War Israel Hamas, news on Gaza today 12 February 2024

Two Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas were freed during a raid overnight operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, conducted by IDF, Security and Police Agency. This was announced by the Israeli Defense Forces.

“During a joint operation between the IDF, the Israeli Security Agency and the Israeli police, two Israeli hostages from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak were rescued: Fernando Simon Marman (60 years old) and Louis Har (70 years old)” reads the army note Israeli, who explains how both freed hostages were found in good medical conditions and transferred to Israel for further checks.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called the army operation “impressive” on X, adding that he followed it from the Command Center together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior commanders. Both hostages had been abducted from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, he added, near the Gaza border on October 7, when around 1,200 people were killed and more than 240 taken hostage.

Rafah, Biden’s warning

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has meanwhile indicated to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that the military operation in Rafah should not take place “without a credible and executable plan to guarantee the safety and support of over a million people who find refuge there”. The White House made this known, informing on the content of the telephone conversation between the two leaders. “Urgent and specific measures to increase the scope and consistency of humanitarian assistance to innocent Palestinian civilians” in Gaza were called for by the US president.

During the phone call, Biden reiterated the “shared” goal of seeing Hamas “defeated” and ensuring the long-term security of Israel and its people. The two leaders then discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all hostages, and Biden “emphasized the need to build on the progress made in negotiations to secure the release of all hostages as soon as possible.”

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