The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Israel rescues two Argentines kidnapped by Hamas in an operation supported by airstrikes with dozens of deaths

2024-02-12T14:25:36.545Z

Highlights: Israel rescues two Argentines kidnapped by Hamas in an operation supported by airstrikes with dozens of deaths. The Israeli armed forces identified those rescued as Fernando Simón Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, who were kidnapped in October by Palestinian terrorists. In the intense air strikes that provided cover for the operation, at least 67 Palestinians died in the Strip, according to the health authorities of the besieged territory. Israel has described Rafah — a city on the southern edge of Gaza to which 1.4 million Palestinians have fled fighting elsewhere — as Hamas' last stronghold.


The Israeli armed forces identified those rescued as Fernando Simón Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, who were kidnapped in October by Palestinian terrorists.


By Najib Jobain, Josef Federman and Samy Magdy —

The Associated Press

Israel rescued two Argentine hostages held hostage by Hamas terrorists early Monday, raiding a heavily guarded apartment in Gaza and freeing the two captives under fire in a dramatic raid that marked a relatively small success in the war but symbolically significant.

In the intense air strikes that provided cover for the operation, at least 67 Palestinians died in the Strip, according to the health authorities of the besieged territory.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said special forces stormed a second-floor apartment in Rafah under fire at 1:49 a.m. Monday, accompanied a minute later by airstrikes on surrounding areas.

He said the hostages were being guarded by armed Hamas militants and that members of the rescue team protected the captives with their bodies as a heavy battle broke out in several places at once with gunmen from the Palestinian group.

Israel identified those rescued as

Fernando Simón Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70

, kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas militants in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

Netanyahu's Office reported that they also have Argentine citizenship.

Fernando Simon Marman, right, hugs a family member after being rescued, at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, Monday, February 12, 2024. AP

The hostages were taken by helicopter to the Sheba medical center, and their health is good.

Previously, only one soldier had been rescued safely, in November.

Airstrikes supporting Israeli forces during the operation hit the city of Rafah in the middle of the night.

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said at least 67 people, including women and children, died.

A journalist from The Associated Press news agency counted at least 50 bodies at the Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital in Rafah.

[Israel's offensive focuses on southern Gaza]

The rescue, which Hagari said was based on accurate intelligence and had been planned for some time, is a morale boost for the Israelis but a small step toward freeing the remaining hostages, believed to be scattered and hiding in tunnels, and probably in poor condition.

Har's son-in-law, Idan Begerano, who saw the freed captives at the hospital, said the two men were thin and pale, but communicated well and were aware of their surroundings.

Begerano added that Har told him as soon as he saw him: “Today is your birthday, mazal tov.”

The men, dressed in sports clothing, gave long, tearful hugs with their relatives at the hospital, according to the video released by Netanyahu's Office.

The complicated hostage situation has deeply shocked Israelis, and the rescue in the densely populated city of Rafah lifted the spirits of a nation still reeling from the Hamas incursion last year that started the war.

Israel has described Rafah — a city on the southern edge of Gaza to which 1.4 million Palestinians have fled fighting elsewhere — as Hamas' last stronghold in the territory, and has signaled that its ground offensive could soon head there. .

The Israeli incursion into Gaza in response to the Hamas attack has killed 28,340 Palestinians, displaced more than 80% of the population and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

More than 12,300 Palestinian children and adolescents and 8,400 women have died in the conflict, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry reported Monday, which does not distinguish between Palestinian group fighters and civilians.

Israel claims to have killed some 10,000 militants in its raid.

In the Hamas raid on October 7, some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed and 250 people were kidnapped, according to Israeli authorities, who say at least 100 remain captive.

Hamas also has the remains of another 30 people who were killed on October 7 or died in captivity.

The Israeli Government has made the release of those 100 hostages one of the main objectives of its war, along with the destruction of the military and civilian capabilities of Hamas.

But as the fighting, now into its fifth month, continues, his release remains difficult and disagreements have emerged in Israel over the best way to end his ordeal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that military pressure will achieve the freedom of the captives – he repeated it this Monday – although other senior officials have opposed it, stating that an agreement is the only way to guarantee their release.

Netanyahu has insisted that sending ground troops to Rafah is essential to meeting Israel's objectives.

On Sunday, the White House asserted that President Joe Biden had warned Netanyahu that he should not carry out an operation against Hamas without a "credible and executable" plan to protect civilians.

More than half of Gaza's 2.3 million people are crammed into Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of people live in tent camps and UN shelters.

Biden's statements in his phone call to Netanyahu were the most forceful to date on that operation.

Hostage Luis Har, left, is hugged by his family after being rescued from captivity in the Gaza Strip, at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. AP

A senior US Administration official stated that, after weeks of diplomacy, a framework for an agreement that could contemplate the release of the hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and the cessation of fighting has already been "practically" established.

This official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations, acknowledged that “gaps remain,” but declined to provide details.

Furthermore, he also added that military pressure on Hamas in the southern city of Khan Younis in recent weeks helped bring the group closer to accepting a deal.

Netanyahu's office declined to comment on the call.

The Hamas television channel, Al-Aqsa, cited an unidentified source who stated that an invasion of Rafah would “blow up” the talks between the United States, Egypt and Qatar.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke after two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat indicated that Egypt was threatening to suspend its peace treaty with Israel if Rafah was attacked.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2024-02-12

You may like

News/Politics 2023-12-28T19:43:05.416Z

Trends 24h

Latest

© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.