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Text testimonies “Everything exploded. Everything destroyed.”
catalog number: 58538
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Infantry
Area: Northern Gaza strip
period: 2014
categories:
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“Everything exploded. Everything destroyed.”
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Infantry
Area: Northern Gaza strip
period: 2014

We fired ridiculous amounts of fire, lots of it, and relatively speaking our fire was nothing. We had spike missiles (guided anti-tank missiles) and artillery, and there were three tanks with us at all times – and another two D9s (armored bulldozers). I don’t know how they pulled it off, the D9 operators didn’t rest for a second. Nonstop, as if they were playing in a sandbox. Driving back and forth, back and forth, razing another house, another street. And at some point there was no trace left of that street. It was hard to imagine there even used to be a street there at all. It was like a sandbox, everything turned upside down. And they didn’t stop moving. Day and night, 24/7, they went back and forth, gathering up mounds, making embankments, flattening house after house. From time to time they would tell us about terrorists who had been killed.Did you see any bodies?No. But they told me lots of Hamas militants were killed, and I trust them.What’s left after two to three days of three to four barrages per day? What’s left to shoot at?You keep shooting at the same houses, at the same windows. When you shoot at a house it doesn’t totally collapse. They stay standing. I was surprised by how long it takes until they fall. You can take down three walls and somehow they remain standing despite the fact that they’re all blown to bits, it’s all ruined. It’s like “Call of Duty” (a first-person shooter video game). Ninety-nine percent of the time I was inside a house, not moving around – but during the few times we passed from place to place I remember that the level of destruction looked insane to me. It looked like a movie set, it didn’t look real. Houses with crumbled balconies, animals everywhere, lots of dead chickens and lots of other dead animals. Every house had a hole in the wall or a balcony spilling off of it, no trace left of any streets at all. I knew there used to be a street there once, but there was no trace of it left to see. Everything was sand, sand, sand, piles of sand, piles of construction debris. You go into a house by walking up a sand dune and entering it through a hole in the second floor, and then you leave it through some hole in its basement. It’s a maze of holes and concrete. It doesn’t look like a street anymore. I really remember how every day we would get new aerial photos and every day a few more houses were missing from the map, and there would be these sandboxes instead.