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Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories
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Wherever there aren’t any of our forces – you have permission to fire

testimony catalog number: 392786
rank: Lieutenant
unit: Infantry
area: Northern Gaza strip
period: 2014

The specific night of the incursion [into the Gaza Strip], it sounded like the Yom Kippur War on the two-way radio. There was fire and you pull back and the battalion commander comes on and says, “We have two ‘flowers’ (an IDF term denoting wounded soldiers),” and a second later he comes on again and says, “No, it’s two ‘oleanders’ (an IDF term denoting soldiers killed in action).” Everyone was manic. I heard them saying on the assistive fire support radio that we were now firing at the entire area that was beyond our zone’s perimeter, right at the streets – central streets. Along those streets, along those tall buildings, there’s cannon fire, shells, combat choppers, everything was being used. All the targets that were marked in advance – streets, hideouts, control centers, tall buildings – the entire area blasted. All targets bombed. No playing around.

Where were you shooting at?

At the area surrounding the spot where that incident happened, around it in a radius of 200 meters, right up to the 200 meter line, 210 meters. Boom, boom, boom. Firing protocol of three shells per minute, at all targets. If you have two [artillery] batteries you use both. Wherever there aren’t any of our forces – you have permission to fire.

Do you remember a specific such incident?

I remember an incident when one of the units (a ground forces commando unit) had casualties when they were advancing, it was when their senior commander was wounded, I think. There was a crazy panic and everyone started firing like crazy. ‘Started’ means the fire protocol was ready and the assistive fire support starts opening fire and I hear all the booms and see the flares up in the air, and it was obvious the entire area around them was in mayhem. That was a specific incident.  

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