IDF killed Israelis on 7 October

IssueApril - May 2024
News by Milan Rai

Over the past few months, Electronic Intifada (EI) and other independent outlets have gathered together the growing evidence that the Israel defence forces (IDF) deliberately attacked vehicles and buildings on 7 October 2023 when they either knew that Israeli civilians were inside or when there was a significant risk that Israeli civilians might be harmed.

A new Al-Jazeera documentary about 7 October interviews a former British artillery officer, Chris Cobb-Smith, who says that the ‘catastrophic structural damage’ caused to buildings in Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Kfar Azza could not have been caused by the light weapons carried by Palestinian fighters, or by the buildings being set on fire.

The level of damage captured on video could only have been caused, in Cobb-Smith’s view, by ‘some sort of heavy weapons system during combat’. That means tanks, rockets, missiles, mortars or artillery guns, not the rocket-propelled grenades carried by Palestinian fighters on 7 October.

In Israel, these IDF attacks on Israeli civilians have been reported as an evolution of ‘the Hannibal Directive’, a policy of using maximum force to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers, even at the cost of their lives. 

Two respected Israeli journalists reported in a major Hebrew newspaper that the Hannibal Directive was activated on 7 October, with all units ordered to prevent the capture of civilian hostages ‘at any cost’ (EI article in PN 2670).

The IDF admitted to an ‘immense and complex quantity’ of ‘friendly fire’ casualties on 7 October, Israeli journalist Yoav Zitun reported in the mainstream outlet, Ynet on 12 December (highlighted by EI).

Surviving Israeli civilians have spoken publicly about these attacks, including Yasmin Porat (EI article in PN 2669) and the released hostages quoted on this page. Porat’s account has been backed up by video evidence of an Israeli tank firing into a kibbutz building containing Israeli hostages, in front of Porat’s eyes (PN 2670).