The incident came as Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, condemned all civilian casualties amid Israel’s relentless war on Gaza.
Three Israelis held captive in Gaza have been killed by Israeli forces.
According to a report on Saturday by the Wall Street Journal, Alon Shamriz, Samer Talalka and Yotam Haim were shot dead in the Shujaiyeh area of Gaza after Israeli troops opened fire.
It later emerged from Israel’s inquiry that the three men were shirtless and one was waving a stick with a white cloth – a makeshift white flag, indicating that they were unarmed and willing to surrender.
“They’re all without shirts and they have a stick with a white cloth on it. The soldier feels threatened and opens fire. He declares that they’re terrorists, they [forces] open fire, two are killed immediately,” an Israeli military official said.
In a statement about the incident, the Israeli force’s Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant Herzl Halevl, said on Saturday that he and the Israeli forces bore responsibility for the death of the three captives.
“The shooting at hostages was against the rules of engagement. It is forbidden to shoot at someone who raises a white flag and seeks to surrender,” Halevl added.
The incident came as Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the state continues to push for a reinstated ceasefire in Gaza.
According to a communique published by MoFA on Saturday, Qatar is engaged in ongoing diplomatic efforts “that would end the war, stop the bloodshed of the Palestinian brethren, and lead to serious negotiations and the launch of a political process that yields a comprehensive, permanent, and just peace”.
The bloodshed of civilians during this war, which, according to Euro-Med Monitor, has so far seen at least 23,012 Palestinians killed in Gaza, was recently condemned by Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
During a meeting on Friday in Oslo with Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr, Sheikh Mohammed discussed strategies to de-escalate the violence in Gaza and reinstate a ceasefire, according to a MoFA communique.
Also on Friday, Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, echoed Sheikh Mohammed’s sentiment during the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly.
“It is high time for international humanitarian law to be applied without distinction and without double standard,” she said on Friday, in reference to Israel’s killing of scores of civilians – including women, men, children, journalists and medical professional staff with impunity.
As such, Sheikha Alya said that Qatar welcomed the UN General Assembly’s adoption of a ceasefire in Gaza on December 12. This motion saw 153 UNGA member states vote in favour of the resolution, while Israel and America were among the 23 who voted against.
The Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, where Sheikha Alya spoke on Friday, was first convened in 1997 after an urgent request by Qatar’s former Permanent Representative to the UN, Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
In a letter addressed to the late UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, following Israel’s illegal establishment of the Har Homa settler housing project in occupied East Jerusalem, Al Khalifa, in cooperation with the League of Arab States, ushered in the “Uniting for peace” resolution.
The resolution was tabled to discuss the then-ongoing rise in illegal settlements in Palestine.
Condemning the UN’s inaction regarding the atrocity, Al Khalifa’s letter said: “The Arab States have considered the failure of the Security Council to exercise its role in maintaining international peace and security owing to the use of the veto by a permanent member of the Council on two successive occasions in less than two weeks.”