The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) successfully rescued two Argentine hostages held by the terrorist group Hamas in a night mission on Monday, as revealed by official sources. Both Mariano Simon Marman and Luis Hartwo are in good health and have been released from their captivity.
The Argentine government became aware of the information through diplomatic channels and made a public statement thanking the IDF, Shabak, and Israeli Police for their efforts. President Javier Milei had previously reiterated his request for the release of each Argentine hostage during his visit to Israel earlier this month.
Marman and Hartwo were among more than 240 people kidnapped by Hamas in an attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 people. Since then, Israel has been engaged in a conflict with Hamas in Gaza Strip, which has already claimed over 26,000 lives according to Palestinian health organizations.
The rescue operation took place in Rafah, where Israel is currently carrying out a strong offensive against Hamas militants. According to Israeli sources, the operation began with dozens of airstrikes against Hamas’ Shabura battalion to prevent them from understanding the true objective of rescuing the hostages. The special forces then entered the building where Marman and Hartwo were being held, encountering Hamas terrorists along the way. The Israeli air force attacked when Hamas militants tried to intercept the rescuers.
Marman and Hartwo were taken by military helicopter to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, where they are now receiving medical attention. Other Argentine hostages remain captive in Gaza Strip, including baby Kfir Bibas and his family. In November, Hamas freed six captives of Argentine origin who were held in Gaza.
The situation in Rafah is a humanitarian disaster that has worsened since Israel launched its attacks on Hamas militants in response to their rocket attacks on Israeli towns. President Biden has urged Netanyahu to refrain from attacking Rafah without a plan to protect civilians, arguing that such an attack would only lead to more civilian casualties. However, Netanyahu has argued that he must protect his country’s citizens from terrorism at all costs.