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Text testimonies Basically, the orders are not to fire the teargas grenades directly
catalog number: 635697
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: Armored Corps, 7 Brigade
period: 2009
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Basically, the orders are not to fire the teargas grenades directly
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: Armored Corps, 7 Brigade
period: 2009

Some soldiers had a launcher installed on their weapon, so they were also able to fire teargas. In the other company, which was at Ni’ilin at the time – there was one (Palestinian) guy, the one who was killed in Bil’in, so that’s how he was killed, from the launcher of one of the soldiers there. Basically, the orders are not to fire the teargas grenades directly, meaning – say the demonstrators are here, so you aim it (upwards) in an arc, and then the grenade flies more or less to the center of their area and releases the teargas, which is supposed to disperse them. But that’s a story that happened. One of the soldiers simply aimed at someone directly and the grenade hit him in the chest and he was killed.

How did you hear about it? Everyone heard about it. It was a big deal. The minute something happened, everyone heard about it. It’s something happening in our sector.

How did everyone know that he fired directly (at the person)? Because they immediately explained what happened.

The commanders talked about it? They talked, you know, they didn’t spend too much time on it. It was more explaining what happened there. Also, using a launcher for shooting isn’t that common. Usually, dispersing demonstrations is more in the hands of the Border Police.

Who “explained”? The platoon commander or someone. Usually, in briefings, they’d explain things that happened recently, and so they explained what happened there. The truth is that, at the time, there was a video of the incident where you see the guy who was hit, and then you see something hit him and then you see him rolling around on the ground and yelling, and basically, after that he died. Some soldiers had the video on their cell phone. They sent it to one another and laughed about it a bit. The guy who fired, I don’t remember his name, I personally don’t know him too well, but I more or less knew who he was. He was actually pretty happy about it, there was an X on his launcher (an X is marked on a weapon to signify a person killed).

Were there other stories like that? During the time we were there, there was also a (Palestinian) guy who was killed by Border Police, he was shot with a Ruger, which is kind of like rubber bullets (rubber-coated metal bullets), a slightly different kind of weapon. It was in Ni’lin. I don’t know exactly what happened there. We heard that, in one of the demonstrations – it was around August, I’m not sure, sometime in the middle of summer – on one of the hills, a Border Policeman fired at him with a Ruger or something and he was killed. He was shot in the chest and died in the end. We didn’t really have Rugers, it was the Border Police who did. They had no laws, just shooting. Everyone there was all into: Shoot, kill them, it doesn’t matter. No laws for Border Police. They also laughed about calling all the armor corps soldiers “IDF guys”, that was their nickname. “You and your laws.” That was their reputation. “We’re Border Police, we do whatever we like”.

Was there talk about what happened there? When things like that happened, they talked more about how the next demonstration might be would be more massive because someone had been killed. At such times, there were also funerals, and [the commanders] were worried that they it develop into something problematic. It was more, kind of, being especially alert in case something happens, because someone has been killed, so people might be more on edge and there can be more of a mess, more stone-throwing and things like that.