Israeli military investigation reveals many Oct. 7 Israeli casualties were caused by IDF rather than Hamas
07/01/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Israel has used the events of October 7 to justify a lengthy and very bloody war in Gaza that has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. On that date, Hamas terrorists entered southern Israel, where they reportedly killed more than 1,100 people and took 251 hostages.

However, it turns out that some of the Israeli deaths on that day came not at the hands of Hamas but instead as the result of “friendly fire” from the Israeli military. This is something that Hamas has been claiming for some time now, and many media reports about it were quickly dismissed as “disinformation.”

Now, however, leaks from a report compiled by the Israeli military itself confirm that a lot of the October 7 casualties were the result of friendly fire.

According to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12, a military investigation revealed that “friendly fires led to the deaths and injuries of an unspecified number of Israeli soldiers”. In addition, IDF forces were deployed in a “chaotic” manner.

A full official report is expected to be released next month, and it will essentially be an official admission that numerous Israelis were killed by the IDF and not Hamas. The IDF has not denied the information that has been leaked so far despite being aggressive about denying other leaks and failures.

Reports indicate Israel enacted the Hannibal Directive

Israel has also been accused of directing soldiers to kill hostages instead of letting Hamas use them as bargaining chips in a practice known as the Hannibal Directive. Although the IDF’s review seems to indicate that the so-called friendly fire incidents were more a matter of incompetence than intentional killings, a separate investigation conducted by the Israeli media outlet Ynet found that Israel did direct troops to kill hostages.

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The Jerusalem Post noted: “According to the report, the probe will find numerous cases of friendly fire errors leading to tragic deaths, groups of IDF soldiers who were too hesitant to confront Hamas invaders (as still others rushed to fight without being formally summoned)...”; the publication also reported that some commanders struggled to manage complex battlefield situations involving hostages.

Israel has publicly denied using the Hannibal Directive, but there is some evidence indicating that Israeli forces fired on homes where they knew civilians were present, including one incident at Kibbutz Be’eri that led to the deaths of a dozen Israelis who were being held hostage by Palestinian Hamas gunmen.

The full official report is expected to take a long-term view of not only October 7 but the situation with Gaza dating back several years. In early August, a report on what took place in Israel the day before the attacks that includes specific warnings, actions and failures to act will be published; it is expected to shed light on a significant intelligence failure on the part of a country that was once known for its impressive intelligence capabilities.

Earlier this month, a report by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry exposed numerous incidents involving the Israeli army using the Hannibal Directive on October 7. It also confirmed a statement made by an Israeli tank crew that they “had applied the Hannibal Directive by shooting at a vehicle which they suspected was transporting abducted [Israeli] soldiers."

Other situations it documented included a woman being killed by Israeli helicopter fire as she was being abducted by Hamas militants from Nir Oz to Gaza and the Be’eri incident.

Last month, IDF tanks killed five of their own soldiers and wounded seven in a friendly fire incident that took place in Jabalya in northern Gaza.

Sources for this article include:

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