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Haaretz demands investigation into killing of Israeli hostages by tank fire

January 8, 2024 at 4:06 pm

Israeli army artillery units, howitzers, and tanks, stationed in Re’im region, continue their attacks on Gaza as Israeli military mobility continues in Re’im, Israel on December 27, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli media outlet, Haaretz, on Monday called for an investigation into the killing of Israeli hostages by a tank fire near the border with the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

At least 12 hostages held by Hamas fighters were killed when an Israeli tank fired two shells at a house at Be’eri settlement on 7 October, according to Israeli media.

“There is no demand more justified than that of relatives of people killed in the hostage incident at Kibbutz Be’eri to investigate the army’s actions and to receive answers about the circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths,” Haaretz said in an editorial.

The newspaper called on the Israeli army to provide an explanation regarding the actions of Israeli soldiers during the settlement attack.

It said an investigation will help explain if the “Hannibal Protocol”, which says a dead Israeli is preferable to enemy-held captives, was applied during the settlement attack.

READ: Another Israel witness confirms Israeli tanks killed own citizens on 7 October

According to Israeli media, the “Hannibal Protocol” is a military directive applied by the Israeli army that governs how field units respond when a soldier is captured by hostile forces.

It stated that the Protocol was drafted in 1986 and was cancelled in 2016 by a decision of the then-Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, who currently serves as a minister in the Military Ministerial Council.

Haaretz said that conducting an investigation would help clarify whether this military directive would be used against Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is believed to be holding nearly 136 Israeli hostages in the blockaded Territory following its 7 October attack.

Israel has launched air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since 7 October, killing at least 23,084 Palestinians and injuring 58,926 others, according to Gaza’s health authorities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicines.

OPINION: What is the ‘Hannibal Directive’ and how Israel uses it