Israeli Hostages Mistakenly Killed by Soldiers in Gaza Used Food Scraps to Write SOS Signs Before Being Shot

Three Israeli hostages, mistakenly killed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza, reportedly utilised food scraps to write signs pleading for help before they were shot.

The three hostages, Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka, and Alon Shamriz, were taken hostage by Hamas during an attack on October 7 before accidentally being killed in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood on Friday.

BBC reports an IDF official said the men were shot when they emerged shirtless from a building, one carrying a stick with a white cloth.

The three hostages, Alon Shamriz, Yotam Haim and Samer Talalka (L-R) were taken hostage by Hamas during an attack on October 7 before accidentally being killed in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighborhood on Friday. Credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum.
The three hostages, Alon Shamriz, Yotam Haim and Samer Talalka (L-R) were taken hostage by Hamas during an attack on October 7 before accidentally being killed in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood on Friday. Credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

The soldiers felt threatened, declared them “terrorists,” and opened fire. After a cry for help in Hebrew, the troops were ordered to cease fire, but one wounded hostage was later shot and killed.

The IDF admitted that killing them, even though they were holding a white flag, went against “rules of engagement”.

Israel is facing pressure to negotiate the release of more hostages, with around 120 still believed to be held in Gaza since the October attacks. The IDF launched a retaliatory operation against Hamas, resulting in casualties and displacements in Gaza.

A search of the building where the three hostages were shot dead revealed messages like “SOS” and “Help, 3 hostages” written on fabric. It’s unclear if the hostages had been abandoned by their captors or had escaped.

A search of the building where the three hostages were shot dead revealed messages like "SOS" and "Help, 3 hostages" written on fabric using food scraps. It's unclear if the hostages had been abandoned by their captors or had escaped. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.
A search of the building where the three hostages were shot dead revealed messages like “SOS” and “Help, 3 hostages” written on fabric using food scraps. It’s unclear if the hostages had been abandoned by their captors or had escaped. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.

Families of the hostages have urged the Israeli government to negotiate a new truce for their release.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on military pressure for both the hostages’ return and “victory”.

The increasing civilian casualties in Gaza have prompted international pressure on Israeli authorities, including from the US.

With over 18,000 Palestinians killed and nearly 50,000 wounded during Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese along with New Zealand’s Christopher Luxon and Canada’s Justin Trudeau shared deep concern about the humanitarian crisis and the ongoing risks to Palestinian civilians.

Last week, the three leaders jointly called for a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza, with Australia lending its support through a favourable vote at the United Nations General Assembly.

The move sets Australia somewhat apart from the US, which voted against the ceasefire motion. However, US President Joe Biden cautioned that Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza is diminishing its international support.

In their joint statement on Wednesday, the leaders expressed regret that the previous pause in fighting, brokered by the US, Egypt, and Qatar, was not extended.

They emphasised the need for the pause to resume and support urgent international efforts for a sustainable ceasefire.

The statement stressed the importance of a two-sided approach, calling for Hamas to release all hostages, cease using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and disarm.

The leaders condemned Israeli settler violence in the West Bank and expressed support for the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

Reporter

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