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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 order, drawn up in 1986 by a group of top Israeli officers, states that at the time of a capture the main mission becomes forcing the release of the captured soldiers from their captors, even if that means injury to Israeli soldiers. It allows commanders to take whatever action is necessary, including endangering the life of an captured soldier, to foil the capture. However it does not allow for a soldier to be killed in order to prevent his capture, according to the IDF chief of staff
... 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”.