Hostages killed by Israeli troops were waving white flag, military says

From CNN’s Richard Allen Greene in Jerusalem 

The three hostages killed are identified as, from left to right, Yotam Haim, Alon Shamriz, and Samer Talalka.
The three hostages killed are identified as, from left to right, Yotam Haim, Alon Shamriz, and Samer Talalka. Hostages and Missing Families Forum

The three Israeli hostages who were killed Friday by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in Gaza were shirtless and waving a white flag when they were shot, an IDF official said Saturday, calling the killings a “tragic, tragic event” and a violation of IDF rules of engagement.

The third hostage died later. It is not clear if the second burst of fire killed him.

More than one IDF soldier fired at the hostages, the official told CNN after briefing journalists.

The official said there is “intense combat” in the area where the hostages were killed, and “terrorists there are moving around in civilian attire. They are wearing sneakers and jeans. They are trying to pull us into traps.”

The hostages were named Friday as Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka and Alon Shimriz.

It’s possible they had escaped or been abandoned by their captors, the official said.

“Hundreds of meters from that location, there was a building with markings of ‘SOS’ on it, and we are still looking to see if there is a connection between that building and the hostages,” the official said.

The hostages’ killing remains under IDF investigation, the official said.12:06 p.m. ET, December 16, 2023

Hundreds gather to mourn slain Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abu Daqqa in Gaza

From CNN’s Kareem Khadder and Lucas Lilieholm

Relatives and friends mourn Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa, who was killed while working in an air strike in Khan Younis on Saturday.
Relatives and friends mourn Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa, who was killed while working in an air strike in Khan Younis on Saturday. Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Hundreds of people gathered to mourn Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abu Daqqa in Gaza on Saturday after he succumbed to wounds suffered during an airstrike on the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis the day before.

The body of Abu Daqqa, wrapped in a white cloth, was carried on the shoulders of the assembled crowd from Al-Nasser Medical complex in Khan Younis to a nearby cemetery. On his chest were the press vest and helmet he had been wearing when he was wounded.

Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh, who lost his wife, daughter, son, and grandson in an Israeli airstrike  in the Al Nusiarat refugee camp in late October, accused Israel of targeting his former colleague and vowed to continue his work.

“We lost Samer today in this vicious way, even though we had coordination and official assignment, he was killed with a targeted missile. All Samer’s friends and colleagues are behind Samer and continue this noble message even though more than 80 of our colleagues and their families were killed, we will continue with doing our jobs and continue our coverage. We ask almighty God that this will be the last of the killings and ask him to have mercy on his soul,” he said.

The funeral was attended by friends, family and colleagues, many of them wearing their press vests. Abu Daqqa’s wife and children live in Belgium.

Prayers were read in the cemetery and his mother, Umm Maher, sobbed as she knelt down to pray over her son’s grave before he was laid to rest.

Mourners react in Khan Younis on Saturday.
Mourners react in Khan Younis on Saturday. Bassam Masoud/Reuters
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