Breaking the SilenceÂ is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada,Â and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. TheyÂ endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that populationâs everyday life. Their work aims to bring an end to the occupation.
testimony catalog number:Â 292305
rank:Â First Sergeant
unit:Â Mechanized Infantry
area:Â Deir al-Balah area
By the time we got out of there, it was all like a sandbox. Every house we left â and we went through three or four houses â a D9 (armored bulldozer) came over and flattened it.
What does that look like?
First of all, itâs impressive seeing a D9 take down a big two-story house. We were in the area of a fairly rich, rural neighborhood â very impressive houses. We were in one spot where there was a house with a childrenâs residence unit next door â just like in a well-off Moshav (a type of rural town) in Israel. The D9 would simply go in, take down part of the wall and then continue, take down another part of the wall, and leave only the columns intact. At a certain point it would push a pile of sand to create a mound of rubble and bring down other parts, until the house was eventually left stripped, and from that point it would simply hit the house [with its blade] until it collapsed. The D9 was an important working tool. It was working nearly non-stop.