The father of an Israeli hostage mistakenly killed by the IDF have accused the armed forces of “murder” and have urged them to recognize his son as a fallen soldier.
Alon Shamriz was one of three hostages who were mistakenly killed on Friday by IDF troops in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighbourhood. He was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from Kfar Aza on October 7.
After being killed on Friday, his father Avi Shamriz said the family had requested a designation for ‘fallen solider status’ but claimed the request was denied.
In an interview on Israeli TV, he said: “We were supposed to embrace him today and not mourn. The minimum would be to recognize him as a fallen soldier… he acted like a soldier.
“Among the three, he was a fighter; he was familiar with the Hamas tunnels from his military service. There’s no doubt that he’s the mastermind and the person who executed the plan to get his friends out.
“He behaved like a soldier and experienced Hamas captivity, which wasn’t easy. I know he made sure to plan the escape; I have no doubt about it.”
He continued: “Today should have been a day of celebration, and a mark of honor for the IDF — that the IDF freed three hostages.
“But the bottom line is that the IDF abandoned my son on October 7, and the IDF murdered my son on December 14. That’s what happened.”
“It wasn’t neglect, it was lawlessness,” he said. “Someone took the rules of engagement into his own hands and killed my son, that’s all.”
Shamriz said his son created a sign to attract the IDF’s attention along with several other hostages. He continued: “They cried out for help, they did everything right. They hung up the signs, they wrote on them.
“After that, they saw the IDF wasn’t coming so they walked toward them. And because my son is familiar with the army, I’m sure he gave the other two hostages the instructions to remove their shirts and wave a white flag.
“They were walking in broad daylight, it wasn’t dark. They walked in the middle of the road and the troops there just slaughtered them.”
Shamriz was a computer engineering student at Sapir College and was buried in Kibbutz Shefayim on Sunday.
Alon’s brother Ido also blamed the Israeli authorities for both his kidnapping and death, adding: “My brother, I hope your death will inspire life, and they will realise the lives of our hostages are critical, and they have to act quickly to free everyone.
“My poor brother, what did you go through in those moments, when you had already seen the light, and it turned into darkness? The ones who abandoned you also murdered you, after you did everything right. Everything we did was for you, and now it will all be for your memory.”
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet observer Gadi Eisenkot have spoken with the family.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the three hostage deaths an "unbearable tragedy". He said: "Even on this difficult evening, we will bind up our wounds, learn the lessons and continue with a supreme effort to return all our abductees home safely.”