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Text testimonies They pay you with their masbahas (prayer beads)
catalog number: 24224
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: West bank
period: 2002
264  views    0  comments
They pay you with their masbahas (prayer beads)
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: West bank
period: 2002

Did you see incidents of looting at a checkpoint, for example?Not really looting. At first, the bribing thing was acceptable, they pay you with their masbahas (prayer beads), packs of cigarettes, chocolate, whatever you want – they give you.

You ask them?When there are regular checkpoints, the same people cross them almost every day, it was acceptable so there wouldn't be too much of a mess, they knew that we were a bunch of kids so they bribed us with all kinds of rubbish.

Pita bread?Also.

It went around the company? You can put masbaha beads in your pocket.I also heard about guys who got DVDs in Ramallah. It’s all souvenirs from the Territories. Before that, when I was in the infirmary, during the period of the terror attacks, you can sum it up as seeing difficult things, treating people who were injured in terror attacks. The worst was when they sent us to [treat injured persons in] an attack on reserve soldiers, there were ten killed, our guys who went through that in ‘Ein Ariq' (an IDF checkpoint attacked in 2002) , too – they saw their friends, people they’d gone through training with, people you’ve known for a long time, suddenly they’re dead.

How did it affect other people?I'm not sure it affected them so much. I'll tell you the truth, it was so intense, that period, that you don't have to time think, to get upset about something and go crazy, you immediately move on to something else. You’re busy all the time. Again, you’re 19 and you feel kind of like you rule the world, you don't know where you came from, you’re young and your mind is high on adrenaline, you don't think about it being dangerous. I never thought about those situations as dangerous. That’s why I got into them in the first place. I never thought it was dangerous, I felt like I had protection. Personally, at least, I was in a totally different zone.

You were saying how, in Nablus, there were people who brought DVDs.No, that was in Operation Defensive Shield, knocking on doors, going from house to house. Us guys at the infirmary didn’t do it, but the companies did it. They went from house to house. We were [involved] in other things with the front command team, missions and blowing up the homes of terrorists, as infirmary [soldiers]. But the guys in the companies, I know, like, what stuff went on there, it can’t be helped it was just stinky greed. It's known that... I don't even remember how the commanders reacted to those things. I really don't remember. It’s stuff that I’ve forgotten...