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Israel Used ‘Hannibal Directive’ to Kill its Own People on October 7, Local Media Reports

by Frank Wright | Lifesite
July 9th 2024, 6:16 am
Reports from Israeli news outlets like Haaretz and others confirmed that Israeli forces were instructed to prevent vehicles from returning to Gaza after Hamas’ October 7 attack, even if it meant endangering Israeli hostages.
Image Credit:
Anadolu / Contributor / Getty

(LifeSiteNews) — Since Hamas launched Operation Aqsa Flood on October 7 last year the Israeli narrative has been repeatedly challenged by evidence that its intelligence services knew of the attacks in advance, and that the Israeli armed forces had followed a protocol to kill its own citizens rather than permit them to be taken hostage.

Known as the Hannibal Directive, its existence has been confirmed. Until this week, however, there was only circumstantial evidence it had been followed on October 7, 2023.

On July 7, 2024, Israeli newspaper Haaretz published claims of proof that Israeli armed forces were instructed to kill Israelis to prevent their capture.

The article states:

Communication networks could not keep up with the flow of information, as was the case for soldiers sending these reports. However, the message conveyed at 11:22 A.M. across the Gaza Division network was understood by everyone. ‘Not a single vehicle can return to Gaza’ was the order.

At this point, the IDF was not aware of the extent of kidnapping along the Gaza border, but it did know that many people were involved. Thus, it was entirely clear what that message meant, and what the fate of some of the kidnapped people would be.

This was not the first order given by the division with the intent of foiling kidnapping even at the expense of the lives of the kidnapped, a procedure known in the army as the ‘Hannibal procedure.

Documents obtained by Haaretz, as well as testimonies of soldiers, mid-level and senior IDF officers, reveal a host of orders and procedures laid down by the Gaza Division, Southern Command and the IDF General Staff up to the afternoon hours of that day, showing how widespread this procedure was, from the first hours following the attack and at various points along the border…

The decision to conduct attacks inside outposts, says a senior defense official, will haunt senior commanders all their lives. ‘Anyone making such a decision knew that our combatants in the area could be hit as well.’…

At that point, the army did not know the number of people who had been kidnapped. ‘We thought they numbered dozens at that stage,’ a military source told Haaretz. Firing mortars at the Gaza Strip would endanger them as well. Furthermore, another order given at 11:22 A.M., according to which no vehicle would be allowed to return to Gaza, took this a step further.

‘Everyone knew by then that such vehicles could be carrying kidnapped civilians or soldiers,’ a source in Southern Command told Haaretz. ‘There was no case in which a vehicle carrying kidnapped people was knowingly attacked, but you couldn’t really know if there were any such people in a vehicle. I can’t say there was a clear instruction, but everyone knew what it meant to not let any vehicles return to Gaza.’

The charge that Israeli forces acted in this manner was initially dismissed with references to holocaust denial. Many atrocities claimed by Israel to have taken place on October 7 were simply made up, with lurid claims about babies being repeated by the president of the United States.

Joe Biden claimed to have seen photos which do not exist, and Ben Shapiro posted a fake photo of a baby burned in an oven, first distributed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

The claims of burned and beheaded babies came from organizations seeking to fundraise from the creation of atrocity stories useful to the Israeli government’s media campaign.

Warnings ignored

Earlier this summer, evidence emerged that members of Israel’s Unit 8200 intelligence brigade warned their superiors of an imminent attack by Hamas, to be carried out almost exactly as it took place on October 7.

READ: Israel knew about the October 7 attacks in advance. Why did it do nothing to stop them?

Subsequent reports revealed Israel had known for at least one year of the buildup and blueprint for the October 7 assault by Hamas. The Israeli high court ordered an investigation into the “intelligence failures” which permitted the attacks to be halted, as the Jewish News Service reported on June 17.

With this latest revelation, the official narrative of October 7 itself more closely resembles a “conspiracy theory” – which is how all the evidence against it has been routinely framed by pro-Zionist media and politicians.

Anatomy of a directive

report by’s Kyle Anzalone described the revelations made in the Israeli media this week:

A review by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) set to be released this summer will conclude that Israeli soldiers killed many of their own people on October 7, Israeli media reported.

Israel’s Channel 12 News reported on July 6 that the preliminary findings of an investigation into IDF action leaves no doubt that “Many casualties were due to the firing of our own forces.”

This report cites Kibbutz Be’eri, where houses were destroyed by Israeli tank shells, killing civilian occupants.

A previous investigation in April by the IDF cleared General Barak Hiram of killing civilians by ordering the shelling of houses, finding instead that the occupants of one house were killed by “small arms fire.” Now the IDF is set to release the findings of a new probe into the events of October 7, with some details already discussed in the Israeli media.

