Two Israeli hostages have been rescued alive during a joint IDF and Israel Police operation in Rafah overnight, military and security officials have announced.
The hostages were identified as Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70), who were kidnapped by the Hamas terrorist organization on October 7th from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.
They are both in good medical condition, and were transferred for medical examination at the Sheba Tel Hashomer hospital, officials said.
“Security forces will continue to operate with all means in order to return the hostages home,” they added.
Minister of Defense Yoav Galant called it “an impressive rescue operation.” He credited the IDF, Shin Bet, and Mossad “for an important operation and quality execution.”
He added, “We will continue to fulfill our commitment to bring back the captives, by any means necessary.”
Earlier on Sunday, President Joe Biden held a 45-minute phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the White House, Biden said Israel should not conduct a military operation in the densely populated Gaza border town of Rafah without a “credible and executable” plan to protect civilians.
Israeli journalist Michael Shemesh commented: “Hours after the Biden-Netanyahu call and the Egyptian warning about Rafah, Israel received tonight the most clear and unequivocal moral authorization for a wide-ranging military operation in Rafah. No country in the world would grant immunity to an entire territory where its captives are held.”