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Text testimonies Going in festive with stun grenades
catalog number: 4219
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Hebron
period: 2003
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Going in festive with stun grenades
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal Brigade
Area: Hebron
period: 2003

You’re a platoon sergeant? Yes. You’re supposed to know about the missions and the objective, why you’re doing them. Exactly. In Hebron our missions were mostly to protect the Jewish settlement. Those were our missions, either guarding the settlers on their way to pray in the Cave of the Patriarchs, or just everyday walking around the city there. Looking back, when you think about it, about [the Palestinians’] lives there, you’ve turned them into a nightmare, if you’re doing intelligence warfare. Intelligence warfare? Exactly. Making a noise. What’s intelligence warfare? It’s letting them know that the army’s there. Even where there is no army, giving them the feeling that it’s there. Whether it’s making noise at night, throwing stun grenades, or if it’s going into some area in the middle of the night, into a house in the middle of the night, going in festive, like with a stun grenade, searching, you search the house and you leave. How do you choose the house? How do you choose the house? It could be any house, it could be a house near the post, you do it to frighten the residents there a bit. Maybe you think the residents pose a potential danger because they’re close to the post. Basically, they’re innocent people. There it is, every day there are foot patrols where you just walk around town, go into houses, any house, no reason, just because. No, there’s no report on something specific in that house. You go in, look around, leave. And the moment you go in, you go in and relax there because there’s no other place to relax. You can’t sit on a bench outside and relax. This is at night? During the day? Could be at night, or during the day. Can you describe a specific time that you remember? A specific time? You go into a home with the goal of maybe finding some kind of something suspicious, you don’t even know what exactly. You put everyone into one room. Usually they put their money in a closet, they hide it. They don’t have, they don’t put it in the bank or anywhere else. They put it in closets, hide it there. Now, to prevent looting and whatever, we’d usually put the whole family in the room with the money, so they won’t come afterward and say we stole it. That’s it, we start searching the rooms. Turn it upside down, searching, poking around just because . . . the guys also take stuff. Do you remember any looting? When I commanded a mission I wouldn’t let it happen. Although there were soldiers who said, “Let’s take this, let’s take that.” But I wouldn’t have it. But were there things you saw in the company? Equipment? Small things? Equipment, small things. Walking canes, all kinds of flags, you know, the Islamic movement, all kinds of pictures. I didn’t see really serious looting in the company. But again, I heard a lot of stories that there was looting, and I wasn’t surprised. Let’s get back to the search. Everyone’s in one room and you search. How is the house left? You leave it . . . you try to leave it as we left it. You know, soldiers stink, they come, sit on the couch, get it dirty, still it’s . . . still. Again, I don’t know what happened on other patrols, I’m talking about myself. We tried to put the house back the way it was. But it might be that during some observation action, you suddenly go up, land on some innocent family, you drop into their lives and move into their home. For how long? How long? It could be a month, two months, two weeks. Soldiers from Nahal Brigade, Battalion 50, in a Palestinian house watching the World Cup during a search operation. And during that time, where’s the family? The family? I don’t know, not in the house. I don’t know, they make some arrangement with them, I don’t know what they do with them exactly. We come to the house when it’s empty. Who knows what they do with them, I don’t. You never asked? No. At the time, it’s of no interest. And that’s it, you’re just there, you turn the house into, like, a post. Camouflage nets and everything. You try not to use the bathroom and whatever. Not use the bathroom? So you do use it or you don’t? Use it, of course. A patrol can be four hours long, it can be eight hours. Of course, when I was a commander, I made the decisions. Usually, you go out around the area near the post, and you try not to walk around in the same area every time, and you just go from house to house. Again, you don’t know what you’re looking for. Going into the house is more of a warning. That’s it, the whole procedure that we talked about of going into houses. You finish, you leave, if you want, you stay for a rest for a half hour, hour, and then you go on. That’s it. However long the shift is, that’s what you do.