Testimony Num : 192

The civilian protest was orchestrated just to sneak in a car bomb

During Operation Protective Edge I was a team leader in my unit. We fought in the south of the Gaza Strip and on the second week, we entered the outskirts of Rafah. Our mission was to create a buffer zone between the eastern neighborhood outside Rafah and the city itself, remove the civilians who were in that neighborhood and then begin our combat mission inside the neighborhood itself. We went in (the Gaza Strip) at night and in the morning we reached the outskirts of the designated neighborhood. In that morning the IDF had already sent leaflets to inform the local citizens in the neighborhood that they have a safe passage to evacuateto Rafah. Consequently, during the day many people left the neighborhood and went to Rafah and we let them to pass freely.

At some point during the day a large group of people arrived including women and children.
They reached the entrance to the neighborhood and started raising flags and shouting all kinds of things. At some point they simply went back into the neighborhood and disappeared. After they left, we noticed that they had left some vehicle there, right by the entrance, where we had to go in later. At the end of that day, the ceasefire had ended and our mission was enter the neighborhood to locate tunnels and terrorists that were there according to our intelligence.

As we were about to enter, the unit commander told us to halt because the vehicle that was left there by the crowd earlier struck him as suspicious. He ordered a tank to fire a shell at the vehicle and as soon as it hit the car there was a very large explosion followed by secondary explosions that made it clear that this was really a car bomb. In retrospect we understood that the entire civilian protest was orchestrated by Hamas in order to sneak in the car bomb.