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Text testimonies It's a game
catalog number: 84695
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Paratroopers
Area: Hebron
2,633  views    0  comments
It's a game
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Paratroopers
Area: Hebron

Regarding the whole issue of rules of engagement, you had all kinds of definitions. We did not get any clarification orders. Commanders really looked after their own butt, but, because they did. . . really, these are paratrooper commanders and they get very nicely promoted. They reached army command positions and they really look after themselves. What do I mean? They would never issue an order that would somehow screw them up, but if something really happened, they would deny it somehow and not take it up to higher echelons, so they would not be screwed themselves. That is why there were many instances where instead of being taken up, they remained on the company level. The command did not want to pass it on to the higher echelons.

For example?All the stuff I've told you, for example. Eventually, the company commander knows about it but doesn't report it. The story of that officer and all the things he did… the Arab and the chisel blows to the head, his treatment of people (the interview is referring to events he testified about earlier, pertaining to a violent officer in his company). And there was another incident where they beat up Arabs in Hebron and photographed it.

On video-tape or still photos?Stills. They were walking around in the Hebron market and there was curfew and some shopkeeper just opened shop. They began to push him around, yell at him, took him into the back alley, I was on the side there. When I got there the officer and another soldier were beating some Arab to a pulp, and another guy stood by and took pictures. This reached the company commander first. When the company commander heard this… he was busy and didn't have time to run the company, things got really chaotic and he did nothing about it. We approached him a week later and asked, "What's happening? With the officer and all…" He said it was being looked into. It was looked into for about two weeks. Nothing happened. The company commander knew. Finally, we went to the battalion commander. I went. When I told all these stories to the battalion commander, he said, "Tell me, does the company commander know about all of this?" The company commander hadn't even informed him.

And the company commander was punished for this?Yes.

Do such things get investigated and then it's silenced? Or not even investigated? How does it work?The battalion commander did his part. He got rid of that officer.

Just a question, a soldier comes and takes pictures of his commander beating up an Arab. Why does he do that?It's a game, like getting pictures taken with a woman's underwear and bra (the witness told about such an incident at a Palestinian home in the Ramallah area, earlier in the interview). So that's how it is…