Closing villages is a phenomenon you encountered recently? Yes, and only recently have they begun blockading to 'show them.’ So if they throw a Molotov cocktail from the direction of the Beitas (Beit Ur al-Fauqa and Beit Ur al-Tahta) they would erect blockades at all the entrances and exits and also inside the village, detaining people. But that wasn't a blockade, that only [began] recently. At the time there are also forces in the village. Making noise, trying to attract fire. This has a really beautiful military expression 'stimulus and reaction.' I encountered it even unrelated to an incident, you decide the battalion will initiate [an action] to carry out stimulus and reaction, enter the village with flares, large vehicles enter the village, making noise, flashing lights, maybe shooting tear gas in the air. Always looking for a gathering, there are ten Palestinians, so that could be [an illegal gathering].
What happened in Madma? I just know they were there for 24 hours, patrolling the village. The idea is to catch rioters, which also means someone who throws a Molotov cocktail or someone who throws stones. The army believes these are the same people every time – so if I enter [the village], the same stone thrower from yesterday will surely come again and then I'll catch him. But every time we enter we also create stone throwers, it's not that they’re the same guys each time. So we enter, and, obviously the Palestinians are angry about it and throw stones and then we catch them.
How does a soldier with a bulletproof vest manage to catch a ten-year-old running? Gets out of the car, chases him, tells him to stop, if he doesn't stop he shoots in the air and sometimes just grabs his shirt. It's really like [playing] tag. They're kids.
And the rioter is taken to interrogation? Yes, sometimes to a detention center.
But sometimes there’s a gathering. Right, and then it's even better. There’s a riot and you can use riot control tactics. Gas, rubber, I don't know what other variety there is. They came to attract fire.
'Stimulus and reaction' is a sort of mission? Yes, it's an initiated operation. There's a patrol, there's 'stimulus and reaction', there's reconnaissance and there's a check post (flying checkpoint). Maybe it isn't defined that way, but the fact that you just patrol the village at night and then attract youngsters and then arrest them, it's all part of the same perception. I also hear the discussions between the commanders on the two-way radio, and they talk like children – "come on, let's show them," "we want more, we want to catch them." One [commander] says on the two-way radio "I caught a dirty one [a terrorist]," and then they say, "great, great, keep it up." To enter, irritate them and cause havoc, make noise.