Israeli army ‘mistakenly’ shoots three hostages in ‘tragic incident’

The Israeli army said its troops shot and killed three hostages on Friday after “mistakenly” identifying them as a threat.

“During combat in Shejaiya, the IDF (army) mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed,” the army said in a statement.

“The IDF began reviewing the incident immediately,” it added.

The army identified two of the hostages as Yotam Haim, who was taken from Kibbutz Kfar Aza during Hamas’s October 7 attack, and Samer El-Talalqa, taken from Kibbutz Nir Am.

It said it was withholding the third hostage’s name at the family’s request.

The army expressed “deep remorse over the tragic incident”, sending “heartfelt condolences” to the hostages’ families.

“Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home.”

It added the area is an “active combat zone”, with ongoing fighting occurring over the last few days.

“Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field.”

Hamas kidnapped around 250 hostages during its October 7 attack on Israel, which killed 1,139 people, according to official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory war against the group has killed more than 18,700 people, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that bringing home all of the hostages is one of its chief war aims.

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