Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, together with the Inspector General of the Israel Police and the Commander of the Border Police, today (Monday), visited the Israel National Counter Terrorism Unit and met with the fighters and unit commander, who – in a rescue operation last night – rescued hostages Fernando Marman and Louis Har from Rafah in Gaza.
The Prime Minister gave an update on how he approved the complex operation several days ago and how he closely monitored the rescue operation from the ISA special operations control center.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Ben-Gvir heard from the commanders and fighters about the dramatic moments of the rescue and the complexity of the operation, and the cooperation and integration among the various forces.
Netanyahu told the soldiers: "This is a day of joy mixed with sadness: Joy over the release of our hostages and sadness over our fallen soldiers. However, I would like to tell you that the freeing of Louis and Fernando was one of the most successful rescue operations in the history of the State of Israel."
He continued: "Several days ago, the operation was brought to me for approval and I approved it. Afterward, several hours later, I thought about three things: One, I thought about the sacred nature of the mission. Two, I thought about the risks in relation to the chances, and there were risks. Three, I thought about you, the fighters. I thought about what would happen at the decisive moment, because from experience, I know that at the breakthrough moment, the gap between victory and tragedy is a millimeter."
"At 01:40 this morning, I saw you placing the charge and seconds later I heard 'We have the hostages.' You eliminated the abductors, the terrorists, and made your way back without injury – a successful operation, a perfect operation," he said.
"I would like to tell you: I am so proud of you. I am proud of you, the ISA and the IDF. You worked like a well-oiled machine. You are simply the best fighters there are. I came here to tell you this and to salute you on behalf of all citizens of Israel. You are the best in the world. Well done!" the Prime Minister concluded.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Tzachi Braverman, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel Police Inspector General Koby Shabtai, the Prime Minister's Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil, and Border Police Commander Yitzhak Barik.