Earlier this week, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) made a daring rescue mission in the southern Gaza Strip, freeing two Israeli hostages who had been kidnapped by the terrorist organization Hamas.
According to a joint statement released by the IDF, Israel Security Agency (ISA), and Israel Police, the hostages, 60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year-old Louis Har, were in good medical condition and were transferred to a hospital for examination. Their rescue has brought elation to Israel and renewed hope for the rescue of other hostages still being held by Hamas.
The two men, both originally from Argentina, were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak during a terrorist attack on October 7th. This rescue marks the first successful mission of its kind since Israeli soldier Ori Megidish was rescued in October. However, three other hostages who attempted to escape from their captors were tragically killed in December.
First photo of the 2 rescued Israeli hostages reunited with their loved ones.
Fernando Simon Marman and Norberto Louis Har have been reunited with their families after their rescue by Israeli special forces after they were rescued during a daring mission in Rafah overnight. pic.twitter.com/DiXoMX4Unj
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) February 12, 2024
The timing of this rescue comes just days after Argentinian President Javier Milei visited Israel and met with families of Argentinian-Israeli hostages and survivors of the October 7th attack. This mission sends a strong message to Hamas that Israel will not rest until all of its citizens are freed from captivity.
The IDF, ISA, and Israel Police all played a crucial role in the operation, with the IDF clearing the way for the rescue and the ISA providing valuable intelligence. The rescue itself was a joint effort, involving both ground forces and airstrikes to neutralize the terrorists.
This successful mission also highlights the ongoing tensions between Israel and other nations who have been calling on Israel to refrain from attacking Hamas in the area of Rafah, where the hostages were being held. President Joe Biden himself had warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take action without a credible plan for evacuating Palestinian civilians in the area.
However, Israel has made it clear that the safety and security of its citizens comes first, and has not let international pressure prevent them from taking action to rescue their hostages. Thankfully, this time, that decision proved to be the right one.
The families of the rescued hostages had turned to prayer for their release, with some even visiting the gravesite of a Jewish religious leader to offer prayers for their loved ones’ safe return. The emotional reunion between the hostages and their families at the hospital was a testament to the determination and bravery of the Israeli forces who risked their lives to bring them home.
Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to the soldiers who carried out the mission, stating that “Only continued military pressure, until total victory, will bring about the release of all of our hostages.” This sentiment was echoed by the Chief of General Staff and other commanders involved in the operation.
This successful rescue operation serves as a reminder of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the threat of terrorism that Israel faces. While the release of two hostages is cause for celebration, it also serves as a somber reminder of the remaining 134 hostages still being held in Gaza.
Video footage of Fernando Simon Marman & Louis Har with their family last night after being rescued from Gaza. pic.twitter.com/DYJ0Ufni0x
— Documenting Israel (@DocumentIsrael) February 12, 2024
The only way to ensure their safe return is through continued pressure on terrorist organizations like Hamas. The Israeli government has made it clear that they will not rest until all of their citizens are brought home, and this successful mission proves their determination to do so. As negotiations for a peaceful resolution continue, Israel will continue to fight for the safety and security of its citizens.