‘Not your fault’: Mother of hostage slain in error sends love, support to soldiers who killed him

Yotam Haim, left, and his mother, Iris Haim, in an undated photo. (Courtesy)
Yotam Haim, left, and his mother, Iris Haim, in an undated photo. (Courtesy)

Iris Haim, whose son Yotam was shot dead in error by IDF troops in northern Gaza on December 15, records a message for the soldiers who killed him, telling them that she and her family love them and do not blame them for his death.

Yotam, 28, was abducted by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7. He was shot dead, together with two other hostages, Alon Shamriz and Samar Talalka, by IDF troops who mistakenly identified them as a threat, in a tragic incident that is the subject of an ongoing IDF investigation.

Addressing herself to the soldiers of the Bislamach Brigade’s 17th Battalion, Yotam’s mother says: “This is Iris Haim. I am Yotam’s mother. I wanted to tell you that I love you very much, and I hug you here from afar.

“I know that everything that happened is absolutely not your fault, and nobody’s fault except that of Hamas, may their name be wiped out and their memory erased from the earth,” she continues.

“I want you to look after yourselves and to think all the time that you are doing the best thing in the world, the best thing that could happen, that could help us. Because all the people of Israel and all of us need you healthy,” she says.

“And don’t hesitate for a second if you see a terrorist,” she urges. “Don’t think that you killed a hostage deliberately. You have to look after yourselves because only that way can you look after us.”

(From L-R) Hostages Yotam Haim, Samar Talalka and Alon Lulu Shamriz, who were killed mistakenly by IDF troops in Gaza on December 15, 2023. (Courtesy)

“At the first opportunity,” Iris Haim continues, “you are invited to come to us, whoever wants to. And we want to see you with our own eyes and hug you and tell you that what you did — however hard it is to say this, and sad — it was apparently the right thing at that moment.

“And nobody’s going to judge you or be angry. Not me, and not my husband Raviv. Not my daughter Noya. And not Yotam, may his memory be blessed. And not Tuval, Yotam’s brother. We love you very much. And that is all.”

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