WATCH: IDF Releases Aerial Footage of Hostage Rescue in Rafah, Gaza

Israel Defense Forces

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released aerial footage Monday of the daring overnight raid into Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, that rescued two Argentinian-Israeli hostages who were abducted by Hamas terrorists from Israel in the October 7 attack.

Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces

According to IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari:

Last night, we brought Louis and Fernando home. In a joint rescue operation by the IDF, the Israel Security Agency, and the Yamam – the special forces unit of the Israel Police, we rescued Louis Har and Fernando Marman, who were abducted by Hamas on October 7th from Nir Yitzhak.

This was a complex rescue operation under fire in the heart of Rafah, based on highly sensitive and valuable intelligence from the Intelligence Directorate and the Israel Security Agency.

The operational unit of the ISA, the Yamam Unit of the Police, the Southern Command along with forces from the 98th Division, Shayetet 13, and the soldiers of the 7th Armored Brigade, acted in a professional and precise manner. There was aerial coverage and a wave of strikes by the Israeli Air Force together with the Southern Command.

We have prepared for this operation for some time, with the necessary preparations made and waiting for conditions that would allow its implementation. In the early morning, at 01:49, the special forces breached into a building in the heart of Rafah.

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.

By 01:50, aerial fire was activated by the Israeli Air Force and Southern Command, to enable the force’s disengagement and to strike Hamas terrorists in the area.

At this stage, the forces extracted Louis and Fernando from the apartment and evacuated them under fire, accompanied by IDF forces who provided them protection in the Rafah area until they reached a safe zone.

There, they underwent initial medical examination by the forces in the field and were airlifted by a helicopter with soldiers of the Unit 669 for further medical treatment at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, where – with great emotion – they met with their families.

The Chief of the General Staff was together with the Head of the ISA and the Police Commissioner at the ISA’s command center, along with additional commanders. From there, they made decisions, monitored, and commanded the forces in the operation. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense also arrived at the command center during the night and accompanied the operation. It was a very tense and emotional night.

The rescue in Rafah occurred just hours after U.S. President Joe Biden warned Israel not to launch operations in Rafah until a plan had been developed for evacuating the roughly one million Palestinian civilians who have fled there from elsewhere in Gaza.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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