U.S. and Wold Politics

Israeli Defense Force Kills Three Israeli Hostages

They were shirtless, waving a white flag and calling for help in Hebrew

By Common Dreams Staff

The three Israeli hostages who were shot and killed December 15, 2023, by Israeli forces were shirtless, and one of them was waving a white flag of surrender, a military official has said. Two hostages were killed immediately; the third was wounded and yelling for help in Hebrew before being shot again.

The three hostages were identified as Yotam Haim, 28, Alon Shamriz, 26, and Samer Talalka, 25.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had identified a nearby building marked with “SOS” and “Help! Three hostages” two days earlier but had believed it might be a trap.

Reactions around the world on December 16, were incredulous.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of DAWN (Democracy for the Arab World Now), tweeted “Thousands (yes thousands) of Palestinians have described how Israel fires at unarmed people who pose no threat but only when it happens to Israelis do people believe it. We wrote a report some years ago specifically on the topic of Israel shooting at Gazans waving white flags.”

B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, tweeted “It is prohibited by International Humanitarian Law (and basic moral principles) to shoot people who yielded and carry a white flag, regardless, whether they’re combatants or not, regardless of their nationality and religion.”

Owen Jones, a columnist for The Guardian, tweeted “Three obviously unarmed shirtless Israeli hostages yelling in Hebrew waving a white flag were shot dead by Israeli troops. Palestinian civilians don’t stand a chance.”

Hundreds of relatives and supporters of hostages still held by Palestinian militants demonstrated outside the Israeli ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv Friday night, December 15.

Common Dreams, December 16, 2023