The Israeli military have said they “mistakenly” killed three Israeli hostages after mistakenly identifying them as a threat.
An IDF spokesperson said: “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.
“During searches and checks in the area in which the incident occurred, a suspicion arose over the identities of the deceased.
“Their bodies were transferred to Israeli territory for examination, after which it was confirmed that they were three Israeli hostages.”
Two of the hostages have been identified as:
Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza on 7 October;
Samer Talalka, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Am also on 7 October.
The family of the third hostage have been notified and requested his name not be broadcast, the IDF statement said.
“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.”
It emphasised that the area is an “active combat zone” and fighting has been ongoing over the last few days.
“Immediate lessons from the event have been learned, which have been passed on to all IDF troops in the field,” the statement said.