Why make him get in the Jeep? Just for the sake of it. An illegal was caught inside Umm al-Fahm, so theoretically they’re supposed to get him in the Jeep, take him back (into the Territories) and continue the patrol. So we get him in the Jeep, but wait a minute, we were planning to go buy some coke and rolls, so okay, we go shopping, hang around, we can detain him for hours, there’s no instructions about it.
Where is he left eventually? Sometimes he’s dumped near the garbage dump of Umm al-Fahm to get on his way back, sometimes a little closer to a village relatively near, a Palestinian village. Wherever we felt like it.
No logging, nothing? Sometimes we’d log it. At other times we wouldn’t. I mean, we did have detention report forms and all that stuff.
There’s a detention report form? There are detention reports. Detailed. First of all, these served primarily for the investigation department. Supposedly for every illegal we caught, we were to question him, fill out his data, his ID number and why he came and who his employer was and how much he gets an hour and that kind of questions.
Any other questions? That’s mostly what I remember. Mostly about the work, I mean.
How much he gets an hour? Yes.
And this would be written down? They would often tell us.
How much? A pittance, they could be getting up to twenty shekels for a day’s work. Embarrassingly low wages, really. They worked for nothing, more or less, according to what they told us. And there’s the detention report where the circumstances of detention must be noted down, and if he was an illegal, we’d note the reason he was illegal. Again, there are the would-be regulations that a person may be detained up to twenty minutes without a report, and beyond that time a detention report must be filled out, including detailed circumstances for its taking over twenty minutes. But it was not problem finding such circumstances.
What did you write in these reports? An illegal. Circumstances: inspection. Extended inspection. Log extension. No one went over these reports one by one. We could sometimes fill out fifty reports a day.