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Text testimonies You take a man and take control of his life
catalog number: 430060
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Lavi Battalion
Area: Hebron area
period: 2003
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You take a man and take control of his life
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Lavi Battalion
Area: Hebron area
period: 2003

There was one incident which I think is the most . . . it’s the thing I regret the most. It’s the worst thing I did during all of my service in the Territories. There was this guy who came out from Yatta and went past a barrier. He was on his way from Yatta to Hebron, to the milk production plant. He had a truck full of containers of milk. I think there was a curfew in Hebron at the time. In short, he was not allowed to cross. I caught him right as he was crossing the barrier, and it was the third time that week that I’d caught the same guy—under different circumstances, but the same guy, at more or less the same place. My fuses blew a bit, because I took him out—I asked him to get out of the car, and so on, but he started arguing and yelling, so right away I did two things, got out the cuffs and blindfolds. I went into the jeep, and brought him to the gate. It was, I don’t know, ten in the morning, something like that . . . and somewhere between eleven and one in the morning I released him. Meaning, this was summer, meaning, all day. He had like two thousand liters of milk with him, and all of the milk spoiled. It was all day, he just sat at the gate with a blindfold on and his hands tied. When I look at it now, I’m ashamed because of two things. First, because of how I treated another human being. Just taking a man and taking control of his life like that? I physically took him away, bound him, brought him to that post and said, “Okay, sit here.” I took him as a bound prisoner. And no one else was responsible for that. It wasn’t as if I got an order, right? No, it was what I decided to do. And this was acceptable. From the perspective of everyone in charge of me, there was no problem. Okay, you detained someone, there’s the way you treated another human being, and the fact that there was property involved, meaning the milk. Something of monetary value was lost. Meaning I made the man lose who knows how many shekels, but let’s say the milk was worth at least five hundred shekels. In Yatta that’s a lot of money. Really. Fine, so I didn’t take the money from his pocket, but my actions caused him to lose it. And to me that’s still less important than the way I treated him as a human. It’s not okay. Because really, what’s the big deal? He’s not a terrorist, he wasn’t wanted, he’s not someone who came up to me or threatened me with a weapon. He’s a regular guy. What was the point of what I did? Nothing. Did it contribute to the security of the state? No. I just did harm to someone. And that’s not okay.