(IsraelNN.com) How did it happen that yeshiva students in the Givati Brigade took part in the military operation to destroy the Federman-Tor farm and homes three nights ago? Very simple: Senior security commanders lied to them and told them they were participating in a mission to help catch a terrorist.
Ro'i Sharon, reporter for the Maariv daily newspaper, revealed that it was feared that the young soldiers would