Tuesday Briefing

Buildings where two Israeli hostages had reportedly been held were destroyed yesterday in Rafah.Credit…Fatima Shbair/Associated Press

Israel rescued two hostages in a deadly operation

Israeli special operations forces freed two hostages in the Gazan city of Rafah, the military said, as Israeli attacks killed dozens of Palestinians in the city, according to the Gazan health ministry.

The rescue prompted elation in Israel, where the fate of more than 100 people kidnapped during the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7 had become a national priority. But the raid fueled mourning and panic among more than a million Palestinians who had crowded into Rafah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has said that Israeli ground forces are preparing to enter Rafah to eliminate Hamas battalions there. The prospect of ground battles in the city has created worldwide alarm over the risks to civilians who want to flee.

The intensity and death toll of the operation made clear Netanyahu’s determination to press ahead with the southern offensive despite criticism from the U.S. and other allies.

The hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, both dual citizens of Israel and Argentina, were in good condition.

A survivor’s story: Dareen al-Bayaa, 11, spoke in a video with The Times about her grief and recovery after losing many family members in an airstrike in Gaza.

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