Testimony 22 - Bombardment
There was an alert about a woman suicide bomber, and as a result of this alert the instructions were stricter: not to let civilians get close to soldiers. If one does,he is taken down. We're not to take risks in this respect.
Was suspect-arrest procedure practiced before taking them down?
In the clear situation then yes, and if the person would still approach, he would be taken down, regardless whether armed or not. The point was the close pproach.Usually we tried not to be in any contact with civilians. If there were people in the house, we had no choice. But the point was not to come in any contact with them. Because we had capacities, the point was to concentrate on our things and disconnect as quickly as possible. On the morning of the third day, there was a certain house about 300 meters from our own line – which would be an unstable range both day and night. At night, it's the houses where our forces go in and out – so 300meters from our house people were detected moving.
In the morning we detected four men, ages 25 to 40, with keffiyehs, standing outside and talking. It was suspect. We reported to intelligence, specifying the house they were about to enter. Intelligence passed this on to the Shabak who answered that this was known as a Hamas activist's house. This automatically gets acted upon. I don't remember what was used, whether helicopter or ***,but the house was bombed while these guys were inside. A woman came out,holding a child, and escaped southward. In other words, there had been people inside, but as for the procedures, I think things went according to the rules: there was identification along the standard definitions, it was close range from our own forces, within which anyone detected as suspect gets acted upon as soon as the Shabak okayed it.
Were they armed?
No. The report specified that they were unarmed. But that's not the point. The point is that four men standing outside that house conferring look suspect.
And that takes place 300 meters from our forces?
200-300 meters. And it's on a hill. Our forces are downhill, and they're standing above, say two-thirds of the way up.
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