Israeli security forces successfully rescued two Israelis held hostage by Hamas in Gaza in an overnight operation.
According to the IDF, close to 1 a.m., forces of the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet and the police anti-terror unit extracted Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Luis Har, 70, who were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7, from the second floor of a building in Rafah.
Both men were described to be in good condition and were flown to a hospital for examination.
The forces used an explosive device to breach the door behind which the hostages were held. They then encountered gunfire from Hamas forces and one soldier was slightly injured.
The hostages were reunited with their families.
General Yaron Finkelman, head of the IDF Southern Command, commanded the operation from a base in Be'er Sheva in the presence of Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant joined them at the military head quarters. "We have 134 hostages still held captive and we will do everything we can to bring them home," The IDF spokesperson said.
"This was an impressive extraction," Gallant said. He said that he and the prime minister followed the operation from the command center and are full of admiration for a mission that was carried out well. "We will continue to fulfil our commitment to bring the hostages back, any way possible," he said.
Idan Bejerano, Har's son-in-law said he only met his father-in-law briefly before he was taken for medical examinations. "They seem fine, were smiling and apparently relieved," he said.
"We were called at 3:30 a.m. and jumped out of our beds in joy. We were told 'we have them in our hands,' and instructed to get to the hospital. It took us nearly an hour to get there and I am not sure my wife was breathing at all during that time. This is a great relief," he said.
Argentinian President Javier Milei praised the release of the men, both dual citizens of that country.
“The Office of the President thanks the Israel Defense Forces, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police for having successfully completed the rescue of the Argentines Fernando Simon Marman and Luis Har,” the Argentine presidency says in a post on X.
“During his visit to the State of Israel, President Javier Milei reiterated to President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the request for the release of each of the Argentine hostages, and continues to firmly maintain his condemnation of Hamas terrorism,” the post read.