Israeli military says it has freed two Israeli-Argentinian hostages in Rafah under the cover of airstrikes which local health officials said killed 67 Palestinians and wounded dozens in the southern Gaza city.

The military confirmed that a joint operation by the Israeli military, the domestic Shin Bet security service and the Special Police Unit in Rafah freed Fernando Simon Marman, and Louis Hare, who are both in stable medical conditions.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col. Richard Hecht said both men were kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7, among some 250 other people, noting that the military has been working a long time on the rescue operation,

According to Hecht, the hostages were being held on the second floor of a building that was breached with explosives during the raid, which saw heavy exchanges of gunfire with surrounding buildings.

Meanwhile, the Argentinian government has thanked Israel for the rescue of the two men, who it said were dual nationals of Argentina.
Israel’s military said its air strikes had coincided with the raid to allow its forces to be extracted.
The Gaza health ministry said 28,340 Palestinians have been killed and the number could rise as rescue operations were under way.


February 12, 2024

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