Halevi to troops, after 3 hostages killed: IDF doesn’t shoot people waving white flag

Dec 17, 2023 | Read Now, Trending

[Editor’s note from People4Peace: Instead of blaming others, Israel assumes responsibility for its tragic error.  Hamas would not have admitted anything and/OR would have blamed Israel;  Hamas did just that when the misfire from inside Gaza hit one of its own hospitals. Further, Would any Hamas commander have delivered the educational lecture that the Israeli general did?  And make it public?  More to the point and in the first place, the illegal seizure of hostages by Hamas should never have taken place.  None of this diminishes this tragedy.  What happened is awful. But it points to the differences between an organization dedicated to murder and a nation-state engaged against its will in the horrors of war. People4Peace mourns this tragic loss of life and extends its sincerest sympathies and deepest condolences to the families.]

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi stressed the army’s rules of engagement to troops in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, two days after soldiers mistakenly shot to death three hostages in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood.

Speaking to soldiers of the 99th Division, he stressed that people holding a white flag in surrender must not be fired upon, and that even enemy fighters, if they put down their weapons and raise their hands, must be taken prisoner, not shot.

“You see two people, they have their hands up and no shirts — take two seconds,” Halevi said to the soldiers, referring to Friday’s tragic incident, where all three hostages were shirtless — signaling they were not wearing explosive belts — and one was waving a white flag. Halevi said on Saturday that the soldiers who shot the three had opened fire in breach of IDF protocols.

[The Times of Israel Report continues]

The IDF has said that according to an initial investigation, the three hostages had been in that building for some of the time after they escaped Hamas captivity or were abandoned by their captors. IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military was also investigating another building the three hostages may have stayed in.

[The Times of Israel Report continues]

Immediately following the incident, the IDF sent new protocols to ground troops for the possibility of more hostages managing to flee captivity.

[The Times of Israel Report continues]

The IDF has carried out an initial probe into the tragic incident, finding that the soldier who opened fire upon misidentifying the three men as terrorists did so against protocols, as did the soldier who killed the third man, according to a senior officer in the Southern Command.

[The New York TImes also covered this.  Read “Israel Says 3 Hostages Bore White Flag Before Being Killed by Troops” and” Friendly-fire killings of hostages may force Israel to reconsider Gaza strategy.“]

View the entire Times of Israel Report from December 17.