The following article appeared on the NRG website this past Monday in Hebrew. I translated it into English because of it's importance.Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד
From the eyewitness accounts of IDF combat soldiers who took part in the Cast-Lead operation in Gaza, it seems that in order to prevent the kidnapping of an IDF soldier, an order was given during a gun battle to shoot artillery shells at a house which contained terrorists, because of the serious possibility that within that house or next to it, was the body of an IDF soldier.
This difficult testimony, whose implications were the elimination of any chance of successfully rescuing the soldier alive, was expressed by soldiers that participated in that bloody battle in one of the most crowded neighborhoods in Gaza.
One fact is for certain; One IDF soldier was killed in that battle.
The solider and his friends went to search out a house in Gaza, during the ground invasion phase of Cast Lead. “The troops which were searching homes entered a house and encountered the enemy from short range,” the unit commander stated emotionally, “the soldier was hit during the first shots fired. During the exchange of gunfire, we took care of [eliminated] the terrorist [that shot at us], and an additional terrorist with him…”
Soldiers at the scene gave additional, new details about what happened, and the prevention of [Hamas] taking the body of the soldier. “The event started with searching the house, to make sure it was not booby-trapped, at the entrance to the house, the troops encountered a terrorist who opened fire from close range. The IDF soldier was wounded from the fire, because he was at the head of the formation. During the shooting, the unit commander saw something flashing on the floor, assumed it to be an explosive device, and he shouted at everyone to immediately exit the building.
While exiting the building, the wounded soldier was left inside, because the officers’ assessment was that the solider was already dead as this stage, and the troops exited the house. 3 artillery shells were then fired at the house, a different IDF unit entered the building, found another terrorist still alive, and they killed in a quick gun battle.
Since the 1980’s the IDF activates the “Hanibal protocol” whose design is to prevent the enemy from kidnapping soldiers. From the second the protocol is activated, IDF soldiers must prevent the kidnapping of IDF soldiers, or stop the kidnapping if in progress. The protocol gained publicity during the Jibril Deal in May 1985, between the State of Israel and the Head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Jibril, during which 1,150 Palestinian terrorists were exchanged for 3 captured IDF soldiers, Chezi Shai, Nisim Salem, and Yosef Gruf that were captured in Lebanon.
According to the protocol directive, soldiers must open fire on the kidnapper’s vehicle that has the kidnapped IDF soldier in it, in order to foil the kidnapping. This protocol has been the source of many heated discussions within Israel’s security community, with the primary question of the morality of the protocol. Security officials have said that the kidnapping of soldiers is strategic, not tactical, and carries a very heavy pricetag for Israel pay.
IDF General (res.) Giora Island that chaired the investigation committee into the kidnapping of [IDF soldier] Gilad Shalit found many flaws in the execution of the “Hannibal” protocol [when Shalit was kidnapped]. According to his report, too much time pass between the time Shalit’s tank was hit, until the protocol was activated, giving the kidnappers ample time to flee with Shalit.
The IDF spokesman comments: The IDF soldier was killed by terrorist fire against the troops. As in all difficult events, the IDF will investigate and arrive at conclusions.Jameel adds: Since the Jibril deal, no kidnapped IDF soldier has ever been released alive, excluding of course, kidnapped drug dealing scum, Elchanan Tannenbaum.