As its tanks reached the gates of Gaza City in a gradual ground offensive to end the Hamas fundamentalist group in the Gaza Strip, Israel announced this Monday the rescue of the soldier Ori Meguidish, 19 years old, kidnapped in the Palestinian attack on October 7. He Black Saturday Israeli government that has turned October into a hellish month for Gazans.
After several days of preparation, the special operation of the army and the internal secret service (Shabak) took place on Sunday night and ended in an exchange of fire with militants linked to Hamas. The soldier, who served at the Nahal Oz border base, had been alone with the terrorists in the Gaza Strip for more than three weeks. “Ori spoke amazingly with a great memory. We will not reveal anything here, since it is information that we must use”, the army revealed. The rescue, unprecedented in the Palestinian enclave, raises spirits in an Israel traumatized after the worst attack in its history (1,400 dead), gives hope to the families of the remaining 238 kidnapped people and raises doubts in the ranks of Hamas, which was in euphoria after its attack defined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the worst savagery our people have seen since the Holocaust.”
“This is a turning point for leaders and nations. It is time for all of us to decide whether we are willing to fight for a future of hope and promise or surrender to tyranny and terror,” Netanyahu told foreign press in a intervention in which, after mentioning the beheadings, massacres and violations of 7-O and the “terrorist use of hospitals and mosques”, he assured that he would not accept a truce because it would be “surrendering to barbarism and terror.” “Since October 7, Israel has been at war. Israel did not start this war nor did it want it, but it will win it,” he concluded.
The ground offensive is accompanied by drones, helicopters and fighters that hit any Hamas commando that tries to surprise the soldiers in the north of the Strip. According to Palestinian testimonies, Israeli troops sometimes reached the strategic Salahadin highway, located three kilometers from the border and which runs through the Palestinian area from north to south.
The ground operation, which began on Friday afternoon without an official declaration and under the ambiguous concept of “expansion of incursions”, unprecedented bombings and a communications blackout in Gaza, is more cautious than expected and includes fighting with the arm armed Hamas.