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In Gaza, the IDF executed three Israeli hostages by mistake. So far, this is what we know.

By Jennifer Dec 17, 2023
Β©nbc news


When three Israeli hostagesΒ were slain on Friday, it is believed that they had either fled or been deserted by Hamas. They were carrying a white flag.

During fighting with Hamas in the Gaza district of Shijaiyah on Friday, Israel Defense Forces personnel shot and killed three Israeli hostages, according to the IDF.

Three were “mistakenly” labeled as a “threat,” according to an IDF spokeswoman on X at 1:17 p.m. ET on Friday. Since then, Israelis have expressed their sorrow and rage at the serious error.

This is a chronology of what happened, beginning with the kidnapping of the three hostages.

taken captive by Hamas
Later on, Alon Shamriz, Yotam Haim, and Samer Talalka were recognized as the three people who were killed on Friday. Along with more than 200 other captives, they were all captured by Hamas on October 7, the day the war began.

According to the IDF, Shamriz was kidnapped by Hamas from Gaza City on October 7.

Shamriz’s family lost communication with him around 10:02 a.m. on October 7, according to the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, when he called his older brother Yonatan, who assured him “that the family loves and supports him.”Israeli hostages

Israeli hostages
Yotam Haim and Samer Talalka.AP

On October 7, Hamas seized Haim from Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

According to a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, he told his family that his house had burned down when he spoke to them the day the battle started. He spoke with his parents up until 10:44 a.m., at which point he unlocked his window and let Hamas abduct him.Israeli hostages

On October 7, Hamas kidnapped Talalka from Kibbutz Nir Am.

According to a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, Talalka, the eldest of ten children, worked in a chicken hatchery near the kibbutz with his father and brothers. He lived in the village of Hura.

On October 7, while at the chicken hatchery with his father, he called his sister to report that he had been shot by Hamas. The statement stated that the call was then disconnected.Israeli hostages

Run away or leave
How the three hostages got to be in Shijaiyah is still a mystery. The three either “fled or were abandoned by terrorists who held them captive, and during the last few days, or this day, they reached the point they reached,” according to IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari during a news conference on Friday.Israeli hostages

“We estimate that they either managed to escape or were abandoned, and unfortunately the tragic results of the event ended in their deaths,” Hagari continued, “based on the intelligence that we hold β€” every day there is a situation assessment regarding both airstrikes and ground action.”

‘White fabric’ being waved
An IDF officer claimed on Saturday that after fierce fighting between IDF soldiers and Hamas in Shijaiyah, the three hostages emerged close to an IDF position.Israeli hostages

The official stated, “They had a stick with a white cloth on it, and they were all without shirts.”

According to the official, an IDF soldier opened fire on the group, instantly killing two of the hostages and wounding a third who fled back into the building. A commander responded to a call for assistance in Hebrew by declaring a cease-fire, but the official stated that another round of gunfire claimed the life of the third hostage. It’s unclear whether the third victim of the gunshot perished from wounds sustained in the initial round of gunfire or from the second one.

“We’re still looking to see if there’s a connection between that building and the hostages,” the official stated, pointing out that there was a building nearby with “markings of SOS” on it.

The official declared, “This was against our rules of engagement.” “It was against our rules of engagement, again.”

Hagari did not address questions at his press conference regarding whether the IDF soldiers attempted to identify the three hostages before to firing, or if the hostages raised their arms and made Hebrew noises before being shot.

Concerns concerning the Israeli hostages’ IDs surface

According to Hagari, the identification of the three guys who were slain raised suspicions among the IDF troops.Israeli hostages

Supporters of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas demonstrate outside the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv on Friday.Ahmad Gharabli / AFP via Getty Images

It was established that the three bodies were actually three Israeli hostages after they were moved to Israeli territory for analysis, according to Hagari.

Hagari claimed that after the bodies were transferred to the “Hatzvi” Center at the Shura Camp for more testing, they were recognized.

The families of the deceased were then informed by the Israeli police and the IDF.

IDF started looking into the event “right away.”
According to Hagari, the IDF started investigating the event “immediately.”Israeli hostages

Hagari stated, “The IDF emphasizes that this is an active combat zone where fighting has been ongoing for the last few days.” “All IDF soldiers in the field have received the immediate lessons that have been learned from the incident.”

Two of the dead hostages were recognized Israeli hostages
Haim and Talalka were the first two of the three murdered on Friday, according to the IDF.

In a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, Haim, who was 28 years old when he was slain, was described as having “long ginger hair and beautiful blue eyes that you could get lost in.” He was also described as a “gifted musician” who had played drums for 20 years. On October 7, he was scheduled to play at a metal music festival in Tel Aviv.

In a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, Talalka, who was 25 years old when he was slain, was described as a “avid motorcyclist who loved to ride around the countryside and spend time with friends.”

The family of the third hostage requested that his identity not be made public right away.

