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Text testimonies Times of closure
catalog number: 227068
Unit: Paratroopers, 101st Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2003
categories:
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Times of closure
Unit: Paratroopers, 101st Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2003

It’s Nablus, those three villages of Salem, Deir al-Khatab and Azmut, and this valley that we called ‘the runners’ valley’, because lots of people used it during closure to get out of Nablus and work in the villages. So beyond the posts, there were ambushes.

Ambushes in the valley itself, to catch the people trying to get through there? Not far from the valley, yes.

Were there cases of shooting? Yes, but no one was hit.

Can you describe the situation? We were very free at that post because often, we had no commanders with us, so one of the soldiers would be appointed commander. And guys would often open fire. If they managed to bring along rubber[-coated metal bullets], then they fired rubber. And we were supposed to shoot gas canisters first.

You shoot at people or just in the air? At people. There are all kinds of ‘runners.’

Did you carry out the suspect-arrest procedure before shooting? We often didn’t.

What was fired most often? Teargas.

At the village? At the village, at people, at cars, trying to fire into cars. Yes. There was no commander there, so often we’d just lay an ambush on our own, during our eight-hour guard shift.

Did you ever arrest women ‘runners’? Yes, some, but a lot less.

Was the army more lenient with them? Did they allow them to go through? Not necessarily. They were sent back to Nablus. Women have less of a problem getting through a checkpoint during closure. The closure is mostly imposed on men.