The Israeli Defense Forces said Friday that soldiers had misidentified three Israelis as a threat who had been held hostage in Gaza, and shot and killed them.
It happened in the northern Gaza town of Shejaiya, according to IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari.
“During searches and checks in the area in which the incident occurred, a suspicion arose over the identities of the deceased. Their bodies were transferred to Israeli territory for examination, after which it was confirmed that they were three Israeli hostages,” Hagari said during a briefing Friday.
Two of the hostages have been identified as Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped from kibbutz Kfar Aza, and Samer Talalka, who was kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Am.
The third, whose identity was delayed due. to a request from his family, was identified Friday afternoon as Alon Shamriz, also kidnapped from the kibbutz Kfar Aza.
“The IDF expresses deep remorse over the tragic incident and sends the families its heartfelt condolences. Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home,” Hagari said.
Of the initial 240 people abducted by Hamas during its October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, about 140 are believed to still be held captive in Gaza, including eight Americans.
The IDF has begun an immediate review of the shooting, according to Hagari, who added, “The IDF emphasizes that this is an active combat zone in which ongoing fighting over the last few days has occurred. Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field.”