Hostages Embrace Families After Daring Rescue

The Israeli Defense Forces revealed last week that it had successfully rescued two hostages abducted on October 7 during an early morning raid in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on February 12, NBC News reported.

According to IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israeli special forces raided an apartment building in Gaza under cover fire provided by a Shayetet 13 Navy commando unit and the 7th Armored Brigade.

The hostages, 60-year-old Fernando Marman and 70-year-old Louis Har were being held under Hamas guard on the second floor of the apartment building with additional Hamas militants stationed outside.

According to Hagari, special forces made up of the Israeli police’s Yaman counterterrorism unit and members of the Shin Bet entered Rafah at about 1:00 a.m. on Monday, February 12. The second-floor apartment was breached just before 2:00 a.m. using explosives. The three guards inside were all killed and the hostages were rescued.

The team pulled the hostages from the building under heavy Hamas fire as IDF airstrikes provided retreating cover fire. Upon reaching the safe zone, the hostages were airlifted to the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv.

According to Hagari, the strikes on Rafah enabled the special forces to rescue the hostages and target Hamas operations in the city where it is believed the terrorist group retains four battalions.

Marman and Har were among those abducted from the Kibbutz Nur Yitzhak in southern Israel on the morning of October 7.

Sheba Medical Center reported that both men, who hold dual citizenship in Israel and Argentina, were in good condition and had been reunited with their families.

Video footage of Marman and Har being greeted by their families at the hospital was released last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on February 9 ordered the IDF to prepare a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of the raid, described the rescue of Marman and Har as among the “most successful rescue operations” in Israel’s history.