Testimony Num : 24

We received intelligence that a woman suicide bomber is on her way to the area

On the one hand, whether to keep the humanitarian corridor open knowing that if I keep letting the people pass it will be much easier for the woman-bomber to attack. On the other hand, as the officer in charge, as an IDF commander, I wish to give the civilian population time to recover and a place to reorganize because I strongly believe that this is the moral and proper thing to do.

Throughout Operation Cast Lead, every day at a certain hour, there was a so-called ‘humanitarian corridor’. This meant that we, as soldiers, evacuate a certain route that is known to all the residents, in which they can safely pass through. Transfer ambulances, transport vehicles, food and water, all in order to give the civilian population time to recover and organize. It was something that was official and known and we did it every day. One of those days I was the officer in charge of the corridor and we received intelligence that a woman suicide bomber is on her way to the area. This type of specific and relevant information is usually very reliable. During that time, the humanitarian corridor was open with women, adults and children passing through. I understood that in the current situation it will be very difficult to trace and identify the woman suicide bomber.

I was faced with the dilemma. On the one hand, whether to keep the humanitarian corridor open knowing that if I keep letting the people pass it will be much easier for the woman-bomber to attack. On the other hand, as the officer in charge, as an IDF commander, I wish to give the civilian population time to recover and a place to reorganize because I strongly believe that this is the moral and proper thing to do.

This was a very difficult dilemma and naturally, every decision I would have made would have been acceptable by the higher command. Eventually, I decided to keep the corridor open because I believed that even though we are at war, there is still a place to give the non-involved citizens the time to recover and prepare for what is about to come. Naturally, I did not ignore the alert, I thickened the posts and called for more soldiers to the sector to be on the lookout.