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Israel-Hamas war live updates: 2 hostages rescued

Fear spreads in Rafah as Israel prepares ground assault

NBC News spoke with displaced Gazans who said they fear time is running out as Israel prepares a ground incursion into areas crowded with civilians.

“We’re so scared, we don’t know where to go. There is a lot of people here,” one young woman said. “Rafah is so small.”

“We are people just like you. I am terrified of what is going to happen to me and my family,” another said. “I have already lost my brother — I don’t want to lose anybody else.”

Israeli forces say they rescued 2 hostages

The Israel Defense Forces today said its troops rescued two hostages abducted during Hamas militants’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

In a statement, the IDF identified the two as Louis Har, 70, and Fernando Simon Marman, 60, from a community called Nir Yitzhak. It said the two were rescued overnight during a mission in Rafah.

Israeli Hostages Rescued Gaza
Louis Har, left, and Fernando Simon Marman.Hostages and Missing Families Forum via AP

“They are both in good medical condition and were transferred for further medical examination in Israel,” IDF said, adding that the mission was conducted alongside the Israel Security Agency and Israel Police.

Officials in Israel say roughly 136 hostages from Oct. 7 remain held by militants.

Wounded children in Rafah following strikes

Rafah Airstrike Gaza
Mohammed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

Somay al-Najar comforts her brother Yamen following Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today.Smoke billows from buildings in Rafah during the early morning following strikes overnight.

A series of Israeli air strikes on the southern Gaza town of Rafah on February 12, 2024 killed 52 people, according to the Hamas-ruled territory's health ministry.
Said Khatib / AFP via Getty Images

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