The recent Israeli raid in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, which successfully freed four hostages, has also resulted in significant casualties. The operation, described by the Israeli military as a major success in the ongoing eight-month war, left at least 274 Palestinians and one Israeli commando dead. The raid has sparked a wave of reactions, highlighting both the tactical success and the humanitarian cost of the mission.

The raid occurred during the midday heat, catching Hamas militants and civilians by surprise. According to the Israeli military, the operation aimed to rescue Noa Argamani, a 26-year-old iconic figure in the hostage crisis, and three male hostages-Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41. These individuals were among those abducted during the October 7 attack that triggered the current conflict.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman, detailed the meticulous planning that went into the operation, which involved weeks of rehearsals on life-size models of the buildings where the hostages were held. "It needs to be like a surgical operation, like a brain operation," Hagari said, emphasizing the precision required.

The operation's success hinged on the element of surprise and the simultaneous targeting of two buildings. Hagari explained that attacking both locations simultaneously was crucial to prevent the captors from harming the hostages upon hearing commotion. The exact methods of how Israeli forces infiltrated the refugee camp remain undisclosed, but previous operations suggest some commandos might have disguised themselves as Palestinians and spoken fluent Arabic.

The rescue team faced significant challenges, particularly during the extraction of the three male hostages. Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, an officer in an elite police commando unit, was mortally wounded in the firefight. The rescue vehicle carrying the hostages got stuck, leading to intense exchanges of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. Israeli forces called in heavy air and land strikes to cover the evacuation, resulting in numerous Palestinian casualties.

Mohamed al-Habash, a displaced Palestinian, described the chaos and destruction, noting, "We heard very loud bombing and heavy gunfire. We saw many fighter jets flying over the area." The bombardment led to significant casualties among the Palestinian population, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting 274 deaths and around 700 injuries, including 64 children and 57 women.

The aftermath of the raid saw a deluge of casualties at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, one of the few remaining functional medical facilities in the area. Samuel Johann, a coordinator with Doctors Without Borders, described the scene as a "nightmare," with back-to-back mass casualties overwhelming the already strained hospital resources.

Hamas later claimed that three other hostages, including an American, were killed during the bombardment, though they provided no evidence to support this. The Israeli army has refrained from responding to such statements from Hamas, labeling them as terrorist propaganda.

In a series of interviews across major networks, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed U.S. involvement in supporting the Israeli operation, though he clarified that no U.S. troops were on the ground. "We have generally provided support to the [Israel Defense Force] so that we can try to get all of the hostages home, including the American hostages who are still being held," Sullivan told CNN.

Sullivan also reiterated the U.S.'s stance on the conflict, urging both sides to agree to President Joe Biden's three-phase plan to end the war in Gaza. However, he acknowledged that neither Israel nor Hamas has agreed to the ceasefire plan. He stressed that Hamas's tactics, which involve using civilian populations as shields, make it difficult to avoid civilian casualties.

Despite the humanitarian concerns, Sullivan emphasized the U.S.'s unwavering support for Israel's right to defend itself and rescue hostages. "The U.S. will support Israel in taking steps to try and rescue hostages who are currently held by Hamas, and we will continue to work with Israel to do that," Sullivan stated. He also mentioned that while the U.S. supports Israel, it continues to urge the country to take extra precautions to protect civilians.