“During the fighting in Shuyaia (north of Gaza), the army mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat. As a result, the troops fired on them and they died. » This is how the Israeli armed forces admitted this Friday to having killed three of the 132 kidnapped on October 7 who remained in the Gaza Strip. After the incident, soldiers carried out “searches and checks in the area” and “suspicions” arose that the bodies were not those of Palestinian militiamen. They were transferred to Israel, where they were confirmed to match Alon Lulu Shamriz, Yotam Haim and Samar Talalka, all aged in their 20s. “We believe the three men either fled or were abandoned by the terrorists who were holding them captive. “This is a tragic mistake that we will fully investigate,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari said.
This announcement led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant; and the most popular politician and member of the reduced war cabinet, Benny Gantz, to emphasize the importance of hostage repatriation. “Even on this difficult afternoon, we will recover from our wounds, learn the necessary lessons and continue our supreme efforts to bring back all the hostages safely,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Our responsibility is to win this war and part of that victory is bringing the hostages home. We will do everything possible to bring them back alive. All”, Gantz wrote on the social network, formerly called Twitter. “My heart goes out to the families of the hostages as well as the soldiers deep in Gaza who are carrying out a complex and important mission the likes of which we have not seen since the establishment of the state (of Israel in 1948). »
Relatives of the hostages and their supporters staged an impromptu protest. Hundreds of people gathered around midnight in Tel Aviv with banners such as “There is no victory without the return of the hostages” and chanting slogans such as “Everyone” and “To the last “. Even before the deaths were known, Israeli television channel 12 had indicated that it was considering starting a hunger strike. The reason: days of information on the paralysis of the negotiation process, in which Qatar, Egypt and the United States intervene as mediators and which allowed at the end of November an exchange of Palestinian prisoners and a cease-fire which lasted a week.
Attacks from Yemen
The incident comes on the same day that a series of attacks from Yemen, adding to those launched in recent days, sparked an escalation that is putting a brake on global trade on the crucial Red Sea and ‘Indian Ocean. The Danish company Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, announced that it would suspend all its operations in the Red Sea.
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The Houthis, pro-Iranian rebels who control much of Yemen’s Red Sea coast, have reiterated in recent weeks their intention to prevent any ships linked to Israel from sailing off their coast, in retaliation for the invasion from Gaza. The United States confirmed that two ships were attacked this Friday with drones and anti-ship missiles in the Bab el Mandeb Strait, a natural passage between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The Houthis claimed this Friday to have carried out a “military operation against two container ships, the MSC Alanya and the MSC Palatium III, who were heading towards Israel. The ships were attacked with two missiles “after their crews refused to respond to calls from Yemeni naval forces,” Houthi spokesman Yehya Sari said at a demonstration in support of the Palestinians in Sanaa. the Yemeni capital, which pro-Iranian militias have controlled since 2014. American sources confirmed to Reuters and France Presse agencies that two ships were attacked this Friday from Yemeni territory.
Maersk will suspend all traffic of its vessels transiting the Red Sea. “After an incident which almost affected the ship yesterday Gibraltar and another today in which a container ship was involved, we have decided to suspend our operations in the Bab el Mandeb Strait until further notice,” the company announced this Friday in a press release.
The German Hapag-Lloyd, owner of one of the ships attacked this Friday, announced shortly after that it was suspending its operations in the Red Sea at least until next Monday. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock demanded that Yemeni rebels put an “immediate” end to attacks on civilian merchant ships in the region. “Not only are they endangering Israel’s security, but they are threatening international shipping,” he told a news conference.
For its part, the British Navy warned this Friday of three incidents that have occurred so far in the Red Sea and the Bab al Mandeb Strait, the day it sent the most warnings of the entire year, according to its official website.
In another close incident, the vessel Rueen was kidnapped approximately 380 nautical miles from the Yemeni island of Socotra. The ship, with 18 crew members from Bulgaria, Myanmar and Angola, is owned by Bulgarian state company Navibulgar and it is unclear which group hijacked the vessel. The Bulgarian government confirmed the kidnapping. The Spanish Navy frigate Victoryintegrated into the European Union’s Operation Atalanta which fights against piracy in the Indian Ocean, is heading towards the rescue of the Bulgarian cargo ship, according to Eunavour (EU Naval Force) reported this on the social network
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