The Israel Defense Forces says that three Israeli hostages in Gaza were mistakenly identified as a threat and shot dead.
“During combat in Shejaiya (in northern Gaza), the IDF mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said at a briefing Friday.
“During searches and checks in the area in which the incident occurred, a suspicion arose over the identities of the deceased. Their bodies were transferred to Israeli territory for examination, after which it was confirmed that they were three Israeli hostages,” he added.
The hostages have been identified as:
- Samer Talalka, who was kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Am
- Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped from kibbutz Kfar Aza
- Another male hostage whose family requested that his name not be published
The IDF began reviewing the incident immediately, Hagari said. “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.”
“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,” he added.