Israel-Palestine conflict: IDF ‘mistakenly’ kills three hostages in Gaza

The Israel Defence Forces on Friday (December 15, 2023) said it ‘mistakenly’ killed three hostages during its campaign in Gaza.

IDF kills three hostages in Gaza. Photo Courtesy: IDF X page 

IDF said they were misidentified as a ‘threat’.

“During combat in Shejaiya, the IDF mistakenly identified 3 Israeli hostages as a threat and as a result, fired toward them and the hostages were killed,” the IDF said in a post on X platform.

“The IDF began reviewing the incident immediately. The IDF emphasizes that this is an active combat zone in which ongoing fighting over the last few days has occurred. Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field,” IDF aid.

“The IDF expresses deep remorse over the tragic incident and sends the families its heartfelt condolences. Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home,” read the post.

They were named as Yotam Haim, 28, Samer Talalka, 22, and Alon Shamriz, 26, reports BBC.

Over 100 hostages are still believed to be in captivity in Gaza.

They were captured on October 7 attack by Hamas members.

The UN Spokesperson has welcomed the announcement on Friday (December 15, 2023)  by the Israeli cabinet that the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the Gaza Strip will be reopened.

Until the Hamas-led terror attacks of 7 October and Israel’s full-scale military response which has devastated much of the enclave, the crossing from Israel was the main route for commercial goods into Gaza.

Until now, limited humanitarian aid has only been allowed to pass through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, which serves mainly as a pedestrian crossing, although aid truck inspections have been taking place at Kerem Shalom, creating a complex and time-consuming route for lifesaving deliveries.

“The fast implementation of this agreement will increase the flow of aid”, said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, adding that “a humanitarian ceasefire will increase the distribution of that aid across Gaza even more.”

According to news reports, once details are finalized, aid will be offloaded on the Gaza side of Kerem Shalom.

Dujarric said that UN humanitarians with the Aid Coordination Office OCHA have reported that much of Gaza on Friday remained flooded following heavy rains “compounding already extreme human suffering.”