Rafah, Gaza Strip – Amid reports of “violent” Israeli air strikes on the southern Gazan city of Rafah, two Israeli hostages have been rescued in a raid by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The freed hostages, Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70) from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, are reported to be in good medical condition and have been taken to the hospital for further medical tests.
The operation was described as a joint effort between the IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA), and Israel Police, although no details of the operation were provided by Israeli officials. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, however, praised the operation, calling it “impressive” and reaffirming Israel’s commitment to returning abducted individuals.
The rescue raid comes on the heels of escalating violence in the Gaza Strip, where over 1,200 people were reportedly killed by Hamas gunmen in southern Israel, with about 240 individuals being taken hostage. As a result, the Israeli military launched operations in the Gaza Strip, resulting in further casualties among the Palestinian population.
The international community has expressed concerns about the planned offensive in Rafah, where 1.5 million people are seeking shelter, many of whom have fled from other parts of Gaza. The United States, in particular, has urged Israel to ensure the safety of civilians in any offensive actions, emphasizing the need for a “credible and executable plan” to protect the residents of Rafah.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted on moving forward with the offensive, despite international calls for caution. The situation remains tense as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, raising concerns about the safety and well-being of civilians caught in the crossfire.