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Text testimonies Okay, let's shoot him
catalog number: 96193
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: Hebron area
period: 2001
categories:
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Okay, let's shoot him
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Engineering, 603 Battalion
Area: Hebron area
period: 2001

We had a checkpoint in that area of Hebron, I don't remember where. There was a car, I think they didn’t let it through, he said he was turning around, in the end he sped up and went through anyway. At checkpoints, in the beginning, no one knows what’s going on. We only got that someone had driven through without permission. What do we do? Okay, let's shoot him.

That's how decisions are made?Yes. Because it's us, soldiers. Also, we never had commanders with us in those situations. It was always us in the field, doing something, starting to shoot live rounds.

And what happened? He stepped on the gas.We lost him. We fired at him, but he kept driving, I don't know where to.

Where did you aim?At the car.

Trying to stop him?Yes. I think we lost him, because he disappeared in a turn in the road, so it took time to deal with it. So they didn't make a big deal of it. Even the company commander came over to us the next day, laughed, what are you doing... It was already the second time I’d been in a situation where I had to shoot live fire and I realized that no one investigated that, it seemed strange to me, but we went along with it, because it was good, better than being hassled about it. I'm sure it's different nowadays. Back then it wasn't acceptable because it didn’t exist.

There are no rules of engagement?There are.

What do they say?In the Territories, the ‘suspect arrest procedure’ is shorter.

How?I don't remember.  I just remember that the procedure was shorter.

What, [shouting] “stop” and then shooting?Shooting in the air is fine from time to time.

It's not included in the rules, it's a free for all?No one asks. You’re in the field, for example, we had a mission to guard a dirt hill so that they wouldn't try to cross over it. We guarded it and in the end, they started crossing over. I had a few soldiers there, I was still regular soldier then, but I was supposed to the team commander, not as a (trained) squad commander or anything like that, so in a second we decided “Okay, yeah, start shooting.”  From pretty far away.

Did you hit anything?It made a noise, but it was funny. It was a truck carrying rubble, we shot some bullets in the air from a distance to warn them to stay away, and all of a sudden about twenty workers got out of the back of the truck, where they normally put the rubble.