“We were about to launch the rocket and then one of the soldiers yells at them not to shoot because he could hear people inside the house”
When a [combat] engineering unit enters a house they blow up a wall, open up a hole, enter and then start by throwing grenades into the larger spaces. A grenade inside a house is super intense – within seconds the whole place is full of smoke. The platoon commander throws a few grenades into the larger spaces, you turn on a flashlight fixed to your weapon and start shooting at all sorts of places. And then he and his team go in first. One platoon was about to ‘open’ a house with a MATADOR (portable anti-tank rocket), and there was a field interrogator – usually that’s a reservist who speaks Arabic who comes around with an electric megaphone and shouts really loudly that if anyone is in the house they should come out. They were about to launch the rocket and then *** yelled, “Don’t shoot” because he could hear people inside the house, he saved an entire family. They found this family in one of the houses and moved them to another house, a two-minute walk from there. It was very weird, protecting them. We put them in the guest room. They were all sitting there on a sofa, on a mattress, sitting and not saying a word. There were a few kids there, and a few women and someone who was definitely the father. He had the air of a father. *** guarded them first, and he had a bag of jelly candies in his pocket and he said he didn’t know whether to give them some. In the end we did give the kids some candy. This is a dilemma we knew from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). You have no reason to be nice to a Palestinian at a checkpoint – he won’t like you any better for it. You’re a son of a bitch, you’re oppressing him with this checkpoint you’re manning. And he said the same thing: “These kids, what’s going on now is for sure the most traumatic thing to have ever happened in their lives until now – if I give them some jelly candy will they really feel any better? What kind of crap is that?” In the end he did give them candies, ‘cause they were cute. And we brought them water, and then we realized they weren’t drinking or eating because this was during Ramadan and we had barged in before their Ramadan meal. An hour later somebody came around to escort them to the main route and bid them good luck.