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Text testimonies Dying for something to happen
catalog number: 18256
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Gaza strip
period: September 2004 - October 2004
1,004  views    0  comments
Dying for something to happen
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Gaza strip
period: September 2004 - October 2004

The awful thing about Gaza is that at some point at the post we hoped something would really happen. I mean, you're in a situation where you're waiting for such a long time, you already want something to happen. You've been on duty for seven hours at this post and have nothing to do. Our platoon commander and sergeant and squad commanders run around between positions to relieve you for half an hour so you could have a cup of coffee or a cigarette and close your eyes for fifteen minutes. They really did everything they could to let us breathe. But there was nothing much to do because it is now a twelve-hour event so for twelve hours everyone's on duty, and there's quite a good chance that this saved our lives, because when everyone is in positions then no one can approach the post. But at some point, waiting for so long, you're sort of on your toes, constantly walking on eggs, dying for something to happen already. I mean, now, from my civilian point of view it's so easy to say this is so screwed up. Put any normal human being into that situation, I think, and some point that switch will take place. He'll be thinking: Come on, let something happen. Let them open fire at me, so I can fire back, let something happen. Just let it happen. It's impossible to hold out any longer like this. This tense kind of quiet. And on many of those nights there was this kind of mist, so if there's no event on, then there's fog. And when the fog is thick enough then all the positions have to be manned. And you're dying for something to blow already so you can shoot at it. It's surreal.

Did anything happen?Not in our post, no.

Did you speed things up so something would happen?No, you want something to happen but you don't do anything about it.

Do you know what I'm talking about?Heating up some situation so that something would happen? No, that didn't happen. I can tell you that some of the guys handled this with weed.

Handled the fact that nothing happened?This burnout. Twelve hours in the same closed, static position, a concrete slab. Some guys simply couldn't cope. They lit up a joint and calmed down. Naturally, as someone who doesn't do drugs, it only stresses you out more. And you're dying for something to happen but you, I mean suddenly I was afraid of the moment something would happen and wanted it to happen. It's a crazy feeling. Again, I'm saying "crazy" a lot because that's how I see my army service now. A day before the end of the operation, I was sent to a Nakpadon (heavily armored APC) training course, so I was out of Kisufim and on my way home, and there I was traveling on the train and terribly stressed. I mean, really stressed out. Something's wrong, I felt something was wrong. Suddenly I realized what it was, I realized that I'm stressed and feeling that something's not right because I hear no shots. Just quiet. I mean, the whole campaign in Gaza was to the tune of tak-tak-tak-tak-boom! Tak-tak-tak-tak boom! Boom! So when everything's quiet it's stressful, something's wrong. What's cooking? Why this quiet? Like the calm before the storm. I realized that the quiet was making me anxious, and it took me several hours to get it out of my system. But that is why I say it's so insane, because things put me into situations in which you think upside down. I don't know, I was shocked at that moment.