TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military said on Monday that special forces rescued two Israeli hostages held in Gaza.
Heavy airstrikes were conducted during the operation and there were initial reports that Palestinians were killed in the strikes.
“This was a complex rescue operation under fire in the heart of Rafah, based on highly sensitive and valuable intelligence,” said the Israeli military in a statement.
Israel’s military identified the rescued hostages as 60-year old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year old Louis Har. The Israeli military said they were held on the second floor of a home in the city of Rafah.
It said a special forces team broke inside the home and engaged in a firefight, killing militants. The hostages were then airlifted to Israel and the military said they were in good medical shape and taken to a hospital. The military said it carried out airstrikes to provide cover for the operation.
This is the second successful Israeli hostage rescue during the war. Israel says more than 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza.
The raid came as President Biden warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against conducting a military operation in Rafah without a “credible and executable” plan to protect civilians, the White House said Sunday. It was the first time that Biden had publicly cautioned Israel against its planned operation in Rafah.