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'No one should hear this': Israeli captive's family condemn leaked recording

Alon Shamriz's family say they were not notified that an audio recording of Shamriz pleading for help was leaked to the media
Mourners gather for the funeral of Alon Shamriz, including relatives, friends, and his mother Dikla and father Ami, 17 December 2023 (AFP)

The family of an Israeli hostage who was gunned down by Israeli soldiers in Gaza say that they were not notified that an audio recording of him pleading for help had been leaked to the media.

Alon Shamriz, 26, was shot dead along with two other hostages, Yotam Haim, 28, and Samar Fouad Talalka, 24, after they had escaped their captors.

They were killed by Israeli forces as they approached them shirtless and waving a white cloth in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Shujaiya. A military spokesperson said that the men had been mistakenly identified as a threat.

An audio recording of Shamriz pleading for help amidst bursts of gunfire as he tried to alert troops to save them in December, was aired on Sunday by Israeli radio station, Kan.

In the recording, which was obtained from a go-pro camera mounted on a dog from the military’s canine unit, Shamriz is heard saying: “Help. We are by the stairs, under the stairs. Under the stairs, please help.”

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The dog was shot and the camera recovered only days later.

According to a Kan reporter, Alon’s father, Avi Shamriz, had approved the publication of the audio.

However, Alon’s brother posted on X that the family had not been notified by the Israeli military that the recordings had been leaked to the media.

He said that, when the family had been presented with the recording, their mother had refused to listen to it “because she knew she wouldn’t be able to handle it".

“I thought it was behind us… no one needs to hear this. And here the [Israeli forces] are leaking it and subjecting us to Hamas psychological terror. Now it’s out… forever,” he said.

According to the Israeli military, the men had been mistaken for Hamas fighters, and the troops had not come across civilians in this area of the strip for some time.

Cries for help

Soldiers reported they had heard cries of “help” and “hostages” in Hebrew, but that they assumed it was an attempt by Hamas to lure them into a trap.

They also reportedly found signs left by the hostages to get the military's attention but dismissed these as part of the supposed ploy.

Israel-Palestine war: Israel mistakenly shoots dead three hostages in northern Gaza
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Shamriz, Haim, and Talalka were among the 253 hostages captured on 7 October by Hamas during its assault on southern Israel, which killed 1,140 people.

According to the Israeli military, approximately 100 hostages remain in captivity, along with the remains of another 30 abductees.

Israeli forces have killed over 30,500 Palestinians in their almost five-month assault with over 71,920 wounded and at least 7,000 missing, who are believed to be dead and buried under rubble. 

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