128 Days After Kidnapping, an 'Impressive Rescue Operation'

Israeli forces say they rescued 2 hostages in Rafah in gunfire-ridden raid on Hamas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2024 7:21 AM CST
Israel: We Saved 2 Hostages in Fierce Gaza Raid
Hostage Fernando Simon Marman, right, hugs a relative after being rescued from captivity in the Gaza Strip, at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, on Monday.   (Israeli army via AP)

Two more hostages taken during the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel are home. Israeli forces said Monday morning that they rescued Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, during an overnight raid in Rafah, amid Israeli airstrikes against the city in southern Gaza, reports CNN. According to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the two men, who endured 128 days of captivity, are Israeli-Argentine nationals. Marman and Har are reportedly in good condition and are undergoing tests at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, per the BBC.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari says the raid began just before 2am local time, "with the hostages escorted out under fire from Hamas," per CNN. The rescued men, who Hagari says were found on the second floor of a building, were first rushed to a safe place in Rafah for immediate medical attention, then airlifted out of Gaza, per the IDF. A spokesperson for the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says that nearly 70 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed in the airstrikes that were used as cover for the raid, per the AP.

Marman and Har were abducted on Oct. 7 from the Nir Yitzhak kibbutz, near the Gaza border. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hailed the special ops mission to retrieve the men as an "impressive rescue operation" on social media, vowing to "return the abducted, in any way." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu similarly praised Israeli forces and suggested that a ceasefire isn't in the cards. "Only the continuation of military pressure, until complete victory, will result in the release of all our hostages," he noted in a statement, per CNN. Hagari notes there are still 134 hostages being held in Gaza—130 from the Oct. 7 attack, as well as four others who'd previously been held there. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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