When attempting to discover more about the two hostages who were rescued on February 12th, the first headline that I found on Google was written by The Associated Press and read “Israel-Hamas war: Israeli hostage rescue in Rafah kills 67”. This was a rather striking headline in my opinion. It paints a picture that the rescue of hostages, who had been in captivity for 128 days and had experienced atrocities beyond our comprehension, was a bad thing. So what actually happened? Why did these 67 people die? Is it a bad thing for hostages to be rescued?
The IDF Went Into the Gaza City of Rafah…
Following the IDF’s prior guidance to move into southern Gaza, Rafah has increased in population significantly and many have labeled this as a humanitarian crisis due to the fact that the Gazans have “nowhere else to go”. The international pressure is being placed solely on Israel, despite the fact that Egypt has chosen to leave its borders shut to Gaza civilians.
Preceding the IDF’s entry into southern Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office put out a statement that outlined two imperative understandings. The first was as follows:
“It is impossible to achieve the war goal of eliminating Hamas and leave four Hamas battalions in Rafah.”
This has been the focal point of the war following the October 7th massacre, to dismantle the entirety of Hamas. The dismantling of a hostile terror entity would be just as, if not more, beneficial to the Gazans as it would be to the Israelis. A terrorist group governing a people group, whom they regularly use as “human shields” and keep in poverty, is not a governing body that should stay in place.
The second understanding mentioned in the statement addressed worldwide concerns:
“On the other hand, it is clear that a massive operation in Rafah requires the evacuation of the civilian population from the combat zones.
Israel has been working on a means to evacuate the civilian population to a new and large “tent city” of sorts on the coast, but as of Monday, this proposal had not been approved by the Egyptian government.
The U.S. National Security Spokesman, John Kirby, made this statement regarding the U.S. stance on the Israeli entry into Rafah:
“[The U.S.] never said that they can’t go into Rafah to remove Hamas. Hamas remains a viable threat to the Israeli people. And the Israelis and the IDF, absolutely, are going to continue operations against their leadership and their infrastructure, as they should. We don’t want to see another October 7th.”
Kirby then continued, “What we’ve said is we don’t believe that it’s advisable to go in in a major way in Rafah without a proper, executable, effective, and credible plan for the safety of the more than a million Palestinians that are taking refuge in Rafah. They’ve left the north, and they certainly went south out of Khan Younis to try to get out of the fighting. So, Israel has an obligation to make sure that they can protect them.”
What Happened the Night the Hostages Were Rescued?
In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli special forces breached a building which held two hostages, Fernando Marman and Louis Har. These men were held by armed Hamas terrorists and additional armed gunmen were in the buildings adjacent to the one that housed the hostages. While protecting them with their own bodies, the Israeli forces managed to bring the hostages to safety whilst taking on gunfire from multiple sources simultaneously. Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for the IDF stated: “By 01:50, aerial fire was activated by the Israeli Air Force and Southern Command, to enable the force’s disengagement and to strike Hamas terrorists in the area.”
An eyewitness recalled the night’s events saying that after freeing the hostages, whom he labeled “prisoners”, the IDF ordered aerial strikes on the building that had held the hostages, in addition to the buildings surrounding it.
These freed hostages were taken to Sheba Medical Center to have tests run and have since been reunited with their families. This leaves us with the horrifying question that was provoked by The Associated Press’s headline….
Is it a bad thing for hostages to be rescued?
This should never have to be a question that is even considered, but, unfortunately, in the current anti-Israel climate, this question and multiple other questions that frame Israel as the antagonist are constantly being pushed by the mainstream media. It is absolutely not a bad thing for hostages to be rescued, in fact, this news should be celebrated around the world. Two men, aged 60 and 70, have been freed from the torturous captivity that they had been trapped in for 128 days. All civilian casualties are saddening, however, it must be remembered that Israel did not provoke, nor start this war; Israel has responded defensively to an attack that resulted in over 1,200 Israelis dead and approximately 250 kidnapped. This attack was orchestrated by both members of Hamas and regular citizens in Gaza. Regarding death tolls calculated in Gaza, they do not differentiate between the civilians and terrorists. War has never been and will never be something that can be looked upon without cringing; war is not a pretty or simple thing, but in certain circumstances, such as this, war is entirely necessary. Israel has and continues to take extreme caution in order to preserve civilian lives. Despite the world’s criticism, now is the time to rejoice with the people of Israel that two hostages have been freed from their former captivity and have been able to reunite with their families.