Divining the News (DTN)

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Don’t get taken alive, Israeli soldiers told

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January 26, 2009, 16:42

Israeli soldiers fighting in Gaza this month were ordered to kill themselves rather than be captured, according to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot. Troops were also told to kill any Israeli soldier they saw being taken by Hamas. No matter what happens, no one will be kidnapped,” the paper quotes one unnamed company commander as telling his troops before the battle began. “We will not have a Gilad Shalit 2,” he said.

Shalit, an Israeli corporal taken prisoner three years ago, is still being held by Hamas. The militant group is demanding the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including hundreds convicted of terrorism, in exchange for him.

The newspaper quotes similar orders given in different field units which apparently reflect a new army policy. In the past, there were standing instructions, known as “Hannibal mode”, for firing at a vehicle bearing soldiers into captivity. The idea was to disable the vehicle and permit a rescue team to reach it, even it meant putting the captured soldier’s life at risk.

The new orders tighten those instructions, by apparently permitting the vehicle to be blown up. A soldier in a commando unit which operated behind Hamas lines said his unit was equipped with “special weapons”. According to the unnamed cammando: “we were instructed to use them also against any vehicle carrying a kidnapped soldier.”

A company commander told the newspaper that he had instructed his men to resist being taken prisoner “even if this costs you your life”. Israel’s Channel Ten television broadcast a recording from a battalion commander to his men just before they entered the Gaza Strip in which he says that one of Hamas’ principal goals was to capture soldiers in order to gain the freedom of imprisoned terrorists. “No soldier from the battalion will be kidnapped even if that means he blows up on his own grenade together with whoever wants to take him.”  –more–

Written by morris

January 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Gaza, israel

Tagged with ,

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