On August 5, Haaretz editorial admitted that Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin had died after the IDF activated the Hannibal Procedure.
The Hannibal Procedure (Nohal Haniba’al) is the best known IDF secret, at least among its soldiers. Even the official version recognized by the current Chief of Staff Gantz is sanitized.
The procedure dates back to 1986, when the IDF faced hard events in Lebanon. Major General Yossi Peled headed the Northern Command back then. His surname means “steel,” and matches his reputation. His Operations Officer was Colonel Gabi Ashkenazi, who later became a controversial Chief of Staff after the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. The two solved their most pressing problem in Lebanon with what still keeps its original codename, the Hannibal Procedure.
It can be summarized in a sentence: The fall of IDF soldiers captive must be avoided at all costs.
At first sight it looks sensible. If not pondering on the issue and translating it into specific orders, it may even sound civilized.
The translation of the order to the ground means bombing the entire area of the event, so that the soldier would not be taken out of it. Killing the captors is a must, even if it kills the captive soldier
Despite the Military Censor successfully blocking its mention by the media, the procedure became semi-public in 2000, after Hezbollah captured three soldiers in Har Dov, on October 7. Since then, several Hannibal Procedure events become public domain.
Following several scandals, Lt. Gen. Gantz clarified in that shooting the IDF soldier held captive is not allowed. Obviously, he thinks that lying to the public is allowed.