I immediately understood that this girl is under fire
The year 2002 was a very hectic period in Israel. It was during the Second Intifada when terrorists would go into Israeli towns and cities and explode in buses, cafés, shopping malls,
killing innocent civilians, children, seniors. One time my team and I were in Jenin (in the West Bank) on a special mission looking for a group of terrorists. It was an urgent mission as it was clear that if we do not catch this group of terrorists soon they will launch an attack on an Israeli city and kill innocent civilians.
During the search we have entered a building and I was assigned to be the first person to enter the room. The second we entered the building we immediately started taking fire from all directions. So, while people are shooting at me, I kicked down the door and entered the room that according to intelligence was where the terrorists were supposed to be, and what I saw in front of me was a little girl. I don’t know if she was 9 or 10, but she was a little girl. For a second there I froze, I was like… whoa! I did not expect to see this. I kept taking on fire from the back while I saw this little girl in the middle of this dark room. I remember thinking to myself what the hell is happening here? After a few more seconds, I heard terrorists shooting at the little girl from the window. Now, whoever served in a combat unit know it is very easy to distinguish M-16 from AK-47. We use M-16 and shoot in single shots. The terrorists use AK-47 and shoot in long bursts. Therefore, it was easy to understand that these are the terrorists who are shooting at the little girl and not our forces. And so, I ran to the little girl and grabbed her, using myself as a human shield to protect her as I was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
Later on I remember thinking a lot about what happened, it was a life changing experience. I was used to the fact that terrorists are murdering children on our side but I had never expected they are willing to sacrifice their own children just to vilify the IDF. That is what we realized had happened. They were willing to sacrifice this little girl, just so the IDF would get a bad image. For them it is a win-win situation. Either we accidentally kill this girl and the IDF would suffer in the world public opinion or we will not be able to complete our mission successfully. Unfortunately, this phenomenon had become a main strategy by now. Inciting little children to terror is something we know, and not only the soldiers. As civilians we are exposed to it as well, with the constant reports regarding the Palestinians education system that teaches its kids that the Jews are descendants of monkeys and pigs. It is very frustrating as it is turning children to an active part of the conflict.