In the beginning, our aim was to get into a home. We were supposed to go in with an armored vehicle and break through the door, firing within and then…I call this simple murder. Basically, we were supposed to go floor by floor and any human being we came into contact with we shot at. This is something that at the beginning I said to myself: “does this make any sense?”
The higher-ups said it was permissible because anyone left in the vicinity or in the city was a terrorist, because they didn’t flee. I couldn’t understand it. On the one hand, they didn’t have anywhere to flee to, and on the other hand they didn’t flee and therefore it was their own fault [if they were killed].
. . .
The military rabbis sent us lots of material and in these articles the message was clear: we are the nation of Israel. We arrived by a miracle in Israel. God returned us to the Land [of Israel]. Now we must battle to remove the non-Jews who disturb us in our conquest of the Holy Land. That was the main message. And the sense of many of the soldiers in this operation was that it was a religious war. From my perspective as a commander, I tried to talk about politics and various strains within Palestinian society. That no everyone in Gaza was Hamas and not every resident wants to conquer us. I wanted to explain to them that this war was not about Kiddush Hashem (sanctifying the name of God), but about stopping Qassam fire.
– I would go out tonight
11 months ago