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  • Writer's pictureGrant de Graf

Midnight Rescue

Updated: Feb 13

Hostages Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Norberto Louis Har (70), have been rescued from a daring raid in a Hamas stronghold. (Image AI generated.) This account is based on facts as reported by the IDF and in the media. For security reasons names and details have been changed.

Midnight Rescue in Gaza

In the shadowed silence of Rafah's night, an air of expectancy hung heavy. Despite the quiet, the residents sensed the looming specter of conflict, a constant companion in these parts. Within an abandoned farmhouse, a hive of activity buzzed in stark contrast to the stillness outside. This was no ordinary night; this was the eve of a daring operation that would be whispered about for years to come.

"Yosi, secure the back. Shimi, Avi, you're up top. Smoke grenades at the ready—visibility will be your ally tonight. Stay sharp, every one of you," commanded the team leader, his voice a steady force in the uncertain dark. The ten-man IDF special ops team exchanged glances, their resolve as palpable as the tension in the air. Intelligence had led them here, to a Hamas stronghold, where two lives hung in the balance. The risk was immense, a misstep could mean death, but the mission was clear.

The Stroke of 01:00

As the clock struck 01:00, the team moved. Shadows within shadows, they approached their target: a nondescript building that housed more than just secrets. Inside, Fernando Simon Marman and Norberto Louis Har awaited a fate unknown, their hopes dimming with each passing hour.

The team split, each member a ghost slipping through the night. Shimi and Avi, expert climbers, ascended to the roof, their movements silent as the breeze. Below, Yosi and the others prepared for breach, their hearts racing but their hands steady.

The Breach

The go signal was given, and the night erupted into chaos. Smoke grenades bloomed, creating a shroud for the team as they made their entry. The sound of gunfire shattered the silence, a stark announcement of the rescue underway. Inside, the team faced fierce resistance. Hamas militants, caught off guard but quick to react, engaged in a desperate battle.

Yet, amidst the violence, a singular focus drove the IDF soldiers: protect the hostages at all costs. "Cover them!" shouted the team leader as they located Marman and Har. The soldiers formed a human shield around the two men, their bodies a barrier against the storm of bullets.

The Escape

With the hostages secured, the team fought their way out, every step contested by Hamas gunfire. But the IDF was not alone in their fight. From above, the roar of Israeli aircraft signaled the start of an aerial bombardment, a strategic move to cut off enemy reinforcements and cover the team's extraction.

The operation, a dance of precision and ferocity, continued unabated. The IDF soldiers, unwavering in their commitment, navigated through the chaos, their charges in tow. The night air was alive with the sounds of battle, a testament to the ferocity of the encounter.

Fernando Marman and Louis Har, who were rescued tonight from Gaza, are reunited with their family members, at the Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center.


The operation, lasting just 45 minutes, ended as swiftly as it had begun. The team, along with Marman and Har, emerged from the darkness, the dawn light a soft embrace after the night's ordeal. The hostages were safe, their rescuers battered but unbroken.

At Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital, relief washed over the faces of Marman and Har as they were reunited with their families. The mission had been a gamble, a stark choice between life and death, but it was one the IDF had been prepared to make.

"From the moment of the break-in, our soldiers protected Luis and Fernando with their lives," the IDF spokesperson would later recount, his voice imbued with pride and solemnity. The operation in Rafah was more than a mission; it was a statement, a vow made real by the courage of those who dared to venture into the night.

And so, the story of the midnight rescue in Gaza would be told and retold, a testament to the bravery of the few in the face of the many. In the heart of conflict, amidst the shadows and the fire, hope had been kindled—a beacon shining through the darkness.

Although with God's help, two more hostages are home, we cannot forget about the other 100 plus hostages that remain, always in our hearts, always in our prayers.

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