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Home » Soldiers »

Testimony - "Mapping"


 Name:  Nadav Bigelman
 Rank:  Sergeant
 Unit:  Nachal Brigade
 Location:  Hebron, West Bank
 Date:  2010

An Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence in which he describes 'mapping’ Palestinian homes in Hebron.

“During patrols inside the casbah we'd do many 'mappings’. Mappings mean going into a house we have no intelligence on. We go in to see what's inside, who lives there. We didn't search for weapons or things like that. The mappings were designed to make the Palestinians feel that we are there all the time.”
“We go in, walk around, look around. The commander takes a piece of paper and … makes a drawing of the house, what it looks like inside, and I had a camera. I was told to bring it. They said: 'You take all the people, stand them against the wall and take their picture.’ Then [the pictures are] transferred to, I don't know, the General Security Service, the battalion or brigade intelligence unit, so they have information on what the people look like. What the residents look like. I'm a young soldier, I do as they say. I take their pictures, a horrible experience in itself, because taking people's pictures at 3am, I … it humiliated them, I just can't describe it.”
“And the interesting thing? I had the pictures for around a month. No one came to get them. No commander asked about them, no intelligence officer took them. I realised it was all for nothing. It was just to be there. It was like a game.”