Gaza hospital officials told AP. Notably, Israel managed to rescue only two of the claimed 136 Hamas hostages in this airstrike. The Israeli raid took place in Rafah, the city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war.
Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said the hostages had been held in a second-floor apartment in Rafah, under guard from Hamas gunmen, both in the apartment and nearby buildings. Hagari said special forces broke into the apartment under fire at 1:49 a.m. Monday, accompanied a minute later by a series of airstrikes on surrounding areas.
The Israeli army spokesperson said members of the rescue team shielded the hostages with their bodies as a heavy battle erupted in several places at once with many Hamas gunmen. The hostages were taken to a nearby “safe area" and given a quick medical check before being flown to a hospital in central Israel. Israel has described Rafah as the last remaining Hamas stronghold in Gaza after more than four months of war and signaled that its ground offensive may soon target the densely populated city.
On Sunday, the White House said President Joe Biden had warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel should not conduct a military operation against Hamas in Rafah without a “credible and executable" plan to protect civilians. The army identified the rescued hostages as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, who it said were kidnapped by Hamas militants from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak in the 7 October cross-border attack that triggered the war. Both were airlifted to Sheba Hospital and were reported to be in good medical condition.Read more on livemint.com