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The Hannibal Directive or “Hannibal Procedure” is a secret directive of the Israel Defense Forces with the purpose of preventing Israeli soldiers being captured by enemy forces in the course of combat. Israel has with several notable exceptions adhered to the principle of not negotiating with what it considers terrorists and this especially in hostage situations. This policy led to some notable successes, such as Operation Entebbe but also to loss of human life, as in the Maalot Massacre. In cases where Israeli soldiers were captured and no military solution was found, Israel was forced to negotiate with the captors about an exchange of prisoners. On several occasions this led to a highly controversial release of hundreds or even thousands of sentenced or suspected terrorists in Israeli captivity.
The order, drawn up in 1986 by a group of top Israeli officers, states that at the time of a kidnapping the main mission becomes forcing the release of the abducted soldiers from their kidnappers, even if that means injury to Israeli soldiers. It allows commanders to take whatever action is necessary, including endangering the life of an abducted soldier, to foil the abduction. However it does not allow for a soldier to be killed in order to prevent his abduction, according to the IDF chief of staff, Benny Gantz.
updated Thu. September 14, 2023
March 18, 2018
The IDF's “Hannibal directive” during the 2014 Gaza war. – The Defense Ministry's spokesmanship. – The IDF's Orthodox conscription goals. – The police department's response to crime against Palestinians. – The Treasury for hiding billions of shekels in budget reserves. – The government's treatment ofÃâÃÂ ...
March 14, 2018
Shapira spends some time on the Hannibal directive, which allowed the army to take action to prevent a soldier from being abducted even if it meant putting the captured soldier's life at risk. As reported by Haaretz in June 2016, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has canceled that directive and replaced itÃâÃÂ ...
Architecture and Design
February 28, 2018
For instance, the heavy bombardment on 1 August 2014 by Israel in Rafah city located in the Gaza Strip took about a year to reconstruct but FA's research led to a review of the Hannibal Directive, which allowed Israeli soldiers to be killed by their own army if they were taken prisoner. By proving that Israel'sÃâÃÂ ...
February 25, 2018
But Forensic Architecture's research into that day contributed to the cancellation of the “Hannibal Directive”, a classified policy whereby the Israeli military might kill their own soldiers if they are taken prisoner, rather than allow them to become hostages. This is not the point where most architecture studentsÃâÃÂ ...
February 12, 2018
In February 2016, the IDF used the controversial 'Hannibal Directive' during the rescue of two soldiers who accidentally strayed into Qalandiya refugee camp and came under attack. The entry of the soldiers led to fierce clashes, with the two fleeing their jeep and Israeli forces staging a rescue leaving oneÃâÃÂ ...
August 1, 2017
1 August 2017 marks three years since “Black Friday”, a key event at the beginning of the Israeli military's invocation of the so-called “Hannibal Directive” in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The go-ahead on the Directive brought four days of intensive, continuous military attacks on the city and severe restrictionsÃâÃÂ ...
October 7, 2016
During that conflict, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed. On Friday August 1, 2014, at Rafah in the south of Gaza, the Israeli Army invoked the Hannibal Directive to try to stop Hamas fighters from fleeing with a captured Israeli officer. The unprecedented ferocity of the action that followedÃâÃÂ ...
June 28, 2016
Israel's top military chief has ordered an end to the secretive and controversial procedure known as the Hannibal Directive, an order that allows the military as much force as deemed necessary to prevent the capture of a soldier. Chief of Staff Major General Gadi Eisenkot issued the halt a few weeks ago,ÃâÃÂ ...
June 24, 2015
On the morning of August 1, 2014, during the broadest Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip in years, a squad of Hamas fighters emerged from a shaft in the ground near the town of Rafah and ambushed three Israeli soldiers. The Israelis, members of an elite reconnaissance unit from the Givati Brigade, had been searching for aÃâÃÂ ...
October 13, 2014
On the morning of August 1, Israel invoked what is called the “Hannibal directive,” which directs its forces to take drastic measures to avoid the capture of an Israeli solider. This policy has never been clearly defined by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) but it is widely understood that the heavy price of aÃâÃÂ ...
The New Yorker
August 6, 2014
What is clear is that after Goldin was reported missing, the I.D.F. enacted a highly controversial measure known as the Hannibal Directive, firing at the area where Goldin was last seen in order to stop Hamas from taking him captive. As a result, according to Palestinian sources, seventy Palestinians wereÃâÃÂ ...
August 3, 2014
The Hannibal Directive was originally drafted in mid-1986 by Yossi Peled, who had just begun his five-year stint as head of the IDF's Northern Command – just months after Hezbollah captured two IDF soldiers in southern Lebanon. Peled clarified the procedures to be used in the first minutes and hoursÃâÃÂ ...
December 31, 1999
Alongside criticizing the lack of International Humanitarian law training among Israeli soldiers, the state Comptroller report also condemned the so-called Hannibal directive on cases of kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Israel has targeted the northern part of the Gaza Strip with tanks and unmanned aircraft inÃâÃÂ ...
December 31, 1999
JERUSALEM, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Israel's "Hannibal Directive," a controversial military tactic used when soldiers were captured by enemy forces, was criticized in a report released by the government's watchdog on Wednesday. Under the directive, last used during Israel's 2014 offensive in Gaza, soldiersÃâÃÂ ...
U.S. News & World Report
December 31, 1999
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 file photo, Palestinians look for their belongings after houses were destroyed in an Israeli strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Israel's government watchdog agency on Wednesday took aim at the military's "Hannibal" directive, a controversial tactic used in past casesÃâÃÂ ...
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