Thank you for your donation to Breaking the Silence

or enter an amount:

Pay with Paypal / Credit Card
One time

Checks should be made out to “Breaking the Silence” and sent to:

POB 51027
6713206 Tel Aviv

Money transfer

“Breaking the Silence”
Account number 340211, Branch 567 at Hapoalim Bank



Tax Deductible

US tax deductible donations can be made through the website of the New Israel Fund.

For tax deductible donations from Europe please contact

For more information

Sign-up for our newsletter
Read our past newsletters
Newsletter Twitter Facebook Instagram Spotify YouTube
Advanced Search
Categories Ranks Units Areas Periods
401st Brigade Mechanised Infantry5th Brigade (Reserves)7th Brigade Mechanised InfantryAir ForceAlexandroni Reserve BrigadeantiaircraftArmored CorpsArmored Corps 7, 75 battalionArmored Corps 8, 455 battalion (Reserves)Armored Corps reconnaissance Unit, 401st BrigadeArmored Corps reconnaissance Unit, 7th BrigadeArmored Corps, 188 BrigadeArmored Corps, 401 BrigadeArmored Corps, 500 BrigadeArmored Corps, 7 BrigadeArtilery 9305Artillery CorpsArtillery Corps - Miniature UAV unitArtillery Corps - Target AcquisitionArtillery Corps, 402 BattalionArtillery Corps, 404 BattalionArtillery corps, 405 BattalionArtillery Corps, 411 BattalionArtillery Corps, 55 BattalionArtillery Corps, Meitar UnitArtillery Corps, Moran UnitArtillery MLRSBinyamin Regional BrigadeBorder PoliceCaracal battalionCheckpoint M.PChemical Warfare BattalionCivilian PoliceCOGATCombat intelligenceDuchifat BattalionDuvdevan UnitEducation CorpsEfraim BrigadeEgoz Reconnaissance UnitEngineering CorpsEngineering, 601 BattalionEngineering, 603 BattalionEngineering, 605 BattalionErez BattalionEtzion Regional CommandGaza RegimentGivati - Rotem BattalionGivati - Shaked BattalionGivati BrigadeGivati Engineering UnitGivati Reconnaissance PlatoonGolani BrigadeGolani Reconnaissance PlatoonGolani, 12 BattalionGolani, 13 BattalionHaruv BattalionIDF SpokespersonInfantryInfantry Commanders AcademyIntelligenceJordan Valley Regional BrigadeJudea and Samaria RegimentJudea Regional BrigadeKarakal BattalionKfir BrigadeKherev BattalionLavi Battalionlook-outMaglan ReconnaissanceMechanized InfantryMilitary CourtMilitary PoliceNachal engineering UnitNachal Special ForcesNachshon BattalionNahal Anti Tank UnitNahal BrigadeNahal HarediNahal Reconnaissance PlatoonNahal, 50th BattalionNahal, 931st BattalionNahal, 932nd BattalionNaval Special ForcesNavyOketz Canine unitOtherParatroopersParatroopers Anti Tank UnitParatroopers engineering UnitParatroopers Reconnaissance BattalionParatroopers Reconnaissance PlatoonParatroopers, 101st BattalionParatroopers, 202nd BattalionParatroopers, 890th BattalionReserve Batallion 5033ReservesReserves - 7490 BattalionReserves - Civilian CorpsReserves - Jerusalem BrigadeReserves - Mechanized Infantry 8104 battalionSachlav UnitSamaria Regional BrigadeSamur - Special Engineering UnitSearch and Rescue Brigade (Homefront Command)Shaldag Reconnaissance UnitShimshon BattalionSouthern CommandSouthern Gaza Regional BrigadeThe Civil AdministrationYael ReconnaissanceYahalom - Special Engineering Unityamas
Free text search
Text testimonies “Anything that could shatter had been shattered”
catalog number: 864024
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering Corps
Area: Northern Gaza strip
period: 2014
2,176  views    0  comments
“Anything that could shatter had been shattered”
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering Corps
Area: Northern Gaza strip
period: 2014

We entered [the Gaza Strip] in two files, the entire battalion, with tanks accompanying us the whole way, right alongside us. One thing that struck me as something we had never seen before was that the tanks were firing shells while we were [walking] just a few meters from them. A flash of light, boom.

What were they shooting at? I got the impression that every house we passed on our way got hit by a shell – and houses farther away too. It was methodical. There was no threat. It’s possible we were being shot at, but I truly wouldn’t have heard it if we were because that whole time the tanks’ Raphael OWS (machine guns operated from within the tanks) were being fired constantly. They were spraying every house with machine gun fire the whole time. And once in a while blasting a shell into each house. There isn’t a single moment that you don’t hear the rumble of the tank next to you, or the next one up.

Was there also artillery cover fire at the same time? Sure, constant shelling. We started hearing it before the entrance [into the Gaza Strip].

When you got near houses, was there resistance? Were you being shot at? I don’t know, it’s possible – but during our walk there was no sign of any face-off or anything. There was a lot of shooting, but only from us. We entered the house when it was already daylight. Half the battalion waited in the courtyard of one of those houses and then they fired a MATADOR (portable anti-tank rocket). See, the battalion commander doesn’t want to go in through the front door, so you open up a way in through the side. There was an outer wall and an inner wall, and he shot a missile, which passed through the outer wall and then through the inner side one. A sweep was conducted in this really large house, which apparently belonged to one really big family. It was four stories high, there was enough room in there for the entire battalion. We would sleep on the floor, and we had made a round of the house to collect pillows and stuff, so there would be what to sleep on. Whoever managed to get hold of a bed, he was set. When we left, I remember the living room was an absolute mess – but I don’t know whether that was intentional or just because when you pass through, you go in with a heavy carrier backpack and you step on stuff. You’re tired after the night, you aren’t going to start worrying about their couches or whatever.

How is the sweeping of a house conducted, when you enter it? We would go in ‘wet’ (using live fire). I could hear the shooting, everything was done ‘wet.’ When we entered this house everything inside it was already a mess. Anything that could shatter had been shattered, because everything had been shot at. Anything made of glass – windows, a glass table, picture frames – it was all wrecked. All the beds were turned over, the rugs, the mattresses. Soldiers would take a rug to sleep on, a mattress, a pillow. There was no water, so youcouldn’t use the toilet. So we would shit in their bathtub. Besides that, the occasional hole you would see in the house that was made by a shell, or ones made as firing posts – instead of shooting from the window, where you would be exposed, you would make a hole in the wall with a five-kilo hammer and that was used as a shooting crenel. Those were our posts. We had a post like that and we manned it in shifts. We were given a bizarre order that every hour we needed to initiate fire from that room.

Toward what? There was a mosque identified [as a hostile target] that we were watching over. This mosque was known to have a tunnel [opening] in it, and they thought that there were Hamas militants or something inside. We didn’t spot any in there – we didn’t detect anything, we didn’t get shot at. Nothing. We were ordered to open fire with our personal weapons in that direction every hour. That was the order.

A few bullets or half a magazine? The order didn’t specify. Each soldier as he saw fit.