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Text testimonies The instruction was shoot to kill
catalog number: 36178
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Bethlehem area
period: 2004
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The instruction was shoot to kill
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Bethlehem area
period: 2004

We sat in 'pillboxes' on the Hussan bypass road in order to catch stone-throwers and whoever would hurl Molotov-cocktails there,.

What's the idea?The Hussan bypass is a road leading to Beitar Ilit. There's a lot of civilian traffic, many civilian vehicles driving there, lots of settlers, many people who simply take a shortcut through there on their way to Jerusalem. Often there were Palestinians, some children, some older, who led the whole business. They would simply stand on the road. Hussan is built on top of this cliff, and the road passes underneath, so they would simply stand up there and throw stones, sometimes Molotov-cocktails as well, and then disappear into Hussan. The battalion often went on missions on those cliffs. Magellan would be summoned too, as well as other units, but the battalion itself was there on a permanent basis, in the pillboxes, and we, too, patrolled the area. Often, when there were alerts, sharpshooters would be stationed in the pillboxes and wait for a Molotov-cocktail or stone thrower they could catch.

What were the rules of engagement? Catch them bodily?Not bodily.

Shoot them?Shoot them. The order is, "Shoot to kill as soon as you see anyone hurling a Molotov-cocktail or stone that jeopardizes you".

Even a stone?I'm not talking about just any stone, I mean like a brick; something dangerous. This road was defined as a thoroughfare vital and necessary for the State of Israel, and stone-throwing there is considered as serious as an explosive charge placed inside Hebron. I was often summoned to give care at incidents, also to people who had been hurt by stone-throwing. I treated many wounded as a result of stone throwing. There were also many road accidents as a result of stone-throwing, tire-burning, and the like, especially as we were there in winter and it's a difficult road. It would get snowed and iced over, and then people had to drive really slowly because they couldn't see the road and the stone would hit them. There was also a case when marksmen sat in the pillbox and saw a thrower, I think it was stones, I don't recall if there were Molotov cocktails there or not, and they shot him. I think he was hit. It was a boy. The Red Crescent evacuated him into Bethlehem and we didn't manage to reach him and investigate. He vanished into Bethlehem quickly. Although we did place lookouts to try to catch the ambulance, tried to get hold of him and investigate, he somehow got away among all the checkpoints and vanished. But, again, the instruction was shoot to kill.