Israeli Special Forces Rescue Hostages in Rafah Amid Airstrikes

Israeli Special Forces Rescue Hostages in Rafah Amid Airstrikes

JERUSALEM - Israeli forces conducted a daring overnight operation in Rafah, resulting in the successful rescue of two Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Hare, 70, were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak last October, marking the culmination of extensive efforts by Israel's military and intelligence agencies.

Lt Col. Richard Hecht described the operation as intricate, involving coordination between the Israel Defence Force (IDF), Shin Bet security service, and the Special Police Unit. The hostages were found on the second floor of a building, liberated after a tense exchange of gunfire with surrounding structures.

Following their rescue, Marman and Hare were promptly transported to Sheba Medical Center, where they received urgent medical attention and were reported to be in stable condition.

Simultaneous with the rescue mission, Israeli airstrikes targeted Rafah, creating widespread panic among residents who feared a ground offensive. Hamas condemned the strikes as part of what they termed a "genocidal war" against Palestinians.

In response to growing concerns over civilian safety, U.S. President Joe Biden cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against initiating a military operation without a credible plan to protect the roughly 1 million people sheltering in Rafah.

Netanyahu's office stated intentions to evacuate Rafah and eliminate alleged Hamas strongholds in the area. Hamas warned that any Israeli ground offensive would jeopardize ongoing negotiations for hostage exchange.

Egypt issued a stern warning against any Israeli assault on Rafah, emphasizing the urgent need for international and regional collaboration to prevent further escalation in the conflict.

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