Testimony Num : 120

If You Don’t Act, Weapons are Smuggled, and then Come the Terror Attacks

Regiment 202, Paratroopers

Due to its complexity, high density of population and large size, there were many
arrests in Hebron. As soldiers, we did not know who we were arresting and why, but
there is great significance to entering the city, specifically some areas within the city,
as well as for military awareness. It is important that they understand that they should
not be allowed to collect
weapons or equipment, because the minute you stop watching them, within a short
period of time, the weapons accumulate and then the terror attacks and the violence.
That is why we conducted these arrests.
There was also significance beyond the arrest of some person or another. It had a great
deterrence effect on the population, since they learned that they are being watched.
If everything is fine on the ground, no one would enter their homes. But the minute
something happens, automatically, with our information, we would enter the house,
capture the person, and take him. When there was a more specific alert regarding
weapon smuggling, intelligence equipment and such, we would also enter the houses
with dogs and conduct a search.
Now, this makes sense, meaning, if there is a terrorist, a person who is intending to
carry out a terror attack, even if he does not know when he will do it, but he already
started organizing his ammunition, we cannot just let it slide. You need to step in and
arrest him.
Now, as to the civil population, this matter seemed different in their eyes. We would
arrive late at night with our cars, unload the force some distance from the house in
order to enter quietly, run with full gear, weapons, helmets, and encircle the house.
Now, the point is to do it at 4:00 am when everybody is asleep, and you don’t bother
anyone, but sometimes the entrance into the house would be accompanied by noise.
If you get into the house, findthe person inside and arrest him, then the operation is completed smoothly.
But if you have to look for him, turn the lights on, the neighbors wake up, and everyone is looking
at you. Just think- if another army entered your neighborhood, to a house of someone
you know, how would you feel about that? It is a bad feeling. After the operation, we
would return to the base, with or without the person we captured, depending on the
situation and I, as a soldier, especially a commander of a force that entered this house,
had to decide where I draw the line.
The military approach is very conservative. Meaning, we don’t act without intel. We
don’t carry out arrests just like that. If we don’t have intel, we don’t enter, and if we
have enough to enter, we don’t just search the house and make a mess, just because we
think the person might have something.