The Israeli military reported that it successfully freed two captives from Hamas during a raid in Rafah.

Israel successfully rescued two hostages from the Gaza Strip in a daring operation early Monday morning. The hostages, identified as Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har, were held by Hamas militants since their kidnapping in October 2023. The rescue marks a significant victory for Israel in their ongoing efforts to bring home over 100 captives believed to be held by Hamas.

The operation took place in Rafah, a city in the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where many Palestinians have sought refuge from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The rescue team faced heavy gunfire and explosions as they broke into the second-floor apartment where the hostages were being held. They were able to shield the hostages with their bodies as a fierce battle erupted with Hamas gunmen.

After being taken to a nearby safe area, the hostages were given a quick medical check before being flown to a hospital in central Israel. Both men were reported to be in good condition. The rescued hostages, who also hold Argentinian citizenship, were identified as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70.

Argentine President Milei expressed gratitude to Israel for the successful rescue in a social media post. The hostages were airlifted to Sheba Hospital, where they were reunited with their loved ones. According to Har’s son-in-law, Idan Bergerano, the two men were thin and pale but communicating well and aware of their surroundings. Har even remembered that it was Bergerano’s birthday and wished him mazal tov upon seeing him.

The Israeli army stated that the operation was based on precise intelligence and had been planned for some time. The rescue team waited for the right moment to execute the operation, which ultimately resulted in the safe return of the hostages. This successful rescue serves as a small but significant victory for Israel in their ongoing efforts to bring home all of their captured citizens.  

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