Testimony Num : 77

And then we received an order to cease the chase

896 Res. Battalion

It was the second Intifada, a time of a lot of Palestinian terror activities against military
troops and civilians. We were there to protect the civilians who live there, mainly
along the roads, where many terror attacks took place.
My commanding officer escorted a convey that came down from Mount Eival (the
high mountain north to Nablus). The convey was ambushed by terrorists on the road
in one of the curves and a short shooting combat took place. Fortunately, no one was
hurt, for their vehicles were armored. My CO and his unit got out of the jeep and
started chasing the terrorists. We were called in as backup and we were fired upon
from various locations. It was clear that the ambush was well planned and included a
secondary ambush for us, the rescue team.
It was during the Ramadan and obviously the whole situation was delicate as it was,
for the implications of our actions in the Muslim world could have been much worse
than usual. That month there were many attempts to harm Israeli soldiers and civilians.
When we were about half way down the mountain in a very steep road, our CO gave a
command on the radio to stop the chase and to stay put.It goes without mentioning that
we were all frustrated, officers and soldiers as one, for the sense of missing out was
strong. We felt that we were so close to catching them…
The reason for that order was due to Ramadan. The army did not want us to go into the
Arab village and provoke the population during their holiday.
It took me a while to grasp this, but I ultimately realized that it was the right thing to
do. I’m proud to be a part of an army that makes such difficult decisions during war.