Did you have instances of friction with the settlers or dialogue with the settlers? On Purim, all the religious guys are drunk, all the children, everyone got drunk, and we had to be on high alert, because that’s when they cause problems with the Palestinians.
Were you briefed that they would be drunk and that you would have to… Yes. It's also a day when the Palestinians want to attack, because it’s a holiday, everyone’s happy and drunk. It’s a perfect time for an attack, but it’s also a perfect time for some drunk to do something stupid. What really bothered me was that at night, behind Beit Hadassah there was a post overlooking the road. Everyone gathered there, all the people from Kiryat Arba and those settlements, they came there and began to throw glass bottles. They threw glass bottles for hours at the (Palestinian) house. There were only bars on the windows, no glass windows. All the broken glass fell inside, babies were crying from within the house and all the children were peeping out and bottles were flying at their faces. They (the settlers) threw bottles down below, too, at all the houses on the street. They did it for hours and we tried to stop them, but as a soldier, you’re not a policeman. There was nothing we could have done. We couldn’t do anything to them. They threw them and I was very angry, the other soldiers were very angry, it got really bad. We said [to the officer]: do something, do something. He said: there's nothing we can’t do, I’m sorry. It went on and they tried to cross the fence and go down to the Palestinian side.
The settlers? Yes. We barely managed to prevent them from doing it. They continued to throw bottles, they reached the peoples’ houses, breaking their belongings, vandalizing their property. Eventually, the police came. The policemen are their friends. These are friends of their families, everyone knows one another. They didn’t do anything, they just watched. They said: Okay… Maybe take it easy? Maybe stop doing that? Maybe... As if they didn’t really show up with power. They just came as if they’re all friends with one another, they [the police] don’t care. Ultimately the Platoon Commander said: get back to the Mitkanim [post]. He told us to head back because he saw how much it bothered us, but we were limited, we couldn’t do anything.
Before telling the story, you said that you were briefed, they told you that the settlers might do this and that. Yes.
In the briefing, didn’t they tell you what you’re supposed to do when you see something like that happen? No. Nothing. The rule is to protect the Jews. They focused more on the Palestinian reaction, not the Jews’ actions. That’s what they said when we did it.
But aren’t you supposed to protect the Palestinians as well? No, not at all. That’s not the mission. The sole mission there is to protect the Jews. The Palestinians don't matter at all, they made that clear.
Who is they? The Company Commander, everybody.