in southern Israel on October 7, reunited with their family at a Tel Hashomer hospital.
Netanyahu praised the success of the rescue operation but warned that the intensity of attacks in Gaza would not decrease until Israel’s military objectives are achieved. He wrote in a post, “Only continued military pressure will secure the release of all our captives.”
However, health officials reported that the Gaza Health Ministry had declared 67 Palestinians dead in a Facebook post, labeled as “massacre by Israeli occupation in Rafah,” with expectations of the death toll rising as emergency services were still improving casualty figures.
The ministry stated that in the last 24 hours following the Rafah incident, 164 Palestinians were killed and 200 wounded, bringing the total to 28,340 deaths and 67,984 injuries since October 7.
The situation remains tense, with both sides continuing to grapple with the conflict’s repercussions. The recent rescue offers a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing strife, emphasizing the need for diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and restore peace in the region.