Monday, 12 February 2024 | Israel freed two hostages—Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70—in an overnight mission in Rafah, according to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF].
The IDF, Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet] and Israel Police worked together to free the two, who are both from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak and in good medical condition, per the IDF.
Earlier in the night, the IDF detained some 20 Hamas terrorists in the Al Amal Hospital complex in Khan Yunis, the Israeli military stated. It and the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories delivered 20 oxygen tanks to the hospital.
“Before operating inside of the hospital, IDF soldiers were briefed to adhere to international law, protecting patients, civilians and medical equipment,” the IDF stated. “The operation also entailed pre-coordination with the hospital itself. Hamas continues to embed itself in civilian areas. This includes hospitals where Gazan civilians are supposed to receive life-saving care.”
On Sunday, US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he believes “that a military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the more than one million people sheltering there,” according to a White House readout of the two leaders’ call.
On Friday, Netanyahu stated, “It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah. On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat.”
On Thursday, John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council of the White House who was recently promoted to assistant to the president, told a reporter that the US has “seen no plans that would convince us that they [Israel] are about to or imminently going to conduct any kind of major operations in Rafah.”
“More than a million Palestinians are sheltering in and around Rafah. That’s where they were told to go. There’s a lot of displaced people there, and the Israeli military has a special obligation as they conduct operations there or anywhere else to make sure that they’re factoring in protection for innocent civilian life, particularly the civilians that were pushed into southern Gaza by operations further north—Khan Yunis and North Gaza,” Kirby said.
He added that “absent any full consideration of protecting civilians at that scale in Gaza—military operations right now would be a disaster for those people, and it’s not something that we would support.”
Posted on February 12, 2024
Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 11, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
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