The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that its soldiers have mistakenly killed three hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza City.
“During combat in Shejaiya, the IDF mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired toward them and they were killed,” the IDF said in a statement.
“During searches and checks in the area in which the incident occurred, a suspicion arose over the identities of the deceased,” the IDF continued. “Their bodies were transferred to Israeli territory for examination, after which it was confirmed that they were three Israeli hostages.”
The three hostages were identified as Yotam Haim, 28; Samer Talalka, 22; and 26-year-old Alon Shamriz.
“The IDF expresses deep remorse over the tragic incident and sends the families its heartfelt condolences,” the IDF also said. “Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home.”
The announcement came hours after Israel’s military said it recovered the bodies of two 19-year-old Israeli soldiers that were taken captive by Hamas — Cpl. Nik Beizer and Sgt. Ron Sherman.
The bodies “have been recovered from Gaza during operational activity and returned to Israeli territory,” the IDF wrote in a post on X. “The IDF sends the families its heartfelt condolences and will continue to support them. Our national mission is to locate the missing and return all the hostages home.”
Beizer began his military service on April 30 and was working at a base near a Gaza border crossing on October 7 as part of a unit that helps coordinate the flow of goods into the Palestinian enclave, The Times of Israel reports.
“That’s the irony,” his mother Katy Beizer said earlier, according to The Times of Israel. “Everyone at this base is taking care of the Palestinians, working so that Gazans can live their lives.”
The aunt of Sherman said he texted his mother that “he loves her” as his base came under attack by Hamas on October 7, the newspaper also reported.
The body of hostage Elia Toledano, a 28-year-old who was at the music festival in southern Israel that was attacked by Hamas, also was recovered in Gaza and brought back to Israel Friday, the IDF said.