The latest inquiry emphasizes confusion and panic, rather than the implementation of a kill order – says Anzalone’s report.

“The IDF’s October 7 review appears to point to incompetence rather than the intentional killing of its own civilians.”

Yet an investigation by Israel’s Ynet News said in January 2024 that an order to follow the Hannibal Directive had been given to the IDF.

Citing the official Israeli investigation into the October 7 attacks, which it calls the “7 Days” report, Ynet said.

One of the revelations revealed in the investigation is that on midnight of October 7, the IDF ordered all of its actual combat units on the Hannibal procedure, though without clearly stating this explicit name.

The Jerusalem Post said the report proved the IDF had killed many Israeli civilians – attributing these deaths to “friendly fire errors.”

“According to the report, the probe will find numerous cases of friendly fire errors leading to tragic deaths and groups of IDF soldiers who were too hesitant to confront Hamas invaders (as still others rushed to fight without being formally summoned),” the Jerusalem Post added.

Antiwar also collated previous reports of Israeli forces killing its own civilians, including via airstrikes and the use of indiscriminate fire into residential areas and an order by one Israeli commander to bomb his own men.

IDF field commander Bar Zonshein acknowledged the existence of the Hannibal Directive in the same interview in which he confirmed he had ordered an attack on his own unit, and Israel IDF Colonel Nof Erez described the Israeli response on October 7 as a “mass Hannibal” operation.

Despite the evidence of bombed-out houses, vehicles destroyed by airstrikes, and the statements of serving Israeli commanders on the day, journalists who have reported on these incidents have been smeared in the mainstream media, with their findings dismissed as misinformation.

Repeated attacks on the truth

In one of many attempts to discredit the reporting of the truth about October 7, the Washington Post ran a piece on January 21 framing critics of the discredited Israeli narrative as paranoid “truthers.” It was part of the creation of another false narrative – that anyone who had reasonable doubts about the official version of events was simply denying  the attacks took place.

Claims such as “Israel murdered their own people on October 7,” were framed as “denial.” This report was produced by a group backed by the Anti-Defamation League – and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had claimed on November 14 that a girl had been “murdered” in Kibbutz Be’eri “by Hamas.”

In fact, as Haaretz had reported the previous month, Israeli tanks fired on her position. Her death by Israeli tank fire was confirmed by a witness who survived the attack. Published by Israeli media, these reports were written up by Max Blumenthal. For bringing facts like these to a Western audience, he was called a liar.

Haaretz attacked journalist Max Blumenthal personally for highlighting this and many inconsistencies in the stories presented in the mainstream media, which were echoedby leading U.S. politicians.

In addition to the latest Israeli army investigation, a June 12 report by the United Nations vindicates Blumenthal’s findings, which saw him branded a “liar” by Haaretz.

A bill was passed in the Israeli Parliament on February 7 supporting the charge that “anyone who denies the massacre that Hamas perpetrated on October 7 is no less than a Holocaust denier.”

None of the reports questioning the official media narrative have denied that Hamas killed a large number of civilians and Israeli military personnel. Instead, they questioned Israel’s atrocity propaganda, created to justify its horrific war on the civilian population of Gaza.

So why were people who were reporting the facts framed as holocaust deniers?

Israeli intelligence responded to growing suspicion over the false claims made about October 7 with a propaganda campaign. At its centre was this January 26 video, which warned of the imaginary danger of “October 7 denial”– saying this was the same as denying the holocaust.

The video’s script was repeated almost verbatim by Donald Trump, who told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in June:

You watch these people on television, and then just, like, you have Holocaust deniers also, they say the Holocaust never took (place). It’s the exact same people. They’re saying it never happened.

In the light of all the above, the Al Jazeera documentary on October 7 by award-winning British TV producer, journalist, and author Richard Sanders has gained more credibility.

No one is saying October 7 never happened. “Denial” was the historically charged smear applied to anyone who noticed the obvious difference between the facts and the demonic actions claimed in the press. The claim of denial offered no evidence beyond a few posts on Reddit.

READ: Uncovering the truth behind Israel’s justification for its war in Gaza

As we have seen in recent years, “conspiracy theory” is a term designed to label the prudent and the discerning as deranged, and the gullible as wise.

Even the Israelis themselves now admit they killed their own people on the day. The charge of denial is as much a fabrication as the beheaded and burned babies whose non-existent pictures Joe Biden said he had seen.

With so many questions around the October 7 story, how long can the narrative of denial survive this argument with the evidence?

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