Israeli military used Hannibal Command in Oct. 7 attack on Hamas: Report | Israel-Palestine Conflict News

On October 7 last year, the Israeli army issued the Hannibal Directive, a controversial Israeli military policy aimed at preventing enemy forces from capturing Israeli soldiers at all costs. investigation This was reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Citing testimony from Israeli soldiers and senior military officials, the paper said on Sunday that during Hamas’ unprecedented offensive last October, the Israeli army made a decision based on limited, unverified intelligence and issued orders that “not a single vehicle would be allowed to return to Gaza.”

“at this point, [Israeli army] “While Israel did not know the scale of kidnappings along the Gaza border, it knew that many people were involved. It was therefore entirely clear what the message meant and what the fate of those kidnapped would be,” the report said.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas said it had captured dozens of Israelis on October 7, many of whom are still in captivity or have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, but most of those captured were civilians, not soldiers who are exempt from the Hannibal Directive.

Israeli officials say the death toll in Israel from the Hamas-led attacks is an estimated 1,139, with around 250 taken prisoner, while more than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to an NDMT tally based on official figures.

Haertz said it was not known how many soldiers and civilians were killed in the Hannibal operation, but added that “the cumulative data shows that many of those kidnapped were at risk of exposure to Israeli fire, even if they were not targeted.”

The report states that the Hannibal Protocol “was employed at three military facilities infiltrated by Hamas” but “failed to prevent the kidnapping of the seven.” [soldiers] or 15 other guards and 38 soldiers were killed.”

What is the Hannibal Directive?

The Hannibal Directive, also known as the Hannibal Procedure or Hannibal Protocol, is Israeli military policy that outlines the maximum use of force if a soldier is kidnapped, former Israeli soldier Yehuda Shaul told NDMT in November.

“We will fire without restraint to thwart the abduction,” he said, adding that force would be used even at the risk of killing the captured soldiers.

Shaul added that in addition to firing at kidnappers, soldiers could also fire at intersections, roads, highways and other corridors through which the enemy might pass abducted soldiers.

The last time Israel used the Hannibal Directive was during the 2014 Gaza war, according to leaked military audio recordings, though the Israeli military denies having used it.

Subsequent Israeli bombings killed dozens of Palestinians and sparked accusations of war crimes against Israeli forces.

The directive was supposedly repealed in 2016, but it is unclear why. A report by Israel’s National Audit Office also recommended the army repeal it, citing criticism it had received and differing interpretations within the military, Haaretz reported.

According to an investigation by Haaretz, a senior Israeli military official also confirmed that Operation Hannibal “was carried out on October 7.” The source said a post-war investigation would determine who gave the order.

Meanwhile, an Israeli army spokesman told the paper that the army had “launched an internal investigation into what happened on October 7 and the period prior to it.”

“The aim of these investigations is to learn and draw lessons that will help in the continuing fight. Once completed, their findings will be presented to the public in a transparent manner,” the spokesman said, according to an Israeli newspaper.


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