Heartwarming moment two hostages reunite with their family after Israeli rescue operation

12 February 2024, 05:51 | Updated: 12 February 2024, 11:05

L-R: Gabriela Leimberg kisses her brother Fernando Marman, Clara Marman next to her partner Louis Har, at the Sheba Medical Center
L-R: Gabriela Leimberg kisses her brother Fernando Marman, Clara Marman next to her partner Louis Har, at the Sheba Medical Center. Picture: Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

This is the moment two Israeli hostages were reunited with their family after they were freed from Hamas captivity in an IDF rescue operation.

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The two men, who are in a stable condition, have been identified as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70.

Mr Marman was reunited with his sister, Gabriela Leimberg, while Mr Har can be seen smiling next to his partner, Clara Marman.

The Israeli military said both men were kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak in the October 7 terrorist attack that sparked the conflict in Gaza.

Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70.
Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70. Picture: IDF

The two hostages were rescued from a residential building in the southern border town of Rafah in a raid that also killed seven people, Palestinian officials have said.

Around 136 hostages remain in captivity, according to Israel.

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Lt Col Richard Hecht said the operation was based on "precise intelligence" and that the site, on the second floor of a building, had been watched for "some time".

He said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined Israel's military chief and other top officials as the raid unfolded.

It comes after a series of Israeli strikes hit Rafah on Monday morning, despite warnings from US President Joe Biden not to conduct a military operation in the Gaza border town without a plan to protect civilians.

Hospital officials in Rafah have said at least 50 Palestinians were killed in the airstrikes.

Around 1.4 million Palestinians are understood to be living in tent camps in the southern Gaza city, which borders Egypt.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill. Picture: Alamy

The Israeli military said it struck "terror targets in the area of Shaboura", a district in Rafah.

The military statement said the series of strikes had concluded, without elaborating on the targets or assessing the potential damage or casualties.

Palestinian health officials did not immediately offer any casualty information.

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