The Israeli military rescued two Israeli Argentinian hostages in an overnight mission in Gaza more than four months after they were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the group’s deadly invasion of Israel, officials announced late Sunday.
The two men — Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70 — were freed from captivity after Israeli soldiers raided a residential building in Rafah where at least seven people were also killed.
Both men, Argentinian/Israeli dual citizens, were kidnapped and taken to Gaza from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak along with other loved ones during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which prompted the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. The men are the second and third hostages rescued by the Jewish state.
Marman and Har, who are brothers-in-law, are both in good medical condition, the Israel Defense Forces said.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said during a briefing that the rescue relied on “precise intelligence” and that the site where the hostages were held – on the second floor of the building – had been under surveillance for “some time.”
“It was a very complex operation,” Hecht said. “We’ve been working a long time on this operation. We were waiting for the right conditions.”
The hostages were reached after an explosive breached the building as a heavy exchange of gunfire took place with surrounding buildings and multiple airstrikes were carried out.
Israeli planes, tanks and ships all took part in the strikes that hit two mosques and multiple houses, residents told Reuters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the country’s military chief and other top officials during the operation.
Har’s daughters were “ecstatic” over the rescue of their dad, former New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind told The Post late Sunday.
One daughter, Rinat Har, spoke to Hikind following the good news.
“She’s on top of the world, just bawling on the phone, totally in tears,” Hikind said in an interview. “I’ve never heard her sound so good. Every other time, you felt the pain in every conversation.”
The two families became close after Rinat and her sister Natali stayed with the former pol and his wife in their Long Island home in November while visiting the US to raise awareness for the hostages.
The two sisters, who are also nieces to Marman, were in overwhelming pain over the last four months.
“Every single moment is absolute hell,” Hikind recalled Rinat telling him. “It was a living hell for them.”
About 250 Israelis were taken by Hamas terrorists following their cross-border assault last year. About 1,200 people were killed during the sneak attack.
More than 100 hostages — including Har’s partner and Marman’s sister, Clara Marman, their other sister Gabriela Leimberg and niece Mia Leimberg — were released by Hamas during a weeklong cease-fire in November.
But Israeli officials estimate roughly 100 hostages remain in Gaza. Hamas is also holding the remains of about 30 who were either killed on Oct. 7 or died in captivity.
Since Israel launched its retaliatory assault in Gaza, its military has killed 28,000 Palestinians, according to health officials in the territory.
With Post wires