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PJ Media
PJ Media
16 Dec 2023
Rick Moran

NextImg:Three Israeli Hostages Found Dead and Three More Killed by 'Friendly Fire'

It was, perhaps, the saddest day for Israel since the war began on October 7. Three IDF soldiers fell in combat, bringing the total number of Israeli military personnel killed to 119.

Then, during an operation in Gaza, IDF soldiers came across three bodies that turned out to be hostages seized on October 7. They were sent back to Israel and identified by forensic specialists as two members of the IDF and one French-Israeli civilian.

The returned soldiers were named as Cpl. Nik Beizer, 19, and Sgt. Ron Sherman, 19. The civilian was identified as Elia Toledano, a 28-year-old French-Israeli citizen.

Most cruelly of all, three other hostages were killed after being mistaken for enemy fighters. "The three victims include Yotam Haim and Alon Shamriz, who were abducted from Kfar Aza, and Samer Talalka, who was abducted from Nir Am, all of whom were kidnapped on October 7." reports the Jerusalem Post.

An investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of the friendly fire incident. 

The IDF said that following the incident, acting on a suspicion of the identities of the deceased, their bodies were brought back to Israel for examination where it was determined they had, indeed, been among the hostages.

The IDF added that an investigation was immediately opened into the circumstances of the event. So far, the details regarding what happened have not yet been discussed with the public.

Minister Benny Gantz offered condolences to the grieving families, writing on Friday night that he was "heartbroken upon hearing the news.

"Our troops are carrying out deeply complicated operations, the most important this country has known," he wrote on X. "The pain that follows this war, is now heavier than ever."

Since Hamas doesn't wear any identifying insignias or a uniform, the IDF can't differentiate between hostages and Hamas fighters in most circumstances. This one's on the terrorists.

That doesn't make it any less tragic. And the stories of the hostages recovered by the IDF are no less wrenching.

Cpl. Beizer and Sgt. Sherman were working at the IDF’s Gaza District Coordination and Liaison near the Erez border crossing, facilitating aid to the Palestinians. 

“That’s the irony,” Beizer’s mother Katy Beizer had said previously. “Everyone at this base is taking care of the Palestinians, working so that Gazans can live their lives.”

Sgt. Sherman's story is even more tragic. He was talking to his mother when the attack began.

“They got cut off,” Shalhev Kimchi, his aunt, said previously in a video made by Bring Them Home, the organization helping tell the stories of those who went missing in the Hamas terror onslaught.

When Sherman’s phone call with his mother was cut off, he switched to WhatsApp text messages.

“He told her he loves her,” said his aunt. “That’s it, Mom, they’re here, it’s over, I love you.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on the "unbearable tragedy."

"Together with all of Israel, I mourn and deeply lament the loss of three dear sons who were abducted, among them Yotam Haim and Samar Fuad al-Talalka," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday evening. "This is an unbearable tragedy. The entire State of Israel is grieving tonight. My heart is with the anguished families in this difficult time."

"Even on this difficult evening, we will bandage our wounds, draw lessons, and continue our supreme effort to bring all our captives home safely," he added.

A very difficult day for Israel.