Israel says it rescued two hostages from Hamas in the Gaza Strip

The Israeli military rescued two hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip early Monday, marking a significant achievement in its efforts to bring back over 100 captives believed to be held by the Hamas militant group.

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The Israeli military said it rescued two hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip early Monday, marking a significant achievement in its efforts to bring back over 100 captives believed to be held by the Hamas militant group.

The hostages were liberated during a raid involving Israeli strikes in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The operation resulted in the deaths of at least seven people.

Israel has identified Rafah as Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza following more than four months of conflict. The White House disclosed that President Joe Biden cautioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against conducting a military operation in Rafah without a credible plan to safeguard civilians.

About 1.4 million Palestinians are estimated to be in the area after fleeing from other part of the Strip to escape the fighting. 

The rescued hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were kidnapped by Hamas militants from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak during a cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that sparked the war. They were airlifted to Sheba Hospital in central Israel and are reported to be in good medical condition.

Monday’s raid comprised at least 15 airstrikes, flares, and Apache helicopter fire, according to witnesses. Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a military spokesperson, stated that the operation was executed based on precise intelligence, with the targeted site under surveillance for some time.