Protests rock Tel Aviv after Israel admits killing own people in Gaza

Protests rock Tel Aviv after Israel admits killing own people in Gaza

Hundreds of people have protested in Tel Aviv as the military admitted that it shot and killed three Israeli prisoners held in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the military, said the three Israelis held by Hamas since early October were “mistakenly” killed by friendly fire in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya.

“During searches and checks in the area in which the incident occurred, a suspicion arose over the identities of the deceased,” he said. “Their bodies were transferred…for examination, after which it was confirmed that they were three Israeli hostages.”

Hagari said the military was “reviewing” the circumstances around the fatal shooting. His statement identified the three prisoners as Yotam Haim, Alon Shimriz, and Samer Talalka.

As news of the incident spread, hundreds of people gathered in Tel Aviv to call on the Israeli regime to secure the release of 129 prisoners still being held in Gaza.

“I am dying of fear,” said Merav Svirsky, sister of prisoner Itay Svirsky. “We demand a deal now.”

Last month, an investigative report by Press TV stated that Israeli forces were believed to have killed their people, but the regime’s media were blaming Palestinian resistance forces for the deaths.
In November, a short-lived truce saw more than 100 prisoners freed in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails. That deal has since lapsed and fighting has resumed.

But the prisoners’ deaths have heightened already fierce scrutiny of how Israel is conducting its ground and air onslaught in Gaza.

In retaliation for the October operation by Hamas, hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to destroy Hamas and release the prisoners.

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But his tactics have brought searing criticism from Muslim states, and deep unease among allies in Europe, the United States, and beyond.

With the war having now killed more than 18,800 people, the White House, which provides billions of dollars in military aid to Israel, has come under criticism.

President Joe Biden’s top security advisor Jake Sullivan was visiting Israel and the West Bank on Friday.

“We do not believe that it makes sense for Israel, or is right for Israel, to… reoccupy Gaza over the long term,” Sullivan said after meeting Israeli leaders.

Hamas said at the weekend that it would never give in to the pressure of incessant Israeli attacks on Gaza to release the rest of the Israeli prisoners until the invasion stopped.

The group said it would release Israeli prisoners alive only if Israel and its supporters accepted its demands, including the release of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.


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