“What the hell, why did you have to shoot him again?”
testimony catalog number: 182607
rank: Staff Sergeant
area: Northern Gaza strip
We were in a house with the reconnaissance platoon, and there was some soldier stationed at the guard post. We were instructed [during the briefings] that whoever’s in the area is dangerous, is suspect. Especially if it’s a vehicle – in that case you really pound it with bullets, everybody stationed in the posts. [There was one case where] a soldier who was in one of the posts saw an old [Palestinian] man approaching, so he shouted that some old man was getting near. He didn’t shoot at him – he fired near him. What I know, because I checked this, is that one of the other soldiers shot that grandpa twice. A big hoopla got going, everyone got their gear quick and wanted to go outside because, like they say in the IDF, ‘strive for engagement.’ I went up to a window to see what was going on out there, and I saw there was an old man lying on the ground, he was shot in his leg and he was wounded. It was horrible, the wound was horrible, and he looked either dead or unconscious to me. So we went down and told that entire force – these guys were all truly twisted – “Enough, there’s no reason to shoot him, get a grip, he’s dead.” And so an argument starts up [between the soldiers]: “What makes you an expert on death? What are you, some doctor?” And then after that, some guy from the company went out and shot that man again, and that, for me, was the last straw. I don’t think there was a single guy in my platoon who wasn’t shocked by that. It’s not like we’re a bunch of leftists, but – why? Like, what the hell, why did you have to shoot him again? One of the problems in this story is that there was no inquiry into it, at least none that I know of. Not a word was spoken to us about it later on – nobody told us how we were expected to behave. So we hashed out our own conclusions – that the first two bullets were justified because if he had an IED on him, then what?
What was it for, really?
Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories
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