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Israel Defense Forces say 3 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza were killed by mistake

The Israeli military has said it has killed three hostages after mistaking them for a “threat” during its operation in Gaza, the BBC reports. The dead were identified as Yotam Haim, 28, Samer Talalka, 22, and Alon Shamriz, 26.

The army said the three were shot by troops operating in Shejaiya, north of Gaza. The three were identified when their bodies were returned to Israeli territory after investigation.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the incident on Friday was being investigated and that it “deeply regrets the tragic incident and offers its heartfelt condolences to the families,” the BBC reported. “Our national mission is to locate the missing and return home all hostages,” it said.

Following the announcement of the incident, hundreds of people gathered in central Tel Aviv and marched to the IDF military base in the city. People called on the government to reach an agreement for the release of the remaining hostages.

According to the BBC, protesters held candles and carried signs reading “Bring them home” and “Hostage swap!”

Yotam Haim, a musician, was kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Kfar Azza on October 7. According to the BBC, on the morning of the Hamas attack he called his family and told them that his house was on fire. When he opened the window for fresh air, Hamas abducted him.

Alon Shamriz was also in Kfar Azza at the time of the attack. Samar Talalka, a Bedouin, was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Am. He was at work on the morning of 7 October. According to the BBC report, after the attack he called his sister and told her that he had been injured by bullets. Speaking to local media, Talalca’s father said he lost contact at 07:00 local time on the morning of the attacks. A photo of him leading the way through Gaza was shared on Telegram.

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