Testimony Num : 38

There is always this dilemma between morality and operationalism

101st Battalion, Paratroopers

We went out to make reinforcements in the Hebron area before Passover, because
there are always all sorts of events on Passover with the Cave of the Patriarchs and
all that…
We were two commanders and eight soldiers, and our mission was to settle in a
Palestinian 4 or 5 story home. We settled in on the roof. There was a road and there
were two cliffs on the road. From there, on a daily basis, huge rocks were thrown at
all the Jews who drove from Kiryat Arba to Hebron and all the areas there. I think its
Route 65, I’m not sure (Route 60).
So we arrived with 2 vehicles at night with all the equipment and everything. There
was some sort of coordination. I did not know who coordinated, because I was not
part of it. I just got an order to go there and enter and to open the building for us.
We arrived at 2 AM – 10 soldiers. We brought all our equipment and settled there.
We set up our positions as we needed and started to observe the road there with our
I was already in command, so I decided how things were going. At that point, I had
a very difficult operational versus moral dilemma. On the one hand, how to put
my guys at the least risk and to accomplish our task. On the other hand, it’s still
someone’s house. So when you hear this story from the side you say that it sounds
like a pretty simple dilemma.
However, there are a lot of things to do every day. We were there for five days, slept
there, stayed there, and did not return to the base. We had food, we had everything,
but we also needed to make sure not to disturb the
family in their tranquility. Nevertheless, we did not want to destroy their lives here.
However, how can we still fulfill our mission?

The first and most problematic dilemma we had was … where do you go to the bathroom?
What to do? You’re on the roof, it’s just a roof, it’s concrete, there’s nothing there …