You mentioned a forced entry to the Casbah. Yes.
When and why? Following – so the settlers claim, maybe it happened. I don’t know.
When did this take place? About a month and a half ago, two months ago, I don’t remember exactly. They say two Palestinian children somehow reached the Avraham Avinu [settlement] and ran away. Following that, 15 people, settlers, the heroes of the land, from 8-year old girls to an armed settler, they all entered the western Casbah through gate 4-5. The commander on the spot couldn’t block 15 people, he reported it on the radio, our Patrol 30 was inside the Casbah at the time, so the patrol chased them for ten whole minutes.
And you were where? At the post, as standby. I was alerted later as an additional force. The guys go in, Patrol 30, and a girl is shouting at some guy, “Uskut! Uskut!” (Shut up!), while that guy can easily step on her and squash her. Naturally, the Palestinians know that their reaction would bring on another reaction, so they all hold back from any reactions to Jews. The kids are yelling, running the thing, while our patrol is on the chase.
Just yelling? As far as I knew, yes. Going in, yelling, all kinds of stuff. A Jewish show of presence in the Casbah. I don’t know what that ridiculous act was about. Our patrol chases them, the front command jeep arrives, joins the chase. Also, there was some swearing by the settlers at one of our Ethiopian soldiers.
What do you mean? Things like: This is what you came to Israel for, all the way from Ethiopia? Let’s say that whenever they want to, they slam into our Ethiopians like that, without mercy.
Have you witnessed one of these occasions? No. In both cases, it was two of my soldiers who got the insults.
Garin (youth group) members? Yes.
Then they come to you? No. Then a lot of forces were alerted, special forces and us. So I get there, block some gate, push some girl. Push? I wish. It was more like: Girl, I’m closing this door, move before your fingers get crushed. So the mother immediately [says]: “Don’t touch my daughter”. If I hadn’t touched your daughter, she probably wouldn’t have too many fingers now. They open one gate that was closed there, force their way in all over the place.
Gate into what? Gate 5 has this bolt on the Jewish side, so they open it and enter. In the meantime, they’re being chased all over the place. The kind of thing you only see on TV. The whole police force and army are running after the settlers. Then I and another four guys block the gate completely, a human chain. So there’s this girl sitting there, saying: “You, you protect them, you’re this, you’re that.” Okay, little girl, bye.
Were there acts of violence against you? The officer on Patrol 30 went through more of this. He was pushed around, stuff like that. He gave testimony to the police about it, he was totally pissed off with them, because he was really offended about how they insulted his soldier, who happened to also be his communications guy, so that made him even angrier. He was terribly upset about their behavior. They had been worse than ever, that day.
How did this all end up? Several tens of soldiers and policemen came there and made them go away. At some point, their fighting drive just evaporated and they took off.
No one was arrested? No, not at all. It’s pretty ridiculous, everything that goes on there.