Before the entrance on foot [to the Gaza Strip], a crazy amount of artillery was fired at the entire area. Two hours, non-stop, ‘Boom boomboom.’ After that the tanks entered in two lines, and in front of the tanks a D9 (armored bulldozer) plowed the entire area, and we walked in their trail. He lowers his blade on the ground and drives?
Lowers it and drives, doesn’t stop for a second. You walk on rubble and pipes sticking out of the ground. And since the distance is relatively short – about 700 meters – you cross it real quick, you walk fast. Once we finished walking we started the offensive. Coordination is via two-way radio and wham, you start shooting at the house. Everything ‘wet’ (using live fire). From the moment we went in, we were firing MATADOR and LAW (portable anti-tank) rockets on every house we entered before ‘opening’ them up, everything ‘wet,’ grenades, the whole thing. War. Every room you go into you open ‘wet?’
Everything. When I got to a house, it was already half destroyed. Lots and lots of bullet holes inside it, everything inside a total mess. The two hours of artillery fire before – At what were they shooting?
At scattered areas near the houses. All those agricultural areas near the houses. Before a tank makes any movement it fires, every time. Those guys were trigger happy, totally crazy. Those were their orders, I’m certain of it, there’s no chance anybody would just go around shooting like that. [The brigade’s] conception was, “We’ll fire without worrying about it, and then we’ll see what happens.” The fire was directed at places deemed suspicious?
No, not necessarily. The tank fires at places that you know you will need to enter, it fires at those houses. Only at the houses you’re going to enter?
No, at the surrounding houses too. There are also agricultural fields there, the D9 rips them all up. And tin sheds. It takes down whatever’s in its way, it topples greenhouses. Lots of houses were flattened in “Bar’s Bar” (The nickname given to a housing compound in which the forces were positioned). Empty houses that bothered us. Bothered us even just to look at. I don’t even know what to call that…