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Israeli soldier's testimony raises questions about whether army fired on civilians on Oct. 7

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 28,2023

An Israeli soldier's testimony has raised questions about whether the army fired on Israeli civilians under the "Hannibal Protocol" during the Oct. 7 surprise attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Jewish settlements near the Gaza Strip.

In a report broadcast on Sunday by Israel's Channel 12 News, a second lieutenant from an Israeli tank unit identified as Michal spoke about her experience in pursuing Palestinian militants in an Oct. 7 operation.

"We arrived at the entrance of the (Hulit) compound and the gate was closed. A soldier came to me, somewhat frightened, saying, 'Terrorists have entered now.' We entered the compound, broke the gate with the tank, and followed the directions pointed out by the soldier," she said.

"Then the soldier told me, 'Fire over there. The terrorists are there.' I asked him, 'Are there any civilians (Israelis) there?' His response was, 'I don't know, just fire.'"

"I decided not to shell the target (with a tank shell) because it was an Israeli settlement, but I fired using a machine gun at the entrance of a house," she said.

The report by Channel 12 came as a pilot with the Israeli armed forces said the military implemented the Hannibal Protocol during the surprise attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

In an interview with Israel's Haaretz daily, Lieut. Col. Nof Erez drew attention to the possibility that Israeli forces responding to Hamas's attack might have implemented the directive.

A Haaretz report revealed that an Israeli military helicopter fired at "Palestinian gunmen" and Israelis attending a music festival near Kibbutz Be'eri in the Gaza periphery on Oct. 7.

Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

It has since killed at least 14,854 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and more than 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave. The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.