Hostages Rescued During Controversial Attack

( – Hamas kidnapped more than 200 hostages on October 7, during the terrorist attack on Israel. More than 100 have been released since then, but that still leaves about half in captivity. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) recently rescued two more hostages in a controversial attack.

On February 12, soldiers with a special forces unit raided a building in the Southern city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. They rescued two hostages, 70-year-old Louis Har and 60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman, who were kidnapped in the Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

Rafah is currently home to approximately 1.4 million Palestinians, many of whom fled to the region when Israel told them to evacuate from other parts of the country. President Joe Biden reportedly told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold off on striking the area, which borders Egypt, until the IDF could come up with a plan to evacuate the innocent civilians in the area. Netanyahu ignored the POTUS and went ahead with the raid.

At least 67 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed by Israeli forces during rescue operations. Gaza’s Health Ministry told The Associated Press (AP) that over 12,300 Palestinian children have been killed during the war. Another 8,400 women have also died. The agency does not distinguish between Hamas fighters and civilians, but the number of deaths means women and kids account for roughly 75% of the total 28,000 Palestinian deaths.

The IDF estimates it has killed about 10,000 Hamas fighters throughout the conflict. Israel believes Rafah is the last Hamas stronghold.

Netanyahu’s decision to raid Rafah didn’t just cause concern among US security officials. Before the invasion, Egyptian officials told the AP that the country could suspend its peace agreement with Israel over the attack. The Egyptian government doesn’t want Palestinian refugees fleeing into its country en masse, and it’s concerned about the impact the conflict could have on humanitarian aid. Rafah is currently the main entry point for that aid.

The attack on Rafah is ongoing.

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