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Israel's controversial rescue operation

Jun 10, 2024

Jerusalem [Israel], June 10: The Israeli army yesterday announced that the health of four hostages rescued from the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip a day earlier was completely stable. All four people, including one woman and three men, were kidnapped at a music event on October 7, 2023, when Hamas forces suddenly attacked Israel, killing about 1,200 people.
Unexpected raid
Information about the "complex, risky" rescue operation by the Israeli army was revealed in more detail by the military and media yesterday. According to Axios , the campaign was supposed to take place a few weeks ago but was postponed due to operational reasons. The operation was just approved by the Israeli war cabinet last week amid Minister Benny Gantz's threat to withdraw from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition. A few days earlier, the Israeli army attacked the surrounding area to weaken Hamas's defense line. They even built two similar buildings to conduct rehearsals in advance.
The raid officially began at 11 a.m. on June 8 to create a surprise. Israeli commando groups, with US intelligence support, stormed two houses 200 meters apart in a densely populated area of ​​Nuseirat to rescue the hostages. The hostages were kept in civilian houses under strict guard by Hamas gunmen. The gun battle took place fiercely, Israeli soldiers set up shields around the hostages and took them to two helicopters waiting on the beach before withdrawing back home. An Israeli commander was injured and later died.
Local authorities run by Hamas announced that at least 210 Palestinians were killed and more than 400 injured in the rescue operation, which included overnight air strikes, according to AFP.
The Israeli military said dozens of Hamas gunmen were killed in the operation, and confirmed that civilians were injured, although the number was not specified. Hamas military wing spokesman Abu Ubaida said several other hostages lost their lives in the rescue. In response, Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner called it a "blatant lie". After the rescue, there were 116 hostages remaining in the Gaza Strip, including 41 people who were confirmed by the Israeli military to be no longer alive, according to AFP.
In Israel, people poured into the streets to celebrate while international leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron also welcomed. Mr. Biden announced that he will not stop efforts until all hostages are saved and a ceasefire is established in the Gaza Strip. However, Israel's campaign is likely to have the effect of complicating negotiation efforts.
In a statement on June 8, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared that he would not surrender and continue the resistance to protect rights. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PJI), an ally of Hamas in Gaza, yesterday said that the Israeli campaign would not affect the agreement negotiations and affirmed that the conditions would remain the same, referring to the request to Tel. Aviv withdrew his troops and ended the fighting. President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council on the rescue operation, which he called a "bloody massacre" by Israeli forces.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper