Monday, February 12, 2024
HomeNewsIsrael rescues two hostages from Rafah in operation

Israel rescues two hostages from Rafah in operation


TEL AVIV — Israel’s navy rescued two hostages in a single day Monday below the duvet of lethal airstrikes on the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah, unleashing a wave of hope throughout Israel and of dread among the many 1.4 million Palestinians who’ve sought refuge within the space that Israeli leaders have pinpointed because the warfare’s subsequent battleground.

The two hostages, Fernando Simon Merman, 60, and Luis Har, 70, each twin Israeli-Argentinian residents, had been kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on Oct. 7. They had been taken captive with three feminine family members who had been launched throughout a week-long cease-fire in late November.

Israel’s navy stated Merman and Har had been each in “good medical situation.” They had been transported through navy helicopters to Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Middle in Israel, the place medical workers stated their situation was “secure,” and the place they had been reunited with their households.

“I salute our courageous warriors for the daring motion that led to their liberation,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in an announcement Monday. “Solely the continuation of navy stress till full victory, will end result within the launch of all our abductees. We is not going to miss any alternative to convey them residence.”

Hamas known as the in a single day operation which witnessed heavy bombing all through the world as a part of “horrific massacres in opposition to defenseless civilians and displaced kids, girls and the aged.”

At the very least 67 Palestinians, together with girls and youngsters, had been killed within the operation, based on the Gaza Well being Ministry.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israeli navy spokesman, stated that the rescue maneuver, based mostly on intensive navy intelligence, started at 1:49 a.m., when particular forces broke right into a second-floor condo in Rafah.

“The required preparations had been made and we waited for situations that may permit it to be executed,” Hagari stated in an announcement Monday morning.

Armed Hamas militants had been guarding the boys and had been additionally unfold all through the constructing, he stated. A minute later, Israel carried out a sequence of airstrikes. Israeli troopers shielded the hostages with their our bodies as exchanges of heavy fireplace erupted in a number of locations between the Israeli troops and the Hamas fighters.

Netanyahu and Protection Minster Yoav Gallant had been with Israel’s navy chief because the raid unfolded in a single day. Two Israeli troopers had been killed within the combating, the navy stated.

The occasion was solely the second profitable rescue mission because the begin of the bottom incursion into Gaza in late October — on Oct. 30, the IDF rescued a feminine hostage. Greater than 100 hostages stay in Hamas captivity along with 29 others who’re believed to be lifeless, most of whom killed throughout Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel, based on Israeli officers.

Most of the households of the hostages and the hundreds of Israelis who’ve joined them in avenue protests have known as on the federal government to conform to a hostage launch cope with Hamas, saying that their time is working out and questioning if navy operations are a practical technique.

Argentine President Javier Milei lauded the rescue operation Monday morning and stated in a social media put up that in a gathering with Netanyahu final week in Jerusalem, he requested “the discharge of each one of many Argentine hostages” and continued to “keep his condemnation of Hamas terrorism.”

The operation got here hours after Netanyahu spoke on the telephone with President Biden, who warned that an Israeli floor incursion into southern Gaza with out applicable lodging for the civilian inhabitants could be seen as unacceptable to the US, based on a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the situation of anonymity below guidelines set by the White Home.

On Monday, it remained unclear how the rescue — lasting about an hour and restricted in its scope — would have an effect on Israel’s broader said plans to launch a large-scale floor incursion into Rafah, the place it says Hamas prime leaders are hiding and nonetheless holding an estimated 101 hostages.

Egypt has bolstered its border, signaling that it could not settle for an exodus of refugees fleeing the combating, and has warned that an Israeli invasion of the world alongside its border might endanger Israel’s 1979 peace treaty with Egypt that has for many years stabilized the area.

It additionally comes amid negotiations to return the hostages in alternate for the discharge of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, in addition to a halt within the combating. Senior American, Egyptian and Qatari officers are anticipated to convene in Cairo on Tuesday, although it’s nonetheless unclear if Israel will ship a delegation.

On Feb. 6, in response to negotiators’ proposal, Hamas known as for Israel to launch at the least 1,500 Palestinian safety prisoners, totally withdraw from Gaza, ultimately conform to a everlasting cease-fire, and work to cut back its sovereignty on the Temple Mount — calls for rejected by Netanyahu as “delusional.”

In an interview with ABC Information “This Week” on Sunday, Netanyahu stated that “victory is inside attain,” and that the Israeli military was “understanding an in depth plan” to evacuate the civilian inhabitants from Rafah.

“Those that say that on no account ought to we enter Rafah are principally saying lose the warfare, preserve Hamas there,” he stated.

Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.



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