“In good health”: Israel’s army frees two hostages from Rafah

“In good health”
Israeli army frees two hostages from Rafah

Yesterday, 136 Israelis were still in the hands of Hamas. Now two of them have been found alive during a nighttime military operation near the Egyptian border and brought to safety. The two men are 60 and 70 years old.

Israel’s military says it has rescued two hostages in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military announced early this morning that the two men were kidnapped in the coastal area during the massacre by the Islamist Hamas on October 7th. Both were in good health and were taken to hospital for a medical examination.

The two hostages, aged 60 and 70, were rescued during a joint operation by the military, the security service and the Israeli police during the night in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. According to the Jerusalem Post, the hostages were held on the second floor of a building in the heart of Rafah. The emergency services secretly entered the building because the surrounding apartments were full of armed terrorists. They tried to attack the rescuers and were stopped by Israeli soldiers. Israel’s military had previously announced a series of attacks in the area.

Terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 250 during their attack on Israel on October 7th. Since then, Israel’s military has launched massive air strikes and a ground offensive against Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip. There are currently 136 people still in the hands of Hamas, but according to the Israeli military, at least around 30 of them are no longer alive. According to media reports, the number of people killed could now be as high as 50.

Netanyahu: Hostages justify deployment in Rafah

The military said security forces would continue to try “by all means” to bring the hostages home. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army on Friday to prepare an offensive on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, which borders Egypt. There, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people are seeking protection in a very small space. Israel’s plan has met with international criticism.

From Netanyahu’s perspective, the number of hostages remaining in the Gaza Strip justifies Israel’s massive military action in the sealed off area. Asked how many hostages, to his knowledge, are still alive, Netanyahu replied in an interview with US broadcaster ABC News on Sunday: “I think enough to justify the efforts we are making.”

Israel’s military announced last night that “a series of attacks on terrorist targets in the Shabura area in the southern Gaza Strip” had been carried out. Shabura is near Rafah. As the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported, citing medical staff in the city, dozens of people were killed and several others were injured in the heavy Israeli air strikes.

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