Who’s the commander of the operation, you or him? I'm the commander, he’s the technical force that actually comes to carry out the technical action needed. His reaction was – and that was actually the breaking point for me – why did you come here to me today? For three weeks now, that's what we do, everybody agrees to do it, why are you suddenly hardheaded? And I asked him what he meant to say? He said to me: We're here three weeks. Every time we find an area with explosives, pipe bombs, we take out a few kids from the nearby houses, they collect the explosives for us, we blow them up and that way we finish our day by eleven [in the morning] instead of five [in the afternoon]. Because we need to clean up an area and it's much quicker to blow up the pipe bombs when they're concentrated in one place, and not scattered around.
What does it mean to ask [the children]? And if they don't want to? I'm with a weapon in any case, it's like when you ask things of people in the territories. 'Saker el motori, iftach el bab' ('Turn off the engine, open the door' in Arabic You don't ask, you tell them that that's what they have to do. You guide them. It's like when the mafia asks for something. It's not a request you can refuse.
So what did you do? It ended up with us spending our whole day on those five devices, blowing them up with the minimum explosive materials necessary, one by one, we closed the street and did it.
Which is actually the way to do it according to procedures? It's the way to do it according to procedures, it's the way that guarantees a minimum chance of civilians and/or soldiers getting hurt, and minimizes property damage. That is to say, using as little explosive material as possible for clearing the pipe bombs. At the end of our officer reserve duty we volunteered, that was after 28 days, we said we're willing to take the weekend off and come on Monday to investigate all the exceptional incidents during 'Defensive Shield,' moral or operational, [but] they didn't want to. The army said it wasn't interested. The brigade commander and the division commander said they weren't interested.