Two freed Israeli hostages were reunited with their families on Monday, after Israeli forces rescued them early Monday, storming a heavily guarded apartment in the southern Gaza Strip and extracting the captives under fire in a dramatic raid that was a small but symbolically significant success for Israel.
The operation killed at least 50 Palestinians, including women and children, according to Palestinian health officials in the beleaguered territory.
To assist the rescue forces, heavy airstrikes pounded the area near the apartment in Rafah, a city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war.
The raid was celebrated in Israel, which has been seeking the release of more than 100 captives held by Hamas and other militant groups.
The army identified the rescued hostages as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, abducted by Hamas militants from Kibbutz Nir Yizhak in the Oct. 7 cross-border attack that triggered the war.
Har and Marman were kidnapped from a home along with three other relatives who were freed in the late-November deal. No other family members of theirs remain in Gaza, Israeli media reported.