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Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories
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The battalion commander gave an order to shoot at people trying to recover the bodies

testimony catalog number: 149041
rank: First Sergeant
unit: Paratroopers
area: Nablus area
period: April 2002 - May 2002

There’s something else: shooting at people trying to recover bodies. I definitely remember that in Nablus. It was on the main road, they killed two, two armed men. They identified two armed men in Nablus, toward the end of the operation, they killed them, and then shot at the people who came to recover them. That was the instruction? I was with the battalion commander there. The battalion commander is now a colonel. What’s his name? ——. He definitely gave the order to shoot at people who came to rescue the bodies. Were they armed, the people rescuing the bodies? I think they were, but I’m not sure. Did they endanger anyone? They didn’t endanger anyone, but in general the order there is to shoot at anyone armed. Like, anyone armed was . . . To be killed? Yes. So it seemed reasonable to me. You don’t know if they were armed? I don’t remember whether they were armed or not, but I definitely remember that people came to recover the bodies and they fired on them. At the time it didn’t seem so terrible to me, today it seems a little, it’s . . . I understood that it’s also something, a logical procedure. You leave bodies in the field—they told me they did it a lot in Lebanon— you leave a body in the field, and you wait until they come to recover it so you can shoot at them. It’s like you’re setting up an ambush around the body. But those are things I heard about Lebanon. So it happened here, too. I remember something shocking there, like it’s gotten to the point of contempt for human life. We got an order on the radio telling us how to get to the head of the breach. So we get it, and it’s: you cross this tunnel, the tunnel opens to a road, you turn left, and at the end you turn right. And then it’s, like, really, someone wrote, marked the direction you have to go with arrows because those are places where they met up and split and whatever, and every company had its own arrow, and then someone comes and makes an arrow: →. What about the guys who were shot recovering the bodies? Did someone then go to kill them? Yes, we verified the killings. If it’s a body that’s been lying in the field for a long time, then probably not, but even after they’ve fired, they shoot to kill, and it’s really a problem. We’re in Nablus? We’re in Nablus again. After you kill someone—he’s already lying on the ground—you shoot through the scope to take him down for certain. And the guys who went to recover the bodies who you shot at, did you verify their deaths? I think so, it was procedure. You weren’t in that situation? I didn’t see it. I was in the same room as the guy doing the shooting, but I didn’t . . . You didn’t bother going to the window . . . You try to stay low, if you don’t have to. 

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