Israeli war pilot Lieutenant Colonel Nof Erez stated that it appears the Israeli military implemented the "Hannibal Protocol" during Hamas attack on October 7 to prevent the capture of Israeli civilians by killing them.
Reports in the Israeli media, citing high civilian casualties and Israeli military helicopters hitting not only Hamas members but also civilians intervening in the attack, sparked debates about whether the Israeli military applied the doctrine known as the "Hannibal Protocol."
In an interview with Haaretz on the matter, Lieutenant Colonel Nof Erez highlighted the possibility that Israeli forces intervening in Hamas's attack on October 7 might have implemented the "Hannibal Protocol," which involves killing Israelis at risk of capture. Erez reminded that the aforementioned Hannibal Protocol was devised in the Israeli military 30 years ago based on events in Lebanon.
Lieutenant Colonel Erez, discussing the day of the Hamas attack when warplanes and drones began firing, stated that it is unknown whether hostages were killed. Regarding the intentional nature of the implementation of the Hannibal Protocol, he said, "It seems that the Hannibal Protocol was implemented at some point because when you identify a hostage situation, that's Hannibal. But the Hannibal we've practiced for the past 20 years was related to a single vehicle with hostages. What we saw here was a massive Hannibal. There were many openings in the fences, and there were thousands of people in many different vehicles, both with and without hostages."
Lieutenant Colonel Erez, noted for coordinating helicopter operations for the evacuation of the injured during Israel's attacks on Gaza, described his role as "an impossible task where identification was impossible, and it was impossible to do what was allowed." He stated, "I know that whoever had control of the weapon systems, both drones and war pilots, did their best without coordinating with ground forces because these forces were not (yet) present."
On the other hand, according to reports in the national media, Lieutenant Colonel Erez was removed from duty on October 31 after criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli military spokesperson announced that Erez was relieved of duty while still active due to expressing himself on "political issues."