The Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization issued a statement Monday morning complaining about the overnight rescue of two Israeli hostages by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), claiming that the rescue had caused a “massacre” in the city of Rafah.
As Breitbart News reported, Israeli forces conducted a daring raid into Rafah, which is on the Egyptian border, despite having been warning just hours before by U.S. President Joe Biden not to attack Hamas in Rafah without a plan for protecting civilians.
In so doing, Israel freed Fernando Simon Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70, killing dozens of in the process.
The Times of Israel reported:
Hamas in its initial response to the IDF rescue of two hostages rails against “the massacre the Israeli army conducted in Rafah tonight” and blames the US “for giving the green light to Netanyahu.”
Hamas calls the operation a continuation of the “genocidal war” and the forced displacement attempts against the Palestinian people.
The exact death toll on the Palestinian side is unclear; the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry said that over 100 people had been killed, without distinguishing between terrorists and civilians. Footage circulated of the alleged site of the rescue and battle.
من مكان العملية على رفح فجر اليوم pic.twitter.com/gfCSCOldN0— حسن اصليح | Hassan (@hassaneslayeh) February 12, 2024
Roughly 130 hostages remain in Gaza. Rafah is Hamas’s last stronghold, and the terrorist organization has warned that if Israel attacks Rafah, it will stop negotiating for the hostages’ release.
Talks have faltered because Hamas insists on ending the war in response to any release of hostages, a condition that would allow Hamas to survive and to attack Israel again in the future.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.