Israeli hostages shot dead by IDF troops were holding up WHITE FLAGDecember 16, 2023
Israeli hostages shot dead by IDF troops in Gaza were holding up WHITE FLAG when they were mistaken for Hamas terrorists
Three Israeli hostages killed mistakenly in Gaza by Israeli forces had been holding up a white flag on a stick, according to an initial inquiry into the incident, a military official has revealed today.
The incident happened in an area of intense combat where Hamas terrorists operate in civilian attire and use deception tactics, the official said.
The hostages were fired upon against Israel’s rules of engagement, the official added.
The military said Yotam Haim, Alon Shamriz and Samer El-Talalqa – all in their 20s – were shot during operations in Gaza City.
They were among about 250 people taken hostage during Hamas’s October 7 attacks in Israel, which killed around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli figures.
Three Israeli hostages killed mistakenly in Gaza by Israeli forces had been holding up a white flag. Left to right: Alon Shamriz, Samer El-Talalqa and Yotam Haim
Vowing to destroy Hamas and bring back the hostages, Israel launched a massive military offensive against the Palestinian Islamist movement that has left much of the Gaza Strip in ruins.
The Hamas-run territory’s health ministry says the war has killed at least 18,800 people, mostly women and children.
Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that during fighting in Shejaiya district of Gaza City, troops ‘mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat and as a result, fired toward them and the hostages were killed’.
The military said later it had started ‘reviewing the incident’ and that ‘immediate lessons from the event have been learned’ and passed on to all troops on the ground.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described their deaths as an ‘unbearable tragedy’.
The death of the three hostages sparked anger in Israel, with protesters marching last night to share their anguish and fury.
Scenes from Tel Aviv showed crowds of people, many themselves the families of people kidnapped by Hamas, taking to the streets with banners to mourn and call for the return of Israelis trapped in Gaza.
Protesters held signs calling for an immediate hostage exchange, showed pictures of loved ones now missing for nearly ten weeks while an Israeli flag coated in red paint was left outside the ministry of defence.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the defence ministry, including Merav Svirsky, sister of Hamas-held hostage Itay Svirsky, who said: ‘I am dying of fear. We demand a deal now.’
This is a breaking news story. More to follow.
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