War Day 72: Horrible Accident Kills Three Hostages in Gaza

War Summary, Day Seventy Two: Three hostages were tragically killed in Gaza by IDF forces who mistook them for terrorists; Hamas sends a message of thanks to the UN.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Seventy Two

129 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
20 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
119 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
7,800 injured.
11,560 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

Warning: Skip this section if you’re unable to read difficult news right now.

The IDF notified the family of hostage Inbar Hayman, 27, that she has been murdered in captivity by Hamas. Inbar was taken hostage from the Nova Festival near Re’im on October 7th.

The IDF has until now confirmed the deaths of 20 out of 129 hostages still being held in Gaza.

The IDF also announced that they recovered the bodies of three hostages in Gaza:

Elia Toledano, 28, a civilian who was abducted by Hamas from the Nova Festival near Re’im on October 7th where he was working as a music producer.

Cpl. Nick Beizer Beizer, 19, from Be’er Sheva, who was taken captive on October 7th from his base near the Erez crossing, where he had only begun army service 6 months earlier, and works in the coordination of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Sgt. Ron Sherman, 19, from Lehavim, and originally Argentina. Sherman last spoke to his mother on the morning of October 7th, when his army base near the Erez crossing was attacked, he was seen alive in a video, being driven into Gaza. Sherman worked in the facilitation of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

In addition, the IDF announced the death of three hostages who were accidentally killed in IDF fire:

Yotam Haim, 28, from Kfar Aza. Yotam was a drummer for the heavy metal band Persephore. He was last seen in a video he took on the morning of October 7, showing himself in the front door of his Kfar Aza home, before he was abducted to Gaza.

Samar Talalka, 22, from Hura. Samar was working in the Kibbutz Nir Am hatchery, where he often did the weekend shifts, when Hamas stormed the kibbutz. His family recently travelled to Washington as the first Bedouin family to join a delegation of hostages advocating for their rescue.

Alon Lulu Shamriz, 26, from Kfar Aza. Alon was a computer engineering student, and was taken hostage from his home on October 7th.

All of Israel is in mourning.

The three hostages were held together in a building in the center of fighting the the Shejaiya neighborhood. The building was thought to be heavily booby-trapped, and the IDF was unaware that hostages were inside.

During the incident, a soldier stationed nearby identified three suspicious figures exiting the building. The men were shirtless, and one was holding a makeshift white flag. The soldier believed that it was a trap, as Hamas terrorists have made traps in similar set-ups before, to lure IDF soldiers in to ambush.

The soldier immediately opened fire and shouted “terrorist!” to the other forces in the area. Two of the men were killed immediately, the third was hit and wounded, and fled back into the building.

At this point, the battalion commander directed the forces to stop firing, and the soldiers heard someone shouting “Help!” in Hebrew. Then the third injured man came out of the building again, and a different soldier opened fire and killed him.

The commander then realized that it was unusual for an injured terrorist to re-emerge from a building, and upon inspecting the bodies, realize that they may have been Israeli hostages. The three were brought to Israel to be identified.

The soldiers who opened fire on the figures holding a white flag did so against protocol, according to the IDF, however they understand why they would do so. The IDF has not found any civilians in Shajaiya in recent days, but has seen how terrorists dress in plainclothes, even shirtless, and then hide weapons in strategic spots, and grab them as needed. Troops have eliminated 38 terrorists in Shajaiya in direct combat over the last few days.

Several hundred meters away, in a possibly unrelated incident, the IDF troops found spray paint on a wall reading “Help, three hostages,” and “SOS.” The soldiers believed it was a trap, but it is under investigation.

IDF Chief-of-Staff, Herzi Halevy addressed the incident in a solemn speech.

“The IDF, and I, as its commander, are responsible for what happened, and we will do everything to prevent the recurrence of such cases in the future of the fighting.”

Halevi emphasized the difficult fighting conditions, “a decision in a fraction of a second could cost life or death. I think that the three abductees did everything so that we would understand – they moved without shirts so that we would not suspect that they had explosive vests on, and held a white cloth so that we would understand. The shooting of the hostages was carried out contrary to the opening fire instructions. It is forbidden to shoot at those who raise a white flag and ask to surrender. But this shooting was carried out during combat and under stressful conditions.”

He added that after an investigation into the incident, new protocols are being introduced to prepare for a better outcome if such a scenario happens again. “There may be additional cases in which abductees escape or are abandoned during the fighting, and we have the duty and responsibility to rescue them alive.”

IDF Spokesman, Daniel Hagari addressed the incident, and after speaking about the tragic nature of the event, added, “The forces on the ground are fighting the terrorists, and during the battle there were other incidents with terrorists dressed as civilians—they do everything to lure soldiers to kill them. But it was the ground action that led to the abductees being abandoned or able to run away.”

I think it’s important to note that while the hostages were killed by IDF fire, it was really Hamas who murdered them, by taking them hostage, not releasing them when they had the chance, and keeping them in a building in the center of the fire, where all civilians already evacuated.

In separate news, Mossad Director David Barnea, will be meeting with the Prime Minister of Qatar to renew negotiations for a hostage deal.

Qatar confirmed that they are continuing diplomatic efforts to renew the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. In the statements, they expressed hope that what has been achieved so far will lead to the achievement of a comprehensive deal that will end the war.

Senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, meanwhile stated, “If the enemy wants to return the captured soldiers alive, it will happen only after all aggression stops and in accordance with an exchange deal.”

The IDF will not agree to any deal that ends the war without the complete surrender of Hamas.

Gaza Front Updates:

On Friday night, as hundreds gathered at the Western Wall for the Shabbat prayers, Hamas fired a heavy barrage of missiles onto Jerusalem and the surrounding area. The IDF intercepted all the missiles, including one headed towards the Al-Aqsa mosque.

In addition, since Friday morning, six rounds of fire triggered sirens in the Gaza Envelope communities. No injuries were reported.

The IDF announced the names of three heroes who fell in battle against Hamas in Gaza:

Sgt. Oz Shmuel Aradi, 19, from Hatzor
Sgt. First Class (res.) Shay Uriel Pizem, 23, from Ein HaNatziv
Master Sgt. (res.) Tomer Shlomo Myara, 28, from Netanya

The IDF is continuing a complete takeover of Northern Gaza, by clearing each neighborhood out of terrorists, and capturing tunnels.

As the battle of Shejaiya is nearing completion, the IDF announced that troops captured and destroyed the headquarters of Hamas’s Shejaiya battalion.

In the wealthy Remal neighborhood of Gaza City, troops raided two schools where Hamas terrorists were hiding. The forces battled and eliminated several terrorists surrounding the school, and once inside, the terrorists surrendered.

The IDF shared footage of an incident in Jabaliya, in which troops identified suspicious movement on the roof of a building from where sniper fire had previously been directed at IDF soldiers. The troops directed an airstrike on the building.

Based on information from the Shin Bet, and confessions of hospital employees at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabaliya, who admitted that Hamas weapons were hidden inside incubators in the maternity ward, IDF forces raided the hospital. Inside, the IDF seized a large amount of assorted weapons and explosives, and detained 90 Hamas terrorists who surrendered. The IDF released a video of weapons hid inside of incubators.

In Southern Gaza, the IDF announced completion of a series of airstrikes against sites on the Gaza-Egypt border used by Hamas’s internal security. Destroyed in the strikes were military compounds, weapons depots, guard posts, observation posts, and command centers belonging to Hamas’s internal security forces. The forces of these posts aided in the smuggling of Iranian weapons into Gaza.

Troops of the Commando Brigade’s Maglan unit are continuing to battle Hamas deep within Khan Younis, including at one of the homes of Yahya Sinwar, who heads the Hamas military. The commando forces eliminated several Hamas terrorists during the operations in Khan Younis, and located a long-range rocket launcher, and several “significant” tunnel shafts, as well as weapons and intelligence materials.

In southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, troops of the Kiryati Brigade raided a number of apartments used by Hamas, and found many weapons and tunnels used by the operatives.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah took responsibility for eight missile and drone attacks on Israel today, and seven on Friday.

The IDF announced the name of a soldier who was killed in a drone attack near the northern community of Margaliot:

Warrant Officer (res.) Yehezkel Azaria, 53, from Petah Tikva.

Two other soldiers were injured, one seriously.

IDF air defenses intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired by Hezbollah at an IDF drone over Lebanon. The IDF drone was not hit, and the missile did not enter Israeli airspace. The interception was seen of the kineret (Sea of Galilee).

Hezbollah announced that four pf their terrorists were killed by the IDF in southern Lebanon this weekend. Since the beginning of the war, Hezbollah has announced the death of 108 terrorists from its ranks. The IDF estimates a higher number.

The IDF carried out signifiant air strikes against Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon, amongst them a command center, a military compound, and a weapons depot. A rocket launch position was hit with the IDF’s new Iron Sting guided mortar system.

Members of the Israel War Cabinet again stated that the issue of Hezbollah will be fully addressed after Hamas is taken care of, so that residents of the north can return home in security and quiet.

Houthi and Other War Fronts Updates:

The Houthis in Yemen claimed to have sent multiple attack drones to Eilat. No sirens were triggered or explosions heard in the coastal city. Meanwhile, Egyptian media reported am explosive drone arrived from the direction of the Red Sea, and crashed in the area of ​​the city of Dahab in the Sinai Peninsula.

Residents and visitors in Eilat have noticed over the last several weeks that GPS systems do not work properly in the entire area of Eilat, and give alternate locations. This is suspected to be an IDF tactic to disorient Houthi drones.

Following the launch of the group of attack drones by the Houthis, the US announced that an American warship in the Red Sea successfully intercepted 15 attack drones, without causing any damage to ships in the sea.

According to a Reuters report, the French shipping group announced that it is stopping its trade shipments that pass through the Red Sea, following the attacks on commercial ships in the region. “The situation is deteriorating further and the concern for safety is increasing,” said a statement from the Marseille-based group. “We have decided to order all container ships that are supposed to pass through the Red Sea to reach safe areas and suspend their journey until further notice.”

Meanwhile in Iran, a fire broke out in a “refinery” in the city of Isfahan.

International Updates:

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, sent out a message of gratitude to the UN, for the resolution passed by the General Assembly, which called for a ceasefire without any mention of the Israeli hostages or disarmament of Hamas terrorists.

“We express our appreciation for the positions of the UN Secretary General. We welcome the UN decision last night. We are open to discussing the possibilities for organizing the Palestinian inner house.
I emphasize that we stand firm, our people are patient and fighting and we are sure that the occupation will disappear from the world.”

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