Israeli inquiry finds Oct. 7 hostage likely killed by Israeli helicopter gunship

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One of the hostages seized by Hamas gunmen during their attack on Israeli communities around Gaza on October 7 was probably killed by an Israeli helicopter gunship that was responding to the attack, the military said on Friday.

For several weeks, the military has been investigating reports that some of the 1,200 Israelis and foreign victims of the attack were killed by friendly fire during the chaos, in which more than 250 people were abducted as hostages.

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It said an inquiry into the events around the kidnapping of Efrat Katz, a resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, one of the communities targeted by the attack, examined a variety of video evidence and testimony of witnesses.

It said the evidence showed that one of the helicopter gunships fired at a vehicle in which gunmen were travelling and which the evidence also suggested had hostages in it.

“As a result of the fire, most of the terrorists manning the vehicle were killed, and most likely, Efrat Katz ... was killed as well,” it said in a statement.

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It said the investigation showed that the hostages could not be distinguished by existing surveillance systems.

“The commander of the air force did not find fault in the operation by the helicopter crew, who operated in compliance with the orders in a complex reality of war,” it said.

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