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They beat him up, smashed his head with the

November 24, 2016 22:59

5 They beat him up, smashed his head with the
butt of their weapons
unit: Kfir Brigade · location: Nablus district · year: 2009 During your service in the territories, what shook you the most?

We did searches in Hares, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They said that there are 60 houses that need to be searched. I said that surely there was some warning from intelligence, I tried to justify it to myself.
During the day or at night?
At night.
You went out as a patrol?
No, the whole division. It was a battalion operation, they spread out over the whole village, took control of the school, broke the locks, the classrooms. One room was the investigation room for the Shin Bet, one room for detentions, a room for the fighters to rest. I remember that it annoyed me in particular that they chose a school. We went in house by house, knocking at 2 in the morning on the door of a family. They are dying of fear, girls pee in their pants from fear. We knock hard on the doors, there is an atmosphere of “We’ll bring them down,” a fanatical atmosphere. We go into the house and turn the whole thing upside down.
What’s the procedure?
Gather the family in a particular room, put a guard, say to the guard to aim the barrel of his gun at them, and check the whole house. Another order we received, everyone born from 1980 until … an age range from 16-29, it doesn’t matter who, bring him in cuffed with a plastic cuffs and a blindfold. They also yelled at old people, one of them had an epileptic seizure. They continue to yell at him more. He doesn’t speak Hebrew and they continue to yell at him. The medic treated him. We did the rounds. Every house they went into, they took everyone between 16-29 and from there brought them to the school, they sat tied up in the schoolyard.
Did they tell you the purpose of this thing?
To locate weapons. And we didn’t find any weapons in the end. They confiscated kitchen knives. What shook me the most was that there were also thefts there. One took 20 shekels. People went into the houses and looked for things to steal. This was a village where the people are very poor. There was a stage where they said, “What a letdown, there was nothing for me to steal. I stole what I found, markers, just to say that I stole something.” You see really poor people.
That was what the soldiers said?
Just between soldiers, in the room after the action. There was a lot of joy at others’ misfortune, people even told it happily. There was also a thing where one Palestinian (who was known to be mentally ill) yelled at the soldiers, but the soldier decided that he was going to attack him, then they simply exploded at him with blows. They hit him in the head with the butt of a weapon, he bled and they brought him to the school, to assemble with the rest. There were a lot of arrest orders ready and signed by the battalion commander, with a blank area. They wrote that the person was detained on suspicion of disturbing the peace. So they just filled in the name and the reason for the arrest. I remember that the people in plastic handcuffs, where they had put them on really close to the hands, I cut them off and put on freer ones. I got to speak with people there. There was one who works 13 hours a day, there was one whom a settler had brought into Israel to work for him, and after two months he didn’t pay him his salary and handed him over to the police.
Everyone was from that village?
Yes.
Was there something else you remember from that evening?
That disturbed me? A small thing, but it disturbed me. There was a thing that they came to a house and simply demolished it. There’s a weapons-finding dog and they wouldn’t go with it and they just destroyed the house. The mom watched from the side and cried, the kids sitting with her and stroking her. I’m seeing how my mom put so much effort into every corner of our house and suddenly they come and destroy it.
What does it mean to wreck a house?
To break the floors, turn over sofas, throw plants and pictures, turn over beds, break closets, tiles. There were smaller things, but they didn’t really disturb me. The looks of people whose house you’ve gone into. It really hurt me to see. And after that, they
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left them for hours in the school tied and blindfolded. At four in the afternoon the order came to free them. That was more than 12 hours. There were security services investigators who sat and went one by one and interrogated them.
Was there a terrorist attack earlier in the area?
No. We didn’t even find any weapons. The claim of the brigade commander was that the Shin Bet agents did manage to find intelligence and that there are many stone throwers that we will now succeed at catching… Things always come up for me from the operation in Hares.
Which things?
How they looked at us there, what went through their and their children’s heads. How you take the son of a woman in the middle of the night and put him in restraints and a blindfold

November 24, 2016 22:59

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