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Text testimonies "Come on, let's show them"
catalog number: 563086
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: The Civil Administration
Area: Nablus area
period: 2014
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"Come on, let's show them"
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: The Civil Administration
Area: Nablus area
period: 2014

Burin and Madma are two villages near [the settlement of] Bracha. There are many Molotov cocktails thrown on this route, if you're driving from Yitzhar to Kdumim. There were Molotov cocktails thrown a few days in a row and they decided to give it to them hard. They started to blockade the villages. It could last 24 hours, I think that a few times it was even longer. In principle, it's just checking, [those] leaving and entering. It's very arbitrary. Let's say we receive a claim (report) that they won’t let school children leave Madma or enter the Madma school, so sometimes [the brigade] says, "We'll let them into school.” Sometimes they say, "No, it's a blockade, of course we can't let them go to school." Every time they go with a different flow. I don't know who decides what at which rank, sometimes I'm told, "Right, it's a blockade, part of it, they should suffer the consequences," and even the commanders are very pleased with it. They also speak the same language: "Yes, they should learn."

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.