On Monday morning, two Argentine hostages were rescued by a joint operation carried out by the Shin Bet, Israeli Defense Forces, and Israeli police forces in Rafah, Gaza Strip. The two hostages were kidnapped by the terrorist group Hamas on October 7th during an attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people. Since then, Israel has been fighting a tough battle against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The rescue operation began with dozens of airstrikes against Hamas’ Shabura battalion to prevent them from understanding the true objective of rescuing the hostages. Two relatives of the Argentines had previously been released during an exchange of hostages from November 23rd to 30th. Both Marman and Har had been kidnapped from Nir Yitzhak kibbutz where they had gone to visit Clara Marman, who was also kidnapped by Hamas and released at the end of November.
The kibbutz of Nir Yitzchak stands on one of Israel’s richest agricultural areas and is estimated to have been responsible for around 60 deaths on October 7th. The rescue operation was planned for a while but was continually cancelled due to various reasons. The special forces entered the building where the hostages were being held and there were Hamas terrorists nearby. When Hamas militants tried to intercept the rescuers, Israeli air force attacked them.
The two rescued Argentines were taken by military helicopter to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan where they are currently receiving medical treatment. Other Argentines remain hostages in Gaza including baby Kfir Bibas, his parents and his little brother Ariel who are among six captives that were freed from Gaza in November along with other prisoners such as Karina Engelbert, Mika and Yuval Angel (18 and 10 years old respectively), and Sharon Cunio who is married to an Argentinean with her two daughters Julie and Emma Cunio (both three years old).
The situation in Rafah is worsening as more than half a million Palestinians live there nearby, most of whom are internally displaced due to Israel’s attacks on Hamas that has dominated Gaza since then. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting a duel with international leaders who are pressuring him not to launch any further attacks on Rafah without a plan that will protect civilians. President Joe Biden has also asked Netanyahu not to launch any attack on Rafah without such a plan which Netanyahu believes would mean losing the war against Hamas