Families demand immediate Israel-Hamas deal after hostages killed 'by mistake' in Gaza

Israel on Saturday mourned the deaths of three hostages killed "by mistake" by its own soldiers in the Gaza Strip, where the army has stepped up air raids despite pressure from its US ally for more restraint. Shortly after the announcement, which caused a stir in Israel, families of hostages 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.

An Israeli flag is covered in red paint as relatives and supporters of hostages held by Palestinian militants protest outside the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, December 15, 2023. © Ahmad Gharabli / AFP

By: Internet Editorial Board


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Key takeaways:

■ UNRWA said Thursday that it is no longer able to provide aid to those who have been unable to flee to the southern Gaza Strip. She also reports that hungry people are stopping her aid trucks in Gaza. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is "getting worse by the day," a UNICEF spokesman said.

The Israeli army says it has killed three hostages identified "by mistake" as a "threat," army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on television Friday

■ White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, during a visit to Israel, discussed the possibility of shifting the Israeli offensive into Gaza territory to "lower-intensity operations" in the "near future." He also said it would not be "fair" for Israel to occupy the Gaza Strip. He is meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday.

■ Israel announced on Friday that it had "temporarily" approved the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, in order to relieve congestion at the Rafah crossing between the Palestinian territory and Egypt. The WHO welcomed the decision, but called for aid to be allowed to "go everywhere" in the enclave.

About 18,800 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, according to the Hamas government. Nearly 51,000 people were also injured. The majority are women and young people under the age of 18. More than 1,200 Israelis were killed.

► Information given in Universal Time, to refresh the page, click here

6:20 a.m.: Israeli foreign intelligence chief meets Qatari prime minister on hostage release

After the announcement of the death of the three Israeli hostages by their own army, the Axios website reported that David Barnea, the head of Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service, is due to meet this weekend with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

The meeting, in Europe, is expected to focus on the release of hostages, Axios said, without specifying the location of the meeting or the number of captives who could be freed among the estimated 129 or so still held in Gaza.

Qatar's mediation had been crucial to the first truce agreement reached at the end of November, allowing a week-long pause in the fighting, the release of about 240 hostages held by Hamas and <> Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, as well as the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid.

6 a.m.: Families of Israeli hostages demand immediate agreement with Hamas to release captives, after Israeli army says three people were killed "by mistake"

Shortly after it was announced that Israeli soldiers had killed three hostages "by mistake" in the Gaza Strip, families of hostages 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.


Every day, a hostage dies One poster read, while an Israeli flag placed in the street was sprayed with red paint evoking blood. "The only way to free the hostages alive is through negotiation," said Motti Direktor, a 66-year-old protester. "We're here after an overwhelming evening, and I'm scared to death. We demand an agreement now," said Merav Svirsky, whose brother Itay is being held hostage in Gaza.

Relatives of hostages held by Hamas march in front of the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on December 15, 2023. © AFP - AHMAD GHARABLI

► A look back at the day of December 15 by clicking here

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Read on the same topics:

  • Gaza
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • United States
  • Binyamin Netanyahu