Israel Rescues 2 Hostages During Airstrike In South Gaza’s Rafah



TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 12: Hagit Matzliah takes off a kidnapped sign from the store where rescued hostage, Fernando Marman, worked in Ramat Hasharon on February 12, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Israeli military says it has rescued two hostages from captivity in Rafah, whilst two 21-year old IDF soldiers were killed in overnight fighting in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has now rescued three hostages through military operations since Oct. 7, as PM Netanyahu faces pressure from relatives of freed hostages to secure the release of the remaining captives through negations with Hamas. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – FEBRUARY 12: Hagit Matzliah takes off a kidnapped sign from the store where rescued hostage, Fernando Marman, worked in Ramat Hasharon on February 12, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Israeli military says it has rescued two hostages from captivity in Rafah, whilst two 21-year old IDF soldiers were killed in overnight fighting in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has now rescued three hostages through military operations since Oct. 7, as PM Netanyahu faces pressure from relatives of freed hostages to secure the release of the remaining captives through negations with Hamas. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Volberding
1:55 PM – Monday, February 12, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they were able to rescue two hostages from Hamas imprisonment in Rafah, which is located in the southern Gaza Strip during an overnight operation.

On Monday, Israeli special forces declared that two hostages were saved from Hamas captivity in an early morning raid in which the IDF pursued airstrikes in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

This occurrence signifies the first successful capture of hostages by the terror organization in several months.

The IDF identified the two hostages that were rescued as Fernando Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70, who are both Israeli-Argentinian men.

According to the IDF, both Marman and Har were in good condition after they were saved. The mission involved disputes with Hamas terrorists and extensive Israeli airstrikes in Rafah. 

The two men were reported to be in good health and were able to reunite with their families in an Israeli hospital. 

Marman and Har were initially abducted on October 7th, 2023, from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, when terrorists led by Hamas carried out a murderous rampage in southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 253.

Since October 7th, there have only been two such successful operations of this kind. The first occurred in late October when Israeli soldier Ori Megidish was rescued. In December 2023, the IDF tried to save another hostage, however, he was killed in the process. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement regarding the successful rescue. He stated that the mission was “among the most successful rescue operations” in the history of Israel.

On Monday around 1 a.m., the IDF, the Shin Bet security agency, and the police’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit launched a joint operation in Rafah, an area that Israeli forces had not yet ventured into during their ground offensive against Hamas.

IDF Spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced that Yamam officials “carried out a very complex action on the premises and the second floor where the hostages were held.”

“Reaching the target in the heart of Rafah was very complex,” Hagari stated.

According to him, at 1:49 a.m., the terrorists guarding the hostages were killed by the IDF when they broke into the apartment using explosives, and they “hugged and protected Louis and Fernando with their bodies.” 

“The troops pulled Louis and Fernando out of the apartment and rescued them under fire, until they reached the safe zone,” Hagari said.

Later, the IDF revealed footage from the air portraying the rescuers accessing a building and launching strikes near the area.

At 1:50 a.m., Hagari reported that heavy airstrikes were launched against Hamas terrorists in the vicinity of the rescue operation, and fighting also broke out in a number of nearby buildings. 

“There was intense firepower from the air. Fire was started from nearby buildings. The Air Force struck intensively there,” he stated.

After being extracted, Marman and Har were driven out of Rafah in armored vehicles in less than an hour. They were subsequently placed in a military helicopter and transported to the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, where they were examined and found to be in good condition.

At Sheba Medical Center, the two rescued hostages had the opportunity to meet with their families. Marman, a handyman from Kfar Saba, frequently assisted kibbutz members with any repairs they needed. Har is a theater enthusiast and has four children and ten grandchildren.

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