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The liberation of Israeli hostages Fernando Marman and Louis Har from the Gaza Strip involved a coordinated effort between intelligence services, elite units, and air forces. The operation was executed in an hour and a half, with the Shin Bet’s war room directing the mission.

The raid involved elite units of the Yamam counter-terrorism unit of the police, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). At 01:49, Israeli forces raided the apartment where the hostages were being held with explosives. The three captors were immediately killed, and the special forces shielded the hostages with their bodies.

Following the raid, Hamas men opened fire from nearby buildings while Israeli air force bombed Hamas military sites and command centers to ensure their escape. The operation was covered by Shayetet 13 commando of navy and 7th Armored Brigade.

After being pulled from the apartment for about an hour, Marman and Har were taken out of Rafah in armored vehicles before being put on a helicopter that took them to Israel. After undergoing medical tests, they were found in good condition and able to hug their families once again. Only one man involved in the raid sustained slight injuries.

The two hostages are Israelis with dual Argentine nationality who were kidnapped during a violent Hamas attack on October 7 along with their companion Clara Marman, sister Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia Leimberg. This is only the second successful rescue since beginning of war; another failed operation resulted in death of one hostage while three who freed themselves were mistakenly killed by Israeli soldiers in another dramatic episode. Hamas has condemned Israel’s latest airstrikes on Rafah stating it represents “a broadening of scale massacres.”

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