Testimony Num : 81

Actually, we saved his life

Combat Medic, Meitar Battalion, Artillery Corps

It was in the Tzofim area. Tzofim is located near Qalqilya. The unit actually was in a
very large area that spread over something like 30 km or 40 km … On Saturday night
we received a call about a seriously injured Palestinian who had been shot. What
actually happened was that a Palestinian who wanted to infiltrate into Israel for work,
or so he claimed, though he could have infiltrated for other purposes, I don’t really
know, was shot after he received an order to stop a few times, but didn’t listen.
I will tell you the procedure for apprehending a suspect when a suspect approaches a
fence or an area that he is not allowed to approach, and there are soldiers who notice
him. They will ask him to stop a few times, in Arabic and in the Hebrew. This is the
order of actions in which you try to communicate with the person in front of you. Also,
you identify yourself as a soldier and if he still doesn’t stop after these calls, you shoot
in the air and only then you shoot at the legs. It is important to emphasize – shooting at
the legs. Not to kill. That’s what really happened; they shot him in the legs after he did
not respond to the suspect arrest procedure.
So, we were called, it was on the other side of the section, we drove at a crazy speed. I
remember that very well in my head. It was a rainy day, on an old armored vehicle, a
car with very weak brakes, we almost made three accidents on the way. We arrived at
the event and saw a guy lying with a bullet wound in his leg. Of course, we immediately
began to treat him. His friends on the side were standing, yelling…
We treated him and within fifteen minutes, we managed to stabilize his condition. An
ambulance arrived and took him to a hospital in Kfar Saba. Now, again, this is another
story about a case in which we saved the lives of a Palestinian who had wanted to
infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel when he was not supposed to do so. And
here the events still weren’t over…

After a few weeks, all of us, both the medical staff and the staff who made the arrest,
were summoned for questioning by the Military Police. Why did this happen? Because
the guy or his family actually sued the state. Now you think, “How can a person who
is not part of the state, sue the state after he tried to infiltrate into it?” It seems absurd,
yes, but it happened. People were interrogated, it was unpleasant, especially after you
had been in uniform and had treated this same Palestinian…
I can say that in the end, from what I know, the Palestinian received money, quite a
bit of money, by being recognized as a disabled person and by suing the army and
receiving compensation for this entire incident… Again, it sounds ridiculously absurd.
On one hand, the IDF saves lives of Palestinians, while on the other hand, the army is
also being sued and pays compensations.
He claimed that the medical treatment had caused him damage, although after we
examined the case, we figured that if we had arrived only five minutes later, he would
have been dead. We had actually saved his life.