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The Right Scoop
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:IDF provides new tragic details on the 3 hostages mistakenly killed by IDF forces in North Gaza

Yesterday the IDF admitted they had mistakenly killed 3 Israeli hostages on the battlefield in North Gaza.

Today they provide new and tragic details as to why soldiers thought the hostages, who were waving a white flag, were terrorist hostiles.

Emmanuel Fabien with the Times of Israel explains the news:

The IDF provides new details of yesterday’s tragic incident in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, during which three Israeli hostages who managed to escape Hamas captivity were shot dead by troops.

According to a senior officer in the Southern Command, citing an initial probe, the incident began after one soldier stationed in a building identified three suspicious figures exiting a building several dozen meters away.

All three were shirtless, with one of the figures carrying a stick with a makeshift white flag, according to the investigation.

The soldier, who believed the men moving toward him was an attempt by Hamas to lure IDF soldiers into a trap, immediately opened fire and shouted “terrorists!” to the other forces.

According to the probe, that soldier killed two of the men, while the third, who was hit and wounded, fled back into the building from which he came.

At that stage, the commander of the battalion, who was also in the building where the soldier shot from, went outside and called on the forces to halt their fire.

Meanwhile, sounds of someone shouting “Help” in Hebrew were heard by the troops in the area.

Moments later, the third man came out of the building to which he fled, and another soldier opened fire at him, killing him.

The battalion commander then realized that the appearance of the third man was unusual, and it was revealed to be an Israeli hostage. All three bodies were collected and taken to Israel to be identified.

The soldier who immediately opened fire upon identifying the three men did so against protocols, as did the second soldier who killed the third man, according to the officer.

Still, the IDF understands what led the soldiers to do so.

“There have also been several attempts by Hamas in the area to lure soldiers into an ambush…”

In Shejaiya, the senior officer says the IDF has not identified any Palestinian civilians in recent days.

The only people seen wearing civilian clothing have been Hamas operatives, often unarmed. The operatives collect weapons left behind in various buildings, open fire at troops, and then flee again unarmed to another building.

The officer says troops have killed at least 38 Palestinian terror operatives in Shejaiya in recent days.

The IDF has also encountered several seemingly unarmed civilians in Shejaiya, who later turned out to be Hamas suicide bombers.

There have also been several attempts by Hamas in the area to lure soldiers into an ambush.

Apparently unrelated to the incident yesterday, the officer says that several hundred meters away the troops found a building with spray paint on the wall reading “SOS” and another sign reading “Help, three hostages.”

The soldiers at the time believed the building was booby-trapped, and now the military is investigating a possible connection to the incident.

Immediately following the incident the IDF sent new protocols to ground troops for the possibility of more hostages managing to flee captivity.

The scenario itself, of hostages walking around in a battle zone, was never taken into account by the IDF.

The initial probe was completed today by the head of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, and also presented to the families of Yotam Haim, Samar Talalka, and Alon Lulu Shamriz, who were killed by the troops.

It’s horrible that this happened for the hostages and their families. But I think it’s also horrible for the soldiers who mistakenly pulled the trigger thinking these were Hamas terrorists. They have to live with the fact that they killed innocent Israelis because of the tactics of these Hamas monsters.

The IDF said that the lessons of this tragic incident have been shared with all IDF units operating in Gaza to prevent it from happening again.