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Text testimonies It’s on Saturday, when the Jews come to visit that house in the western Casbah
catalog number: 904052
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal, 50th Battalion
Area: Hebron
period: 2006
categories:
135  views    0  comments
It’s on Saturday, when the Jews come to visit that house in the western Casbah
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Nahal, 50th Battalion
Area: Hebron
period: 2006

The thing I told my company commander I’m not prepared to do any more is Jewish patrols.

What does that mean? It’s on Saturday, when the Jews come to visit that house in the western Casbah, so walking the whole length. I mean, on Saturdays there’s a guided tour of Jews that crosses the whole *** route (the main route of the Casbah in Hebron), from gate 1 to gate 6 or 5, depending on safety considerations.

When is this done? At 3 o’clock, Saturdays. The last patrol I did was really… You go in, there’s five people who are interested, and another 25 people who have come to… We tell the company commander: All these people took part in the riots when they forced their way into the Casbah. They’ve been there a thousand times, they’ve forced their way into it. They know exactly what’s going on and which grandmother used to light Sabbath candles there. So he goes: “Yes, I know, but we have no choice. Once we’re told to send a patrol, that’s it, we have to go through with it”. I feel the worst on that patrol.

What does that mean? It’s actually a lot of soldiers escorting a group of Jews walking the whole *** route. And there’s a guide explaining: This house was the home of that rabbi, and that house… They go over the whole street, so you’re actually closing it off completely to all Palestinian movement. The group walks along and there are people leading and [security] from behind, there are guards on rooftops. There’s actually Carmel A, Carmel B, Patrol 30 and the front command group.

Great Saturday procedure. Yeah. You just walk through saying: You, stop, you, turn around, you, that.

How long does this all take? They’re limited to one hour. They’re not allowed to walk around more than an hour. When, you know, then it all depends on the approach. I get there and go: Yalla, come on, ***. He looks at me: Why? I point and he’s already smiling at me: Okay, bye. He turns around and, you know. Others pretend. What does that mean? It’s very easy to say it, but some still insist, perhaps I can get through. They know they can’t really get through.

The Palestinians? Yes, the Palestinians. I mean, to go through the side or something. For instance, there’s this old guy whom I really like, I don’t know why. Later I’ll go over all the characters in the Casbah, all the ones I know. Just some guy to whom I really had a hard time saying: Okay, old man, turn around, get to the shop by some other route. And he’s like already smiling at me: Hello, marhaba, God be with you, bye man. He goes and I meet him further along my patrol, seated in his shop.

This happens every week? Every Saturday. Every Saturday I hope I’m not on Carmel B, A or 30.

Were there ever exceptional incidents? The last patrol. The Jews, it was just this very annoying moment, when two girls, a 4-year-old and a 5-year–old, said: “Go away, go away” to some Palestinian woman who was standing on a side street and just looking. Enough, kids, go away, I don’t want you here near me.