Testimony Num : 49

It is crystal clear, you do not open fire on an ambulance

One evening, we had a fierce battle in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas terrorists were entrenched in a compound called the women’s academy from which they fired at our troops. The following morning, a humanitarian ceasefire was declared. During that time, we received a phone call from the District Coordination and Liaison. They informed us that an ambulance was on its way to the compound. We saw the ambulance reaching the school area. The doors opened, and… nothing! No medicines!

I served as an Armor Officer during my regular service, but I want to talk about an event that took place in 2014, when I served as a Reserve Officer. My rank is Captain and as an officer, my role during Operation Protective Edge was not in the field as a Tank Commander, but rather as a Tactical Officer in the war room directing armored forces, sitting alongside the regional command. One evening, we had a fierce battle in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas terrorists were entrenched in a compound called the women’s academy from which they fired at our troops. The following morning, a humanitarian ceasefire was declared. The routine is that we approve humanitarian ceasefires in order to allow civilians in fighting zones to resupply with water and medical necessities.

During that time, we received a phone call from the District Coordination and Liaison. They informed us that an ambulance was on its way to the compound and asked us to verify we would not fire at it. The request was, of course, approved. It’s crystal clear you do not open fire on an ambulance at all and especially during a humanitarian cease fire. We do, however, follow the events on our monitors. We saw the ambulance reaching the school area. The doors opened, and… nothing! No medicines! We then saw two big healthy men running towards the ambulance carrying a long cylindrical cargo which appeared to be a rocket launcher that they likely had planned to fire upon us later. The men closed the doors, the ambulance started withdrawing and all we could do was to just helplessly watch them go…

As a father who cares deeply about his children’s happiness and welfare, I understand that the other side’s mentality is completely different. Instead of using the emergency resources they have to help themselves, they cynically use them to gather more fire power to keep shooting at us.