Israeli defense officials announced early Monday that they have successfully rescued two hostages detained by the Hamas terrorist organization. The two men were said to be held in the southern Gaza city of Rafah before they were freed during a special force’s operation.
The two released individuals were identified as Fernando Simon Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70. Both men were reported to have been kidnapped on Oct. 7 from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.
The two former captives were transported for medical evaluations to Sheba Hospital where they were confirmed by doctors to be in “good condition.”
IDF Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, described the rescue mission as being based on “precise intelligence,” and that the location of their imprisonment had been monitored for “some time.”
During the initial abduction, two of Marman’s sisters and his 17-year-old niece were also kidnapped by the rampaging invaders. The three women were eventually set free on November 28 as a condition of a ceasefire agreement brokered by Qatar and the United States.
Rafah has been a recent area of interest for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has stated that its securement is necessary for accomplishing his country’s objective of destroying Hamas’s ability to control the coastal enclave. This new policy has brought criticism and warnings from the Biden administration and Egypt over what they see as an unnecessary escalation of the four-month-long conflict.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken told Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Jerusalem on Wednesday that the Biden administration is very concerned about potential scaling of Israel’s ongoing military operation into Rafah.
Jerusalem has affirmed to Western media sources that approximately 100 civilians remain hostage in the terror groups captivity.