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20 May, 2024
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Israel probes mistaken killing of three hostages

Israeli hostages killed despite distress signals


In a heartbreaking turn of events, signs bearing "S.O.S." and "help, three hostages" in Hebrew were discovered on the walls of a Gaza building where three Israeli hostages were hiding.

Accoding to a report on Reuters, unfortunately, they were mistakenly killed, raising serious questions about adherence to rules of engagement.

Israel's military released photographs of the distress signals, written on white cloth in red, likely using leftover food. The signs were found about 200 meters from the site of the fatal incident, as confirmed by military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

The victims, identified as Yotam Haim, Alon Shamriz, and Samer Al-Talalka, had raised a white flag and were unarmed when shot—a clear violation of Israel's rules of engagement. In response, Chief of the General Staff Major-General Herzi Halevi issued a stern warning to troops in Gaza, emphasizing the need to avoid repeating such a tragic mistake.

Shamriz, laid to rest on Sunday, became a poignant symbol of the incident. His grieving mother, Dikla, expressed her emotions at the funeral, highlighting the strength and determination her son displayed during the 70 days in captivity.

The incident prompts reflection on the treatment of hostages and the urgent resolution needed for the remaining Israeli captives in Gaza.

Despite calls for Red Cross access, over 100 Israeli hostages remain in Gaza, adding to the complexity of the situation. A deal in late November saw the release of over 100 individuals, including women, children, teens, and foreigners.

However, others have been declared dead by Israeli authorities, underscoring the gravity of the conflict that began with Hamas militants' rampage in Israeli towns on October 7, resulting in widespread casualties.

The counter-attack by Israel has further escalated tensions, with Gaza health authorities reporting a significant toll of nearly 19,000 lives lost.

[With information sourced from Reuters]

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