|Unit:||Nahal, 932nd Battalion|
|Location:||Al Jalazun camp, West Bank|
An Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence explaining why he chose to speak out. "I would also come out and throw stones if they were to come take my big brother away in the middle of the night, no doubt about it, no matter what he did."
Soldier: We carried out an arrest in Jelazoun. It was a very big arrest. We were with the police. The goal was to take in a guy, who if I'm not mistaken, sold Molotov cocktails, prepared Molotov cocktails. He was defined as dangerous. Jelazoun is a refugee camp and the alleys are all very narrow, sewage in the streets. We’re headed to the arrest on foot and there’s a big dumpster in the street full of trash, and suddenly a little boy and girl emerge from the dumpster. The boy, who was older than his sister, wasn’t over six years old. Filthy, searching through all sorts of canned food.
We arrive at the [site of the] arrest and the company commander’s front command squad enters the house. We enter the house. A few mattresses, a very very poor house, and the mother opens the door for us. The company commander pushes the door with her, we enter the house, check the rooms. The company commander finds the kid, he's in bed. The moment he sees us he gets up, tries to escape through the window, and is caught. Within a few seconds, zip ties, he's handcuffed, blindfolded while still in the house, in front of his mother, and is about to be led out. His mother, by the most natural instinct, jumped at the company commander and tried to scratch him. We caught her by the armpit, and forced her back. He [the detainee] was a young guy, 20 something. We take him out, all his brothers wake up, the whole block wakes up, people looking out through the windows. His father isn't at home.
As we're stepping outside, the company commander tells me to guard him, that they're going back in to take his computer, to take all sorts of evidence and search his room. While we're outside, his mother is standing in the entrance to the house, hitting herself, crying, crying, crying, and then she runs up to me, kneels down, hugs my leg and mumbles in Hebrew-Arabic "please, please," all sorts of words. I don't know what she said in Arabic. She pleaded. Her son is blindfolded, standing, I'm holding him, [he] hears her. And I didn't do anything. I stood there like this and ignored her. I completely froze. You arrive there and you say, "I’m going to arrest the bad guys." Suddenly you see the eyes of a mother who [could be] your mother, your friend's mother, your grandmother’s mother – crying. She's not a bad person. Maybe she doesn't like me, but from that moment on I understood why she doesn't like me. You won't see an Arab woman on the ground hugging a man's leg. It was very brutal. She didn't let me budge. I looked at her and my soldiers took him aside, and I sort of did this with my leg. I didn't sayanything."
Interviewer: "What do you feel upon your release?"