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Text testimonies Our entire goal is to make our presence felt on the ground
catalog number: 249161
Rank: Sergeant First Class
Unit: Armored Corps 8, 455 battalion (Reserves)
period: 2013
categories:
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Our entire goal is to make our presence felt on the ground
Rank: Sergeant First Class
Unit: Armored Corps 8, 455 battalion (Reserves)
period: 2013

When we were in [the] Susiya [deployment], our tasks were divided mostly between guarding our post, holding patrols, holding a front command squad, a Civilian Emergency Response Team, guarding in the [regional] brigade, and holding a pillbox (a small, concrete, cylindrical post used for guarding and observation) near [the settlement of] Carmel. Our entire goal is to make our presence felt on the ground. This concept, “making our presence felt on the ground,” is repeated again and again and again. What does a patrol do? Drives around. There’s nowhere much to go, so you drive around a bit in the larger settlements, Susiya and Carmel, and you drive around in outposts such as Avigayil. An outpost is [made up of] between ten and fifteen trailers, generally arranged in a circle, with some sort of guard post at the center. They have no fence that protects them. I almost admire their courage to live on the mountain in the middle of the [occupied] territories. And a patrol [team] goes, sits down, has some coffee and goes on to the next location. Your goal at the end of the day is to make your presence felt on the ground. In between you have scouts who locate people (Palestinians) who have accidentally decided to stop somewhere. Usually it's romantic couples or people whose cars broke down. And then you stop him, take his ID, chew his ear off a little, ask him unnecessary questions. It's quite a submissive population, doesn’t really cause any trouble. It also depends on the commander. Some are okay, take [the person’s] ID, hello hello and bye, and there are others who will now go to town. In order not to spend your [entire] time moving from one coffee break to the next, they (the commanders) give you initiated activities, “Set up a checkpoint every two to three hours, just anywhere, and stop them (the Palestinians), make your presence felt.” Returning to the term “making your presence felt.” For example, once I was with some commander, we stationed ourselves on a relatively central route, started stopping cars, causing a traffic jam at six in the evening, when everyone is returning from work. [We say to] each person: “Get out of the car, put the keys on the roof, pull your shirt up, turn around, pick up the cuffs of your pants, take the stuff out of the car." Started driving people crazy. And little kids who are crying, all the disgusting aspects of dealing with a [civilian] population. And all of that to make our presence felt.