The Israeli military rescued two hostages in a dramatic raid under fire from the Gaza Strip early Monday
The hostages, Fernando Simon Marman (61) and Louis Norbeto Har (70), were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.
The raid took place in Rafah, the city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war.
Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said the hostages had been held in a second-floor apartment in Rafah, under guard from Hamas gunmen, both in the apartment and nearby buildings.
Hagari said special forces broke into the apartment under fire at 1:49 a.m. Monday, accompanied a minute later by a series of airstrikes on surrounding areas. He said members of the rescue team shielded the hostages with their bodies as a heavy battle erupted in several places at once with many Hamas gunmen.
At least 50 Palestinians were killed in airstrikes that were part of the raid, according to Palestinian hospital officials.
The hostages were taken to a nearby “safe area” and given a quick medical check before being flown to a hospital in central Israel.