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Text testimonies The village was turned upside down
catalog number: 564026
Unit: Nahal Reconnaissance Platoon
Area: Hebron area
period: 2012
categories:
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The village was turned upside down
Unit: Nahal Reconnaissance Platoon
Area: Hebron area
period: 2012

We happened to go on a raid of [the village of] Jinba. I remember it well because it was my first burn. I arrived, and boom – the [occupied] territories hit me with all their might. Jinba is a village located next to the [Nahal] brigade training base (in Tel Arad). For your whole basic and further training, all they teach you is not to lose equipment because the Bedouin steal it. And then you arrive there and you discover that the Bedouin living in Jinba are the ones who took my beds, and they are the reason I had to stay over the weekend, and they are the reason I had to be on monitor (guard) duty at my base the entire day (residents of the village of Jinba are not in fact Bedouin but Palestinian fellaheen). And then on top of it you get the intelligence information that there’s a headquarters there for transferring infiltrators (Palestinians without entry permits to Israel). The rumor was that for years [the army] had been trying to get authorization, and finally there was authorization to raid Jinba. It was a gift from the heavens, and it has the name of an amusement park (the testifier is referring to the sound of the village’s name): “Are you coming to Jinba? Are you headed to Jinba?” It was massive, two helicopters and four Wolfs (armored transport vehicles), one from each direction. They decided that this time we won’t let them (Palestinian villagers from Jinba) get away, we would surprise them from all directions. And I know for a fact that the order at the combat procedure [briefing] was: We're going to leave no stone unturned in order to find [stolen equipment]. There was intelligence on binoculars, on night-vision devices, on a lot of equipment. [They] arrived, one team came down from the air in the helicopter, the rest of the teams came in vehicles, surrounded the whole thing, [threw] smoke grenades to create a bit of a commotion, and from there started to enter all the caves (Jinba residents, much like residents of other communities in Firing Zone 918, are cave dwellers who use both natural and handmade caves as homes and sheep sheds).

All the caves? Yes. It was during Ramadan. A photo was published in the newspaper of a very large tin pot with food spilt on the floor. The entire floor was full of vegetable soup, the entire cave was flooded with a layer of food, two old people standing stunned, and in the background lots of rumpled clothes. They overturned refrigerators, they overturned pots, they overturned everything. [Later,] in the company’s smoking area, the machine gunner said that they opened the house, entered, [he said,] “I felt that the Negev (the machine gun) caught on something, I didn't understand what it was, I gave it a tug, suddenly an enormous pot with lots of food spilled. I really didn't mean to make such a fuss, look what they made of it in the media. All it was was the Negev getting stuck, I gave it a small tug and the stove tipped over. I didn't mean it at all.” They turned everything upside down there. They overturned the closets, they overturned as much as possible. The combatants were very disappointed that there wasn't clearance to enter – there was a school and mosque there – into them there was no clearance to enter. They eventually found some night vision devices and high-end binoculars and some tent poles, pup tents. The assumption was that they (the Palestinians) very quickly hid all the equipment in the mosque and in the school. The large headquarters that they were trying to find for smuggling infiltrators wasn't found, but the village was turned upside down.

Was it in the early morning? No, no, it was in the afternoon. 11:00-12:00 they left, and returned at 4:00-5:00PM, it wasn’t long. The combatants really complained that the orders had been to leave no stone unturned, and they weren't allowed to. [There was] a soldier who raised his hand at the end of the debriefing summary meeting and said: The order was to leave no stone unturned, but you pulled us out after a minute.

How did the command respond to the press coverage? There was a conversation with the battalion commander. Most of his speech was, "Very good, well done," but he [also] said: There are a few newspapers over the past few days that don't really like you. But not to worry, no one actually reads them.

The Haaretz newspaper? Yes.