IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari on Monday morning gave a statement on the Sunday night rescue of two hostages, Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70), during an IDF operation in Rafah.
In his statement, Hagari said, "This was a complex rescue operation carried out under fire in the heart of Rafah, and based on quality intelligence. The ISA's operational unit, the police, Southern Command, Shayetet 13, and Brigade 7 of the Armored Corps carried out this professional and precise action. This is an operation which we prepared for over the course of some time - the necessary preparations were made and we waited for conditions which would allow it to be carried out."
"At 1:49a.m. the special forces broke into the building in Rafah. The hostages were on the second floor. From the moment we began the operation, the soldiers embraced Louis and Fernando and began a difficult gunfight. Aerial support allowed the force to cut contact and hit the Hamas terrorists. The soldiers pulled the hostages out of the apartment, and they were rescued under fire until they reached the safe area. It was a very stressful and very moving night."
He added, "Even after the successful rescue operation, we do not forget that 134 hostages are being held in Gaza. I turn to them with a message: If you hear me, know that we are very determined to bring you home, and we will not miss any opportunity for that. We will continue to make every effort to bring all of the hostages home."
The forces arrived at the destination secretly around 1:00 in the morning, and carried out a very complex operation on a building complex, on the second floor where the hostages were kept. When the forces arrived at the building, they broke into the building, where three terrorists were guarding the hostages.
The forces stormed into the building in using explosives, entered the building from the roof and breaking through the door to the second floor, from which they pulled the two hostages out. A gun battle developed at the scene, while the Air Force attacked in the area and fire was also opened from nearby buildings. A Black Hawk helicopter brought Louis and Fernando to Sheba Medical Center, where their relatives were waiting.
One IDF soldier was lightly injured in the operation, but beyond that - there were no injuries to the Israeli forces.