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Israeli helicopters fired at Israelis on October 7. (Photo: Yuvalr, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

This is one of the outcomes of a series of internal investigations conducted by the Israeli army.

The Israeli army acknowledged on Friday that it killed an Israeli settler by fire from one of its helicopters in the Gaza Strip on October 7, Israeli media reported.

Efrat Katz, 68, was killed in the Kibbutz Nir Oz following the military operation carried out by the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas.

“According to the investigation, amid battles that took place in southern Israel on October 7, an (Israeli Air Force) helicopter opened fire against a car,” the Times of Israeli newspaper reported, citing a military statement.

“It was later revealed, based on eyewitnesses and surveillance camera footage, that the vehicle also had Israeli hostages in it,” the report added.

The findings were shared with the woman’s family on Friday, according to the statement.

The Israeli army said the probe found that its surveillance systems could not distinguish Israeli captives from Hamas members in moving vehicles, and therefore the shooting was “defined as shooting at a vehicle with terrorists.”

This is one of the outcomes of a series of internal investigations conducted by the Israeli army. “The probes will be focusing on a timeframe from the March 2018 Hamas-led Gaza border riots until October 10, 2023,” according to the Israeli paper. 

Hannibal Directive

‘Hannibal Directive’ is the name of a controversial procedure used by the Israeli army to prevent, at any cost the capture of soldiers by enemy forces. 

The directive, according to Eyal Weizmann, the founder of Forensic Architecture, dictates that “the kidnapping must be stopped by all means, even at the price of striking and harming our own forces”.

According to testimonies by Israeli settlers in the Israel-Gaza border region, the Israeli military had killed many of its own citizens as if to prevent the Resistance from taking them as hostages.

These reports even made their way to the Israeli media. 

Yasmin Porat, a survivor from the Kibbutz Be’eri, near the fence separating Gaza from Israel, said in an interview with Israeli Radio that Israeli forces “undoubtedly” killed a large number of Israeli civilians following the Hamas operation on October 7.

“They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she told Israeli radio. “There was very, very heavy crossfire and even tank shelling.”

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,173 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,815 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’ 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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