Israel says two hostages have been rescued from Gaza Strip

The Israeli military says it has rescued two hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip.

It identified the men as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70.

It said both men were kidnapped by Hamas militants from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak in the October 7 cross-border attack that started the four-month Israel-Hamas war.

The two men were rescued from a residential building in the southern border town of Rafah in a raid that also killed at least seven people, according to Palestinian officials.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians walk by a residential building destroyed in an Israeli strike in Rafah (Hatem Ali/AP)

The army says both men are in good medical condition.

They are just the second and third hostages to be rescued safely and were among the 136 hostages Israel said remain in Hamas captivity.

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.

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.

An Associated Press journalist in Rafah said strikes hit around Kuwait Hospital where some of those wounded in the strikes had been brought.

Palestinian health officials did not immediately offer any casualty information.

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