FACT CHECK: Hostages Rescued By IDF Were Not Freed In December

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on X claims that the pair of hostages rescued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were freed in December 2023.

Verdict: False

The hostages were rescued in February, not in December. The article in the post had been updated to note that the hostages had been rescued.

Fact Check:

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently rescued two hostages from Rafah, Gaza, in an operation, the first successful hostage rescue since October 2023, according to the Times of Israel.

Social media users are claiming that the hostages were not actually rescued, but released. The users shared an image of a Times of Israel article that notes one of the hostages, Louis Har, was freed and that the article was published in December.

One user wrote, “This guy is either the most unlucky person in the world, to be held hostage by Hamas twice in 2 months, following his release in Dec 23 acc to the article on the left, or they lie, and they lie, and they lie……”

However, this is false. The Times of Israel originally reported in December 2023 that Har was still being held hostage, according to archived screenshots from the Wayback Machine. Once the operation actually occurred, it updated its article to note that Har had been freed.

“Norberto Louis Har was rescued from captivity in Rafah in a daring military operation on February 12, 2024. This is the story of his capture,” reads the update.

An IDF spokesperson told Check Your Fact that the claim “is obviously false.” The IDF also published footage of the hostage rescue operation.

We rate the claim that the hostages had already been freed as false.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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