• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Updated Dec 15, 2023, 4:27pm EST
securityMiddle East
icon

Semafor Signals

Supported by

Microsoft logo

Israeli forces kill 3 hostages after mistaking them as a ‘threat,’ IDF says

Insights from Channel 12, CNN, and The Times of Israel

Arrow Down
Israeli armored personnel carriers maneuver at Israel's border with Gaza in southern Israel, December 13, 2023.
REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
TweetEmailWhatsapp

Sign up for Semafor Principals: What the White House is reading. Read it now.

Title icon

The News

Israeli forces shot and killed three hostages who had been taken by Hamas after mistakenly identifying them “as a threat,” the Israel Defense Forces said Friday.

“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,” the Israeli military said.

A spokesperson for the IDF said the hostages had either escaped Hamas captivity “or were abandoned by the terrorists who held them captive,” The Times of Israel reported.

Two of the victims were identified as Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka, and Alon Shamriz. All three were taken by Hamas from kibbutzim during the Oct. 7 attack.

icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Anger from families toward Netanyahu has grown

Source icon
Source:  
Channel 12

This incident threatens to further heighten tensions between hostages’ families and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Families of abductees began protesting in Tel Aviv shortly after the news broke, according to Israeli television network Channel 12, which reported earlier on Friday that the families are considering a hunger strike to protest Netanyahu not striking a deal to bring their loved ones home. “It proves again that IDF actions do not help us, but only leads to the return of more bodies,” said one woman whose brother is being held hostage.

IDF to exercise ‘caution,’ as tunnel flooding begins

Source icon
Sources:  
CNN, The Times of Israel

The IDF says many of the forces attacking Israeli soldiers during the operation in Gaza have been wearing civilian clothes. A spokesperson told CNN that the IDF will now “exercise additional caution” when encountering people in civilian clothes. It comes as Israel has reportedly begun flooding the tunnels under Gaza with seawater, looking to draw Hamas — and possibly more hostages — above ground.
That operation has been deemed an early success by the IDF, The Times of Israel reported. Asked about the possible impact on hostages, the IDF said it has intelligence on where those being held are located.

Semafor Logo
AD