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Gabrielle M. Etzel, Healthcare Reporter


NextImg:Israeli hostages mistakenly killed by IDF were holding white flags, official says


Three Israeli hostages were holding white flags when they were mistakenly killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, according to an initial inquiry report released on Saturday.

The incident occurred on Friday in an area where Hamas militants operate in civilian attire, engaging in intense combat.

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An Israeli military official told Reuters on Saturday that the three hostages were shirtless, and each had "a stick with a white cloth on it."

The soldier who saw the hostages reportedly felt threatened and opened fire, killing two immediately. The third hostage was wounded and began calling for help in Hebrew.

"Immediately the battalion commander issues a ceasefire order, but again there's another burst of fire towards the third figure and he also dies," said the official.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday called the incident "an unbearable tragedy."


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"Together with the entire people of Israel, I bow my head in deep sorrow," Netanyahu posted on X, formerly Twitter. "[A]ll of Israel is grieving their loss this evening."

The three hostages — Alon Shamriz, Samer Al-Talka, and Yotam Haim — were abducted on Oct. 7. More than 100 hostages remain in Gaza.