In a rare admittance of the use of the so-called 'Hannibal Directive', in which Israeli soldiers kill their fellow soldiers to avoid their capture, an Israeli military officer admitted in an interview with the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahranoth that he ordered a mass bombardment of parts of Rafah during the Israeli invasion, last month, in order to ensure the death of an Israeli soldier who he believed had been captured.
The Rafah bombardment lasted for three straight days, from August 1st to 4th, and resulted in at least 114 deaths of civilians, in a bid to kill an Israeli soldier that Winter believed had been captured.
It turned out later that the soldiers had never been captured, but had been killed in an engagement with Hamas fighters, on August 1st.
The civilians killed in that bombardment included a number of families who were crushed to death when their homes were hit by airstrikes – like the Zo'rob family, who lost five children, including 7-year-old twins Amir and Odai, their 8-year-old brother Khaled, 10-year-old Shahd and 12-year-old Rawan.
In his interview with Yedioth Ahranoth, Colonel Ofer Winter called the civilian population in Gaza “a partner of terror” that “gets what they choose”.
Journalist Rania Khalek with the Electronic Intifada wrote, “Just as a temporary three-day humanitarian ceasefire negotiated by Egypt and the United States went into effect on the morning of Friday, 1 August, a unit of soldiers from the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade conducted a tunnel incursion in Rafah, provoking fire from Palestinian resistance fighters.
“Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the ensuing firefight and another, Hadar Goldin, went missing. It was later determined that Goldin died in the battle but, in the immediate aftermath, the Israeli army operated under the assumption that he had been captured. more