The Israeli military has activated the Hannibal Protocol

During the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) activated the “Hannibal Protocol,” which allowed the Israeli military to shoot its soldiers to prevent them from being captured. This was reported by Haaretz.

According to the publication, the IDF operated under the “Hannibal Protocol” at three military installations on the border with the Gaza Strip. This protocol applies in exceptional cases where there is a risk of Israeli soldiers being taken hostage and allows for the killing of one's own soldiers and civilians to prevent their capture.

Haaretz reports that five hours after the Hamas attack began, at 11:22 a.m., the Israeli military was ordered not to allow vehicles back into Gaza at all costs, even if they might be carrying military or civilian hostages. This decision was aimed at preventing the possible use of hostages to put pressure on the Israeli government.

At the moment, there is no exact information about whether civilians were killed after the introduction of the Hannibal Protocol in October 2023. However, it is clear from leaked documents and testimony from IDF officers that the military used this protocol extensively to respond to a surprise Hamas attack. Statistics and the number of possible deaths as a result of the Hannibal Protocol have not been disclosed.

Israeli media reported that the death toll from the attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz in October was 1200. Prior to this, reports of the use of the Hannibal Protocol were published by Arabic resources such as Al Jazeera, but representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Defense denied this fact.

The Hannibal Protocol was introduced in 1996 and has been used at least five times since then. For example, it was used during the kidnapping of soldiers on Mount Dov on October 7, 2001, as well as during Operation Protective Edge following the kidnapping of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin in Rafah in 2014.

Analysts note that the use of the Hannibal Protocol raises serious ethical and legal questions. Critics argue that this protocol could lead to unnecessary casualties among civilians and friendly soldiers. At the same time, supporters of the protocol argue that it is a necessary measure to prevent the taking of hostages and their use as a tool of pressure.


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