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Text testimonies Just finding someone to take it all out on
catalog number: 713518
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Haruv Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2002
699  views    0  comments
Just finding someone to take it all out on
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Haruv Battalion
Area: Nablus area
period: 2002

I remember events on a daily basis of checkpoints, delaying ambulances with pregnant women who were given the runaround. They would come to pass through a checkpoint and then they were told, "No, drive around [the checkpoint]," and then they would arrive at the second checkpoint and would be turned back, and were given the runaround, back and forth. At the exit of the regional brigade there was the road leading from Nablus to the Tapuach Junction. All the traffic in and out of Nablus would cross through that route. We had a permanent checkpoint there. The route from the junction in the direction of Nablus was closed to Israelis, it was a road for Palestinians only, and the route leading to Yizhar was open. I remember that there was a possibility to turn vehicles around and tell them "don't drive from here, drive around." Why would they turn vehicles around? No reason. Just due to boredom and [wanting to] hassle people.

Didn't you receive instructions on the two-way radio to "close the checkpoint?" No. This was a checkpoint where there wasn't always a commander present, so they would take a soldier and make him commander of the checkpoint. There were soldiers that all they needed was for someone to arrive who rubbed them the wrong way – they would turn vehicles around, they would take people out of the car. I remember incidents when the man was taken out of the car, and his wife and children would be sitting there, sitting and waiting in the car, and seeing a soldier slapping the person, or putting his weapon to their head to scare, to threaten, to flex his muscles. I have a very vivid memory of a specific soldier taking out a man, an older person, taking him out of the car and toying with him, threatening him, harassing him, slapping him around, threatening him with his weapon, humiliating him in front his entire family that sat there and watched. For no reason. Puts him back in the car and dries him out there for an hour or two, tells him to turn around and "you're not passing through here." These things happened on a daily basis of finding a scapegoat or someone who dared answer back, who was cheeky, and that was the way to get through the routine of eight-eight shifts [eight hours at the checkpoint, eight hours of rest] at the checkpoints. This was also the period of terror attacks on buses, so every day there was an attack there was tension in the air, just finding someone to take it all out on. It was very volatile. Just to find people and take out frustration and anger on them.