Testimony Num : 36

These rocks were so big, it was an attempt to murder

101st Battalion, Paratroopers

I remember that I slept. We had binoculars and we had 10 people, so we were teams
of couples, with the second commander and four pairs of soldiers doing tours of
observation on these cliffs. In the first day and a half nothing happened. Then suddenly,
once when I was asleep in the morning, at some point, one of my soldiers said, “They
are throwing stones here!” We put on our equipment and ran there to where they were
throwing huge rocks that from that height would kill someone if they hit the windshield
or the roof of a car. It was clear. These were rocks so big that it was just … attempted
murder. It was insane.
We ran there, these were children, I think, no older than 14. We did not catch them
because, by the time we got to the cliff, they had already fled back into Hebron. We
stayed – 5 people on the roof, 5 people with me. The other commander stayed on the
roof. Four soldiers and I ran there with the equipment. We did not catch them.
On the last day there, we were supposed to return to the base. I was there, it was
already a day after Passover, so we stopped the patrols. We were in that position all day
long. We got organized, we cleaned up there,
organized the place as much as we could and went down with the trash bags and
everything. And then I saw a pickup truck coming with a couch on it and two men
around age 60 trying to pick up this sofa. Then I said, they could be my grandparents
and they have to lift this sofa 3 – 4 floors. You can take advantage of this opportunity
and do something that might change the balance of power here. So I went down with 3
of my soldiers. We went down to the first floor when the rest stayed on the roof and we
had one who was a Druze and spoke Arabic. He told them, “listen, we’ll take the sofa
up for you.” They were in shock. “What do you mean? You are soldiers in the army,
what you have to do with our couch?” … I told them I was the commander here and I
decide. This is my roof now and I want to take the couch for you upstairs.
So we came – 4 soldiers, it’s was easy for us to take the couch 3 floors up. We took it.
We put it in the doorway and I recall the shock that was on their faces … They were a
moment from kissing our feet and I cannot begin to exaggerate things now, but, when
we made this small gesture for the family that was meaningless to us, in my opinion,
we changed their perception of the soldiers and the Israeli army. Because they saw
how we behaved and respected them, and saw that we went downstairs to see the needs
below. They understood that our military role was something we had to do. There was
no choice. However, we did it as best as we could and we respected them and they
respected us back. When we exited they did not make any problems. They opened the
door for us, we entered our vehicles and drove off.