Home NEWS International News Israel rescues two hostages in Rafah amid deadly strikes

Israel rescues two hostages in Rafah amid deadly strikes

Israel says its forces have rescued two Israeli-Argentinian hostages in a raid in Rafah, amid heavy Israeli air strikes on the southern Gazan city.

The Israeli military said the two men were in “good medical condition”.

Channel 1

The pair were named as Fernando Simon Marman, aged 60, and Louis Har, 70, from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

Some 1.5 million people are sheltering in Rafah. The Hamas-run health ministry said dozens had been killed in the overnight strikes.

It follows warnings from the international community over Israel’s planned offensive in the city.

The hostages were found on the second floor of a building in Rafah, said Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

He said Israeli forces had engaged in “heavy exchanges of fire at several locations simultaneously, with many terrorists”.

There are conflicting reports on Palestinian casualties from the air strikes: the AFP news agency reported that “around 100 people” were killed, citing Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that at least 50 people were killed, quoting local hospital officials.

In a statement on social media, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that during an overnight “joint operation between the IDF, ISA [Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet], and Israel Police, two Israeli hostages from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak were rescued: Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70)”.

The hostages were taken to Sheba Medical Center in central Israel for tests.

Armon Aek, its acting director, said: “I’m very happy to announce that this night, two released hostages landed here.

“They were received in our ER [examination room] and initial examination was conducted by our ER staff and they are in a stable condition.”

They had been kidnapped by Hamas, the IDF said, in the 7 October cross-border attack that triggered the ground invasion.

Marman’s niece said she was still “shaking” from the news of her uncle’s rescue.

“When I saw him I couldn’t believe he was real,” Gefen Sigal Ilan told AFP.

Israel’s military launched its operations in the Gaza Strip after about 1,200 people were killed in southern Israel on 7 October by Hamas gunmen, who also took 253 people hostage. A number of those hostages were later released.

On Monday, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 164 people had been killed and 200 injured in Gaza over the last day, although it is not clear exactly how many died in Israeli attacks overnight. The ministry says 28,340 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 68,000 wounded in the Strip since 7 October.

A number of countries and international organisations have warned Israel against conducting its planned offensive in Rafah, where an estimated 1.5 million people have sought refuge. Most of them have fled from the rest of Gaza.

Rafah – on the border with Egypt – is the only open point of entry for humanitarian aid into Gaza.

 

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