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Israel Kills Three Israeli Hostages in Gaza

December 15, 2023

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have its forces killed three Israeli hostages in the northern town of Shejaiya, Gaza. Israeli military spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, announced on the evening of 15 December that the hostages were mistakenly identified as a threat during an IDF operation.

The deceased, Yotam Haim,  Samer Talalka and Alon Lulu Shamriz, were among those kidnapped by Hamas during the 7 October attacks in Israel. Haim and Shamriz were taken by Hamas from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, while Talalka was taken from Kibbutz Nir Am.

Expressing deep remorse over the incident, the IDF issued a statement conveying heartfelt condolences to the families of the three individuals. Hagari emphasized the IDF’s full responsibility for the killings and announced the opening of a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts of the case.

The IDF stressed that it intends to locate and return all hostages to Israel.

“Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home,” a statement by the IDF stressed.

According to Israeli media reports, IDF forces operating in Shejaiya, fired upon the hostages under the mistaken belief that they posed an immediate threat. Doubts regarding the identities of the deceased arose during subsequent searches, leading to the transfer of their bodies to Israel for examination.

Earlier this week, the IDF reported that almost a fifth of Israeli soldiers who died in Gaza were killed due to friendly fire.


After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.

Over 18,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including at least 7,000 children — and over 41,316 others injured. Meanwhile, at least 259 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and at least 3,365 have been injured.

The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been de-escalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.

Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

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