‘We’ve been working on this for a long time’: IDF spokesman offers details on rescue

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari offers details on the rescue of hostages Marman and Har.

“The IDF and the Shin Bet have been working on this operation for a long time,” he says.

“Conditions were not ripe to carry it out until now, and we waited for them to ripen.”

He adds: “Reaching the target in the heart of Rafah was very complex.”

“Forces clandestinely arrived at the target at around 1 a.m., and carried out a very complex action on the premises and the second floor where the hostages were held.”

He says preparations included “backup, a major aerial envelope, and intimate intel.”

Forces then broke into the building through a locked door and exchanged fire with gunmen in the building and in adjacent buildings, while extracting the hostages to armored vehicles.

“There was intense firepower from the air. Fire was opened from nearby buildings. The Air Force struck intensively there,” he says. At the same time, the armored corps also provided cover for the extraction.

Hagari says “many terrorists were eliminated tonight in this action,” including at least three in the building where the hostages were held.

One soldier was lightly injured, but beyond that, no Israelis were hurt.

“The entire operation lasted about an hour from start to finish.”

Hagari says the two hostages are now meeting with their families at Sheba Medical Center.

“It was a very tense night, but with a very moving result,” he says.

“We have 134 more hostages and we will continue to do everything to bring them home.”

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