Two hostages freed in a massive Israeli raid that left a hundred Palestinians dead. But also three Israeli hostages who, according to Hamas, were injured in previous attacks and died yesterday.
Netanyahu confirms his muscular approach and reiterates that “only constant military pressure, until total victory, will lead to the release of all our hostages”. In reality, compared to yesterday’s successful blitz and the one in October which freed the soldier Ori Megidish, in one case a blitz failed with the death of the hostage and in another three hostages who had freed themselves they were killed by mistake by the IDF army.
The hideout where Fernando Marman, 61 years old and Louis Har, 70 years old, both Israelis of Argentine origin, kidnapped from the Nir Yiyzhak kibbuz together with the former’s sister and partner of the latter and a third sister with her daughter, all freed, were kept known for a week and already on two occasions the blitz was about to start. It was finally decided for last night. The raid involved the elite anti-terrorism Yamam police units, a nucleus of the Shin Bet and above all one of the IDF special forces: the well-known Shyetet 13 commando, the Navy raiders.
“At 01.49 – explained the IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi – the Israeli forces broke into the apartment on the second floor of a building where the two hostages were being held with explosives. The three captors were immediately killed” . The Yamam chief told the Haaretz newspaper that the hostages “were taken away from the second floor with the help of ropes” and that “both actively participated.” Exactly one minute after the raid, when the hostages had just been taken out, a group of Hamas terrorists opened fire from the next building towards the 12 men of the Israeli commando and the two hostages. “The Air Force then intervened and intensely hit the nearby building and some adjacent ones,” Rear Admiral Hagari said.
Depending on the sources, there is talk of between 67 and 100 deaths, according to Hamas, mostly civilians. There would be 14 houses destroyed. The hostages were placed in two armored vehicles of the 7th Armored Brigade escorted by attack helicopters and during the evacuation a Hamas pickup attempted to reach him to hit him with RPG rockets, but was blown up from one of the attack helicopters. Once in the safe area they were put on a Black Hawk and taken to the Sheba medical center in Ramat Gan where they were found in good condition.
In the entire operation, which lasted an hour and a half and was followed in the Shin Bet war room by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, only one soldier was slightly injured. While Iran has threatened a response in the case of attacks in Rafah, in an ambush with an anti-tank missile launched against a group of soldiers who were resting, Hamas yesterday evening killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded ten others, bringing the total of Israeli losses at 566 soldiers, resulting in, according to Israeli spokesman Eylon Levi, “over 12 thousand terrorists killed”.
The war continues and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte that “Israel will not leave the terrorist battalions in Rafah intact” and that “the war is destined to continue until total victory over Hamas”.