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Who are Fernando Marman and Luis Har, two hostages released by the Israeli army during the Rafah operation?

After 129 days of captivity, they will be able to reunite with their loved ones. Two Hamas hostages were released this Sunday, February 11, during a special operation by the Israeli army, the IDF announced on the night of Sunday to Monday.

Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Luis Har, 70, were kidnapped on October 7 during Hamas attacks on Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak in southern Israel. Two sons-in-law of Israeli-Argentine origin were kidnapped along with three other members of their family. Clara, Gabriela and Mia were released on November 28 after 53 days of detention as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas under Qatari auspices that allowed for the release of about a hundred hostages, mostly women and children.

The whole family is finally freed

All of Marman’s siblings were kidnapped during the attacks: Clara (62 years old), Fernando (60 years old) and Gabriela (59 years old). These three hostages were joined by Luis (70), Clara’s partner, and Mia (17), Gabriela’s daughter. She was the one who managed to keep her dog Bella captive and take her with her when she was released.

The family gathered at Clara and Luis’s house for the Sukkot holiday, while Fernando lived the rest of the time in Kibbutz Kfar Saba, and Gabriela and Mia in Jerusalem. Terrorists attacked their house on the morning of October 7. The five family members then took refuge in a secure room in the building, blocking the door with a chair. But this was not enough, and each of them was taken away. The house was found empty around 4:00 pm when the Israeli army arrived.

Fernando Marman came to Israel from Argentina decades ago with his two other sisters. He is now 60 years old. Before his abduction, he worked in a furniture and decor store. Louis Har is the father of four children and grandfather of ten. His family immigrated to Israel in 1971, also from Argentina. A septuagenarian man has just retired after working as an accountant all his life, and his partner is still working as a kindergarten teacher. Shortly before the kidnapping, Luis sent his daughter a final text message in which he said: “They’re breaking down the door, they’re breaking down everything.”

Operation “in the heart of Rafah”

During a press conference on Monday morning, an Israeli army spokesman said the operation had been in preparation “for some time.” “Early in the morning, at 1:49 am. (Israeli time)Special forces broke into a building in the center of Rafah,” he added, adding that there was “air cover” with “a wave of Israeli air strikes.”

According to him, two hostages were on the second floor. Israeli soldiers reportedly protected them “with their bodies” during the evacuation, which “provoked a daring battle and fierce firefights” in “several places.” The two men were airlifted to Sheba Hospital in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, where they arrived at about 3:15 a.m.

The Argentine Presidential Office also welcomed the news on X (formerly Twitter) and thanked the Israeli army. Newly elected President Javier Miley made a trip to Israel in early February, during which he pressed Benjamin Netanyahu that the two men be released as soon as possible.

Help for their families

Around 3 a.m., the families of the two men received the news they had been waiting for more than four months: “We received a call from the Israeli authorities and said: Fernando and Luis are in our hands, come to them at the hospital.. We were shocked. We didn’t expect this. But we jumped in the car and came here,” reacted Idan Bejerano, Luis Jara’s son-in-law.

“We were able to see them. From what we have been able to see, they are under medical supervision and bedridden. They look good, so to speak. They undergo a series of tests surrounded by doctors and nurses. The most important thing is that they are surrounded by family,” he added, speaking to reporters outside the hospital. “When we saw them, there were a lot of tears, hugs, but few words (…) We are happy today, but we did not win. This is just another step towards bringing home the hostages still held in Gaza, he recalled.

Source: Le Parisien

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