(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) In only the second such successful operation of its kind since October 7, the IDF has announced it has managed to safely rescue two hostages from Hamas captivity in Gaza.
The two, Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Norberto Louis Har (70) were extracted in a joint operation by the IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Police in Rafah.
They were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7.
The two rescued hostages are in good condition and have arrived at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan for examination.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has hailed the “impressive rescue operation.”
“Along with the Prime Minister and top commanders I followed the operation from the war room. I offer my full appreciation to the IDF, Shin Bet and the National Counter-Terrorism Unit,” he said.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari offered details on the rescue of hostages Marman and Har.
“The IDF and the Shin Bet have been working on this operation for a long time,” he said.
“Conditions were not ripe to carry it out until now, and we waited for them to ripen.”
He added: “Reaching the target in the heart of Rafah was very complex.”
“Forces clandestinely arrived at the target at around 1 a.m., and carried out a very complex action on the premises and the second floor where the hostages were held.”
He said preparations included “backup, a major aerial envelope, and intimate intel”, adding that forces then broke into the building and exchanged fire with gunmen in the building and in adjacent buildings, while extracting the hostages.
“There was intense firepower from the air. Fire was opened from nearby buildings. The Air Force struck intensively there.”
He said “many terrorists were eliminated tonight in this action.”
One soldier was lightly injured, but beyond that no Israelis were hurt.
“The entire operation lasted about an hour from start to finish.”
Hagari said the two hostages are now meeting with their families at Sheba Medical Centre.
“It was a very tense night, but with a very emotional result,” he said.
“We have 134 more hostages and we will continue to do everything to bring them home.”
Zionist Federation of Australia CEO Alon Cassuto said the rescue showed the value Israel places on human life.
“The rescue reiterates the precision and care with which the IDF is operating in Gaza and reminds us all that the instant the hostages are released and Hamas surrenders the war will end,” Cassuto said.
“The terrorist organisation Hamas is holding over a hundred more hostages in tunnels under Rafah. Israel must continue until its people are returned.”