After months of fighting, Hamas had been forced to fall back to its stronghold in Rafah on the Egyptian border.
And the pressure on Israel not to go into Rafah intensified. Not only AOC and Bernie Sanders, but Biden warned Israel not go in because of the “humanitarian impact”.
Israel went in and brought out two hostages.
IDF released Go-Pro footage from last night's hostage rescue in Rafah. pic.twitter.com/aTVAugZhEN
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) February 12, 2024
“The hostages are in our hands, safe and sound”
🔴WATCH the moment hostages Fernando Simon Marman and Luis Har were rescued during the operation in Rafah yesterday: pic.twitter.com/1OXsHf9F9W
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) February 12, 2024
The IDF said it launched several airstrikes in Rafah as a diversion for the rescue operation. The rescue unit breached the building at 1:49 a.m.
The force came down from the roof and detonated a bomb to breach a door on the second floor, eliminated the Hamas guards and picked up the two hostages. Other Hamas gunmen fired from nearby buildings, but the soldiers deployed in the street and returned fired at them in a battle that lasted for a long hour.
“On the second floor, Louis and Fernando were held by armed Hamas terrorists, who were present in the building along with terrorists who were in the adjacent buildings.
“From the moment of the breach and entry into the apartment, Yamam forces shielded Louis and Fernando with their bodies, initiating a daring battle and heavy exchanges of fire at several locations simultaneously, with many terrorists.
“The troops pulled Louis and Fernando out of the apartment and rescued them under fire, until they reached the safe zone,” Hagari continued.
This is obviously only the beginning, but it’s important because it’s the first true hostage rescue operation after Oct 7 that succeeded. After previous failures, there was a lot of hesitation over this particular op. The intel was clearly there, but Rafah was enemy territory and no one wanted to fail again. But this time it paid off.
Bringing two hostages home is a moral triumph for Israel.
After the previous hostage deal, Hamas supporters, including AOC, kept hammering home the claim that the only way to free the hostages is to cut a deal with Hamas. But cutting deals with terrorists just leads to more dead bodies and more hostages.
Finally, by leading the operation with a successful hostage rescue, Israel reversed at least some of the narrative about Rafah. The pro-Hamas crowd will double and triple down, as they always do, but after months of war, there is a moment of genuine joy.
Argentina President Javier Milei, who was recently in Israel, expressed appreciation for the rescue of the two hostages, who were Argentinian nationals, and there has been singing and dancing all over the world.
In the end, this picture says it all.
The best picture in the world!
Family reunited ❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/4sNsy6xXpo
— Im Tirtzu (@IMTIzionism) February 12, 2024