Operation Golden Hand, 1:49 am: Israeli special forces raid a building in Rafah and rescue 2 hostages

Today, 12 February Jerusalem time, in a daring raid, Israeli special forces successfully rescued 2 hostages from the 2nd floor of an apartment building in Rafah, Gaza, while under fire (ref. 1). The 2 hostages are 2 brothers-in-law, Argentinian-Israeli dual citizens, Fernando Merman aged 60 and Luis Har aged 70. Both men along with 3 others of their family were taken captive from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak during Hamas’ attack on 7 October 2023. The others were released during a ceasefire that same year.

The operation, codenamed “Golden Hand” (ref. 1), involved Shin Bet, Israel Police counterterrorism force Yamam, the 7th Armored Brigade, Shayetet 13 Naval Commandos, and the Israeli Air Force. Only one Israeli soldier was slightly wounded.

When it was over, the 2 former captives, Fernando and Luis, were transferred to Sheba Medical Centre and reunited with their families.

Over the last few days, several countries including the USA, Egypt, and even Australia, warned Israel that going into Rafah would be a bad idea. The outcome of this operation proves that they are mistaken.

i24News on Operation Golden Hand

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the operation began “1:49 am” local time (ref. 1). It was precisely at that moment that Israeli special forces breached the apartment in Rafah.

That this rescue happened today, on the 12th, as in the 12 tribes of Jacob, and that it commenced precisely at 1:49 am, as in the number 49, and that this operation was codenamed “Golden Hand” – all of that together – suggests an angel of God was involved. Either an angel such as the archangel Michael was involved, or else this was a statement by the government of Israel about the number 49.

As I have explained in previous posts, towards the end of Isaiah 49, God promises that all of the captives of Israel that are supposed to survive will be delivered. When ISIS begins its onslaught, they will take many more captives, and they will scatter much of the population of the nation of Israel (ref. Nahum 2:2, Joel 3:2).

I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Joel 3:2

Nevertheless, the Bible prophesies that, in the end – ie. several years from now – all of the captives shall be delivered, and all of the scattered shall be gathered.

This is because Jesus Christ, who is the LORD and also the mighty One of Jacob, is the Saviour and Redeemer of Israel.

… and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 49:26

Some nations will obey Jesus Christ when he arrives, and so they will yield and willingly set free the Israelis that they are holding captive (ref. Isaiah 49:22).

Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

Isaiah 49:22

Others will be compelled to set free the Israelis that they are holding captive because of the power of the angels and saints of Jesus Christ (ref. Isaiah 49:24-26).

Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

Isaiah 49:24-25

This is the significance of the 1:49, in regard to Israelis taken captive, current and future.


1. i24News (12 February 2024), “Golden Hand: IDF special forces rescue 2 hostages in daring overnight operation in Rafah”, i24news.tv