Rescued in special operation: hostages freed in Rafah meet families in clinic

Saved in special operation
Hostages freed in Rafah meet families in clinic

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During the night, Israel’s army freed two hostages from Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip. The men, aged 60 and 70, had been held in a house in Rafah for over four months. Now those who have been freed can meet their relatives.

The hostages, who were freed in a special operation in the southern Gaza Strip, have already been embraced by their families in the hospital. There are two men aged 60 and 70. Argentine President Javier Milei wrote to X that those freed were Israeli-Argentine dual citizens.

The son-in-law of one of those freed told Israeli media that the family received the message that night and the four adult children went straight to the hospital. Despite being held hostage for more than four months, the 70-year-old is in relatively good condition; he just looks a bit thin and pale. “He’s a little shocked by all the hustle and bustle,” the son-in-law told the Israeli broadcaster Kan in front of the Shiba Hospital near Tel Aviv. After their liberation, the men were taken there by helicopter. “He didn’t tell so much about what had happened to him and wanted to know how we, the children and the grandchildren, were doing.”

He also remembered the birthdays of all his relatives. The Israeli news site “ynet” reported that the hostages were held in a family’s house in Rafah and were freed on the second floor. The liberation reportedly came amid heavy fighting and attacks in the Rafah area, in which dozens of Palestinians were killed, according to Palestinian sources.

Israel accidentally killed several hostages

They are the first civilian hostages to be freed since the Gaza war began more than four months ago. At the end of October, Israeli special forces had already rescued a female soldier from Hamas violence. However, in December, Israeli special forces accidentally killed four hostages. According to the military, a man was killed in a failed attempt to free him. Another three hostages died in fighting in the Shejaiya region in the north of the Gaza Strip in mid-month.

According to Israeli sources, a complex situation on the battlefield, poor visibility and the noise of tanks in the area, which prevented the soldiers from hearing the order to cease fire, led to the tragic incident. The soldiers mistook cries for help as an attempt at deception by Hamas, according to the military’s investigation report.

Israeli President Izchak Herzog wrote on Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz also thanked the special forces and said they would continue to do everything “to free all hostages from the control of the murderous terrorist organization.”

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