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Text testimonies They had to practice breaking the doors
catalog number: 545840
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal, 50th Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2013
categories:
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They had to practice breaking the doors
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal, 50th Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2013

As far as I’m concerned, it (arrest missions) is as if I went into kitchen duty and was told, today we’re cutting potatoes, today we’re cutting eggplants. It’s not like you ask questions before your kitchen duty, you go in and it’s not that interesting. It’s the same for the arrest. What the guy did, whether we’re doing a mapping, we do a search. Well, like okay, we’ll go in and do what they said. We arrive at the house, and most of the soldiers sort of surround the house, ready with weapons and that. In the first stage if we’re doing a mapping then we knock on the door, they open for us, we ask for IDs from the whole family.

Try to describe to me really stage by stage what that looks like.In the first stage we arrive, all the soldiers gather in some sort of formation around the house. Get to the door, often a Shin Bet guy has already joined us at this stage, not always. We get to the door, knock on it, at this stage the situation is positive. The negative situation is when we just break the door. This is something that happened very many times in our company for three reasons. The first is that in the beginning we thought that that’s how it’s done. There was this perception which, we had this very annoying tool that has a pair of pliers that you stick between the gap of the door and the doorframe, and with some kind of pressure that you kind of exert [you activate] a pump in there until the door actually disconnects from its hold. After doing this three times, it was clear to everyone who was part of this process that it had zero effectiveness.

Why?First of all, it would make a terrible noise, the process of breaking the door and until the door would break which would be a matter of about three or four minutes. The whole house would be awake by then. More than once or twice as we were trying to break the door, they just opened it for us. Someone is standing on the other side saying, “Wait, wait, just a sec, I’ll open for you.” Tries to open but can’t because the door had been ruined and then in fact the only way in is to break the door. We work there for 15 minutes, trying, the guy stands on the other side waiting for us to open the door already, to break it. At the end – which is a process – the door opens. The other reason we would do it, which also happened like twice, this unit of Yahalom (Special Operations Engineering Unit) who would sometimes join us, just to train themselves. There was an arrest where another unit joined us. They had to practice breaking the doors because they have this machine that works automatically, that you push and they have a button and it makes noise and it really breaks the door better. And they would break the door. Again, in order to practice breaking doors.