According to Benny Gantz, his “heart is broke.”Israeli hostages
“Learning about the tragedy that occurred last evening has devastated my heart. The entire country of Israel is in tears with the families, and I want to hug them. Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz declared on Friday, “I strengthen all the families of the abductees, as well as the soldiers who are deep in the territory and are carrying out a complex and important task of which we have not known since the establishment of the state.”

He went on, “The campaign’s accompanying pain intensifies in the face of the trying event.” “We must win the war, and bringing the kidnappees home will be a necessary part of that victory.” We’ll stop at nothing to save their lives.

Netanyahu expressed “deep sorrow”Israeli hostages
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, “Together with the entire people of Israel, I bow my head in deep sorrow and mourn the fall of three of our dear sons who were kidnapped, among them Yotam Chaim and Samer Fouad al-Talalka.”

He described the event as “an unbearable tragedy,” saying that “this evening, the entire state of Israel will mourn.”

Alon Shamriz.Shamriz family via AP

He went on, “I strengthen our brave warriors who, even at great personal sacrifice, enter the sacred mission of returning our abducted.” “We will bind up our wounds, learn from this difficult evening, and continue to do everything in our power to get all of our abductees home safely.”

Minister of Defense: “Every Israeli feels the pain of this mistake”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday, “At this difficult time, my heart and thoughts are with the families of the three abductees who were accidentally killed by IDF fire in the Gaza Strip.” “We have to exercise patience and keep fighting for our citizens, soldiers, and kidnappees because these are trying times and the mistake hurts every Israeli, no matter who he is.”

In order to “learn about the circumstances of the tragic event and to ensure that lessons are learned immediately,” he claimed to have spoken with the chief of staff.

The third hostage to die was identified
Alon Shamriz was identified as the third Israeli hostage to have died later on Friday, according to the IDF.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum released a statement on his behalf. He was 26 years old at the time of his death and resided in Kibbutz Kfar Aza’s Young Generation area.Israeli hostages

According to the statement, Shamriz was a “lover of life and a dedicated basketball fan.” In addition, he was scheduled to begin his first year of computer engineering studies at Sapir College.

Kirby issues a caution against “broad judgment.”The incident was described as “heartbreaking” and “tragic” by White House national security spokesperson John Kirby on Friday. He also noted that “obviously, this is not an outcome that anybody wanted to see.”

According to Kirby, “I’m sure the Israelis will look into this and do the forensics to try to figure out… how this happened.” “That’s definitely how we would handle this kind of situationβ€”you want to know as many details as possible.”

He continued by cautioning against drawing a “broad judgment about the specific circumstances here” and pointing out that Israel might strike Gaza more “precisely.”Israeli hostages

Tel Aviv demonstrators demand the release of the remaining hostages.
When word leaked out about the three captives that the IDF had erroneously killed, protests broke out in Tel Aviv on Friday night.

“Set the captives free! Now!” demonstrators yelled during Friday’s spontaneous march.

As they urged the Israeli government to take further action to free the remaining hostages, hundreds of people gathered in the street in front of Israel’s Defense Ministry.

Guy Anitz, 30, stated, “We’re asking our government to do more to bring them backβ€”and safe.” He added that he attributed most of the IDF’s unintentional hostage-taking incident to Hamas.

Samer Talalka was buried early on Saturday.Israeli hostages
Hura hosted Talalka’s burial early on Saturday. There were hundreds present.

On camera, mourners were seen lowering Talalka’s body into the grave and covering it with soil.

The declaration of Hamas
Abu Ubaida, a representative for Hamas, stated on Saturday that the enemy “is still gambling with the lives of its soldiers captured by the resistance, not caring about the feelings of their families.”

Three of them were purposefully killed yesterday, and as a result, they were let free. In a frantic bid to free itself of the burden, it has engaged in the same flagrantly illegal activity against its detainees in Gaza and continues to do so. He is well-versed in this file and its rights.

The incident on Friday was described as “a difficult and painful event” by the chief of staff of the IDF.
Three Israeli hostages were killed on Saturday, according to Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who called it “a difficult and painful event.”Israeli hostages

“The three hostages, having endured 70 days of misery, advanced on IDF soldiers and met their demise at the hands of our forces’ gunfire. The survival of the captives is the only goal that the IDF soldiers and their commanders in the Gaza Strip have. We weren’t effective in this instance, Halevi said.

According to Halevi, he and the IDF are to blame for their deaths and are making efforts to ensure that a similar incident never occurs.

Halevi went on, “I think the three hostages did everything possible so that we would understand β€” they moved around shirtless so that we wouldn’t suspect them of carrying explosives and they held a white cloth, but the tension overcame all of the above,” adding that it is “forbidden to shoot at someone who raises a white flag and seeks to surrender” and that “the shooting at the hostages was against the rules of engagement.”

But this shooting was done under duress and during warfare, according to Halevi.Israeli hostages

He added that it is the responsibility of the IDF to free captives who have been abandoned or who have escaped, and that the IDF’s examination of the situation is enabling it to learn from it and impart those lessons to forces engaged in combat.

“The complexity of our justifiable war in Gaza has been demonstrated in a single moment,” he declared.

By Jennifer


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