Kasher demands an investigation into the incidents that caused the deaths of civilians and soldiers by friendly fire (Getty)

Israeli philosopher and researcher Asa Kasher said that incidents in which poor military order was used during the October 7 attack, which caused the deaths of civilians or military personnel by friendly fire, must be investigated immediately.

On the "The Week" program broadcast by the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz", Kasher - a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies and the architect of the Israeli army's ethics code known as the "Hannibal Directive" - ​​discussed the issue of using the code's rules in an attack by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

Kasher wrote the IDF Code of Conduct, which was developed by the Israel Defense Forces in 1986 in response to an attempt by Lebanese Hezbollah to kidnap two soldiers in southern Lebanon.

In the original version, the directive specified the procedures that must be followed when a soldier is at risk of capture in enemy territory. The directive - which was drafted by the commander of the IDF's Northern Command at the time, Yossi Peled, along with Colonel Gabi Ashkenazi and Colonel Yaakov Amidror - stressed the priority of rescuing captured soldiers. from their captors, even if it means risking harm to the captured soldiers themselves.

It is noteworthy that the directive was drafted without consulting legal experts.

For years, the content of the Hannibal Directive and its use by the Israeli military was shrouded in secrecy, and it is rumored to have been invoked only a few times between 1986 and 2016 when it was officially rescinded by the military.

Multiple versions

According to Kasher, one of the difficulties in assessing the legality and morality of the “Direct of Hannibal” is the wide range of versions and interpretations. There are several different versions depending on the unit or forces that have to deal with it, and it changes depending on the command or region.

He explained that there are contradictions between the versions, but he said that there is absolutely nothing in all versions that allows someone to kill any Israeli, whether civilian or military.

But accounts of what happened at one site on Kibbutz Be'eri during the Hamas attack indicate that no code of conduct was implemented.

Kasher wondered whether Hannibal's directives had been misunderstood in a previous incident that occurred at the Cohen family home, where 14 Israelis were held hostage, according to the testimony of Yasmin Porat and Hadas Dagan, the only survivors of the incident.

According to Porat, after a Hamas fighter released her, she was interrogated by the police’s anti-terrorism unit, who told them that there were about 40 Palestinian fighters and 14 Israeli civilian detainees still in the house.

Dagan was among the hostages inside the house, where an Israeli tank fired two shells at him, according to what she said. She was the only Israeli who survived the incident, and she confirmed Borat’s story.

The families of the dead demanded that the Israeli army open an investigation into the incident, and according to a New York Times report, the commander of the 99th Division, General Barak Hiram, said that he ordered a tank commander to fire on Cohen’s house, “even at the cost of civilian casualties.”

Kasher hesitated to confirm the details of the incident before conducting the investigation, but he raised a different point, saying, "I have looked at all copies of Hannibal's directive and I have never seen any mention of its use," referring to attempted kidnappings of civilians.

Immediate investigation

Kasher strongly agreed with the families on the need for an immediate investigation, starting with the Military Defense Council and, if necessary, moving it to the State Attorney General. How could a high-ranking military official in the Israeli army issue an order that would certainly put the lives of many Israeli civilians in danger?

While the army said it would investigate the incident after the war ended, Kashir responded, "This is their approach. We hear it all the time from the army spokesman."

But Kasher believes that this incident calls for an immediate investigation, just as happened when 3 detainees held by Hamas were mistakenly killed by the Israeli army.

Kasher spoke about another incident that occurred last October 7 on the Israeli border with Gaza, and according to an investigation conducted by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the forces received orders to prevent detainees from being taken to Gaza by force if necessary.

At noon on October 7, Israeli army helicopters bombed cars trying to cross the border, and there is unconfirmed evidence that detained Israeli civilians were injured.

Kasher believes that the entire culture of the Israeli army needs to change.

Source: Haaretz