Photo by Courtesy the families on 12 February, 2024

Israel Releases Details on Hostage Rescue

Public By Pesach Benson • 12 February, 2024

Jerusalem, 12 February, 2024 (TPS) -- The Israel Defense Forces released new details about the Monday morning rescue of two hostages being held in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

The rescued hostages were identified as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and and Louis Har, 70. Both are Israeli-Argentine nationals kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7.

Argentine President Javier Milei, who recently visited Israel, hailed the rescue operation on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The Office of the President thanks the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police for having successfully completed the rescue of the Argentines Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har,” Milei tweeted.

“During his visit to the State of Israel, President Javier Milei reiterated to President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the request for the release of each of the Argentine hostages, and continues to firmly maintain his condemnation of Hamas terrorism,” Milei added.

Explaining the rescue operation, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said, “The IDF and the Shin Bet have been working on this operation for a long time. Conditions were not ripe to carry it out until now.”

The IDF said it launched several airstrikes in Rafah as a diversion for the rescue operation. The rescue unit arrived at the building at 1:00 AM.

The force came down from the roof and detonated a bomb to breach a door on the second floor, eliminated the Hamas guards and picked up the two hostages. Other Hamas gunmen fired from nearby buildings, but the soldiers deployed in the street and returned fired at them in a battle that lasted for a long hour.

A Blackhawk helicopter took the hostages to the Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan, to reunite with their families and a medical examination. The IDF said Marman and Har were in good condition.

Two other soldiers from Maglan injured during the rescue were hospitalized.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.