Israel has announced the release of two Hamas hostages during a night operation in Rafah

A mosque destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on February 12, 2024.

Israeli security services announced that they freed two hostages kidnapped by Hamas fighters on October 7, 2023, during an operation on the night of Sunday February 11 to Monday February 12 in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip. It follows a series of Israeli strikes in the area, which “killed around 100 people,” according to Hamas’ health ministry.

“Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were found during a night operation in Rafah conducted jointly by the Shin Beth Army. (Internal Security) and Israel Police », according to the press release of these services. Kidnapping from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, two men “is in good medical condition”.

About 250 people were kidnapped in Israel on October 7 and taken to the Gaza Strip. A week-long ceasefire in November allowed the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Before the release of the last two hostages, Israel estimated that 132 were still detained in Gaza, of whom 29 were believed to have died.

“The building in which three terrorists were killed (hostages) Detained »According to an initial assessment by the Israeli military, which had previously been limited to confirming this “Series of raids against terrorist targets in southern Gaza Strip”.. About 100 people were killed in the strike, according to a report by Hamas’ health ministry, which added that 14 homes and three mosques were hit in different areas of the city. According to Hamas’ Ministry of Health, the Israeli offensive has killed more than 28,000 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians.

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Rafah, Gaza’s last refuge

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his army to prepare for an offensive on Rafah, where most of the Palestinian territory’s population currently resides, according to the UN. Hamas warned on Sunday that such an attack “Torpedo will do” Any agreement for the release of the hostages he still holds in Gaza.

“Victory is within reach”Benjamin Netanyahu announced on the American channel ABC News, describing Rafah “The Last Bastion” No “Hamas Terrorist Battalion”. Israel will make sure “A safe passage for the civilian population so they can leave” Without specifying where the citizens could take refuge, he promised the city. However, the night attacks do not seem to mark the beginning of this offensive, which has worried the international community, including the United States, Israel’s main ally.

American President Joe Biden thus requested the Israeli Prime Minister during a telephone interview on Sunday “Security Guarantee” While the Palestinian population has warned against some states “Humanitarian Disaster” In the event of an attack on a heavily populated city. France, in a press release, for its part, said its “ Call to end fight »According to “To avoid disaster » Humanitarian.

Rafah, which has become a huge encampment, is the last urban center that the Israeli army has not yet penetrated and is the main entry point for humanitarian aid, which is insufficient to meet the needs of a population threatened by famine and epidemics in mid-winter. .

The world with AFP

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