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Text testimonies Nafes's House
catalog number: 278548
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Armored Corps reconnaissance Unit, 7th Brigade
Area: Khan Yunis area
period: 2002
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Nafes's House
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Armored Corps reconnaissance Unit, 7th Brigade
Area: Khan Yunis area
period: 2002

I was in the Gaza Strip, in the Kisufim section. We took over a house that belongs to a guy called Nafes, in the middle of the main road that crosses the Gaza Strip. There’s a kind of shantytown there and, right at the junction, there’s a huge house above all the tin shacks. It belongs to a guy called Nafes. He comes from a family of bankers, he runs a bank. The house has four floors and a rooftop. The army simply took over his house. In his everyday routine, he wasn’t allowed to go beyond the second floor, out of the four floors in the house. The first and second floors were his, the third floor was ‘sterile’, the fourth was for the soldiers to sleep in, and the roof was used for lookouts with M24’s (sniper rifles), machine guns and everything else that was needed. He wasn’t allowed to go further than the third, ‘sterile’ floor. If he wanted to talk to us, he would come to the entrance of the third floor and yell out to our listener on the fourth floor that he needed something from us. Why should he need anything from us? If he went out, we had to accompany him. He had two daughters who left for school at 7:30 every morning. So we had to send 2-3 soldiers along with them and secure them on the way, open up a route. That was his routine.

Did you send soldiers out on missions from his house, or did you use it only to secure the route? To secure the route. The only missions we sent out from there were to make sure that the route around the house was open. It was a main road running between Khan Yunes and Gaza, and there was a fence, a huge wall separating [Palestinians from settlers], because there were settlements in the middle of Gaza. Say a person lived in Gaza, and his sister lived just across the road. He now had to drive all the way to Khan Yunes, to the end of the Gaza Strip [and back] in order to reach his sister or neighbor who lived just across from him.

This fence divides the Gaza Strip? Yes, lengthwise.

Why was that house taken over? Because it was a very central route and there were lots of clashes at that junction. It’s also a central location in Gaza and it was convenient for the army to gain hold of that position.

When you went in and out of the house, did you have to go through his living room? We had to go through his stairwell, and we had to coordinate it with him every time. We had to bug him a bit. We’re coming down, we’re going out. If he went out, he had to report to us.