Israel-Hamas, two hostages freed in Rafah but protests by families of those kidnapped continue

An important moral victory for Israel, as well as a huge operational success. But also a test for Hamas, which will thus refine its surveillance of the hostages in order to prevent it from happening again. So much so that the only way to bring it back home to the hostages still in the Gaza Strip, that of an agreement remains. This is how the Haaretz newspaper describes the joint military operation by the Shin Bet and the police which led to the rescue of two hostages with dual Israeli and Argentine citizenship kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak and held in the densely populated al-Shabura refugee camp in Rafah, in south of the Gaza Strip.

Protests from the hostages’ families continue

A remarkable achievement, achieved after long intelligence preparations and carried out by several elite units, with considerable political and professional risk-taking by those who approved the operation. ”It’s the kind of good news that the Israeli population has been waiting for for a long time,” the newspaper wrote Protests by the families of the hostages continue on the streets of Tel Aviv. At the same time, the newspaper underlines that ”it will be difficult to repeat this success despite the pressure that the army exerts on Hamas, which will certainly draw lessons from experience by identifying the weak points of the rescue that it can exploit”. The militiamen will therefore ask those holding the Israeli hostages to be more vigilant.

Benjamin Netanyahu: “We will not miss any opportunity to bring our abductees home.”

It is the second time, since the beginning of the war, that the Israeli military manages to free live hostages. Before them, at the end of October, the army had rescued Ori Megidish, a soldier taken from the Nahal Oz military base. In the last few hours, Fernando Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70, were freed. They were found in good condition, as explained by IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari, and were able to hug their loved ones again. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on ‘X’: ”We will not miss any opportunity to bring our abductees home”. So ”forward with maximum military pressure”, Netanyahu added, but in the Gaza Strip there are still 134 hostages in addition to thirty believed to be not alive. They are being kept under close surveillance, so it will be difficult to free the other hostages, writes Haaretz. There may therefore be ”other occasional successes similar to this week”, adds the newspaper. But in the end, if they really want to free the hostages, ”Israel will have to reach an agreement”.

CIA director William Burns will be in Cairo tomorrow

Great anticipation, therefore, for the arrival tomorrow in Cairo by CIA director William Burns. Thanks to him, indirect negotiations with Hamas should resume, including with the collaboration of intelligence officials from Egypt and Qatar. With attention to the fact that Egypt has threatened to suspend the peace treaty with Israel if it really invades Rafah, where millions of displaced Palestinians have taken refuge after following evacuation orders from Tel Aviv. The need for a hostage agreement is also necessary in light of the fact that so far rescue operations have in most cases been unsuccessful due to the difficulty of ensuring that the lives of the hostages are not put at risk. Haaretz explains that unfortunately there have been several cases in which Hamas killed its prisoners out of fear that the IDF was close to releasing them.

Among Israeli soldiers, however, in recent weeks it has become increasingly stronger this feeling and commitment to obtain the release of the hostages. In addition to the need to defeat Hamas, the troops have repeatedly expressed their desire to free the hostages and their willingness to risk their lives to do so. And the latest rescue operation also demonstrates this. To free the two Argentine hostages, the Israeli media write, the military escorted the hostages with their bodies.

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