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Israeli army mistakenly killed three hostages held in Gaza, says IDF

Israeli army mistakenly killed three hostages held in Gaza, says IDF

Israeli military officials have said that the army has killed three captives held by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza after ‘mistakenly’ identifying them as a threat, reports Al Jazeera.

The incident occurred on Friday during the fighting with Palestinian groups, and the military expressed condolences to the families. The Israeli army said that there would be “full transparency” in the investigation into the incident, which is “under review”, reports Al Jazeera.

“During combat in Shujayea, the [Israeli army] mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed,” the army said in a statement.

“The [Israeli army] began reviewing the incident immediately … Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all [Israeli army] troops in the field,” it added, expressing “deep remorse over the tragic incident”, reports Al Jazeera.

The hostages were identified as three young men, 28-year-old Yotam Haim, 25-year-old Samer Al-Talalka and 26-year-old Alon Shamriz, who were kidnapped from Israeli communities during the Hamas attack on October 7.

The army’s chief spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said that Israeli troops found the hostages and erroneously identified them as a threat, believing that the three had either fled their captors or been abandoned.

The fierce battle between the Israeli troops and the Palestinian fighters continues in the area.

Israel’s war on Gaza, triggered by a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, has so far killed more than 18,700 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, most of them women and children. Thousands more are missing and trapped beneath the rubble.

The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that bringing home all of the hostages is one of its principal aims in the war. Until now, 110 of the captives have been freed, mostly during a seven-day truce last month, in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the besieged enclave’s postwar future.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed concern over Israel’s failure to reduce civilian casualties and its plans for the future of Gaza. However, the White House continues to offer wholehearted support for Israel with weapons shipments and diplomatic backing.

Israeli air strikes and shelling continued Friday, including in the southern city of Rafah.

With agency inputs

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TAGS:#HamasGaza stripWorld NewsIsrael Palestine ConflictIDF
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