Argentinian-Israeliselis Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were rescued from the Rafah region, as Israeli air strikes killed 164 people in just one 24-hour period
Two Israeli hostages taken in the October 7 attack were rescued as Israeli air strikes killed 164 people in Gaza.
Argentinian-Israeliselis Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, were rescued from the Rafah region. The Israeli army said they were in good condition. Hamas militants seized them from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak in the cross-border attack that sparked the current Israel-Hamas war.
The joy for the rescued captives and their families came as 37 deaths in the Gaza-Egypt border city of Rafah due to Israeli airstrikes took Gaza’s death toll for the previous 24 hours to 164, said Health Ministry officials.
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said Israel should “stop and think” before taking any further action in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost town and where most aid is brought into the Strip. Several members of the Hamas-run police force have been killed there in recent days.
The head of refugee agency UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini said this had led to aid trucks being looted, as police were now reluctant to provide protection. He also said a month’s worth of UNRWA food for a million people was held up in the Israeli port of Ashdod as contractors had been instructed not to handle it.
After a meeting with Mr Lazzarini, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell had a blunt message for the US and other countries providing weapons being used in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. He said: “If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed.”
The EU’s top diplomat also expressed concern about the likelihood of an imminent Israeli ground assault on Rafah. He said: “They are going to evacuate. Where to, the moon? Where are they going to evacuate these people?”
The threat of a ground invasion came as the UK issued sanctions against four settlers in the West Bank who have been accused of human rights abuses. Moshe Sharvit, Yinon Levy, Zvi Bar Yosef and Ely Federman are now subject to a UK assets freeze as well as travel and visa bans.
Lord Cameron said: “Extremist Israeli settlers are threatening Palestinians, often at gunpoint, and forcing them off land that is rightfully theirs. This behaviour is illegal and unacceptable. Israel must also take stronger action and put a stop to settler violence.”
The Israeli military said it had conducted a “series of strikes” in southern Gaza yesterday, now concluded. It did not elaborate on targets or assess potential damage or casualties.
On Sunday, US President Joe Biden warned Israel against launching a ground invasion of Rafah without a “credible” plan to protect the area’s civilians.
But Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu later appeared in a defiant mood, telling the media: “We’re going to do it. We’re going to get the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah.”