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Protests in Tel Aviv After Israel Mistakenly Kills Hostages in Gaza

Three Israeli hostages who were said to have been “misidentified” as a “threat” were killed by soldiers operating in northern Gaza. The bodies have been repatriated to Israel.

Israel is mourning the death of three hostages killed “by mistake” by its own soldiers in the Gaza Strip, where the army is increasing air raids despite pressure from its American ally for more restraint.

Three Israeli hostages who were said to have been “misidentified” as a “threat” were killed by soldiers operating in Shujaiya, in the northern Gaza Strip.

The victims are Yotam Haïm, a 28-year-old heavy metal drummer, Samer al-Talalqa, a 25-year-old Bedouin, and Alon Lulu Shamriz, 26, the Israeli army announced, specifying that the bodies had been repatriated to Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately regretted “an unbearable tragedy” which plunges “the entire State of Israel into mourning”, while in Washington the White House spoke of a “tragic error”.

Shortly after the announcement, hostage families and supporters marched with photos of captives in front of the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv to demand an immediate agreement for their release.

Hundreds of protesters marched alongside the families as they blocked main roads in the city and spilled red paint in the street – meant to symbolise the blood of hostages.

Protestors screamed “deal, now!” shouted for the release of all the hostages. The protests lasted for several hours.


A prolonged communications blackout that severed telephone and internet connections compounded the misery Saturday in the besieged Gaza Strip, where a United Nations agency said hunger levels had spiralled in recent days.

Internet and telephone lines went down on Thursday evening and were still inaccessible on Saturday morning, according to internet access advocacy group NetBlocks.org.

The situation is hampering aid deliveries and rescue efforts as Israel’s war against Gaza’s ruling militant group Hamas stretches into the 11th week.

The ongoing offensive has flattened much of northern Gaza and driven 85% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million from their homes. Displaced people have squeezed into shelters mainly in the south in a spiralling humanitarian crisis.

The United States, Israel’s closest ally, has expressed unease over Israel’s failure to reduce civilian casualties and its plans for the future of Gaza, but the White House continues to offer wholehearted support with weapons shipments and diplomatic backing.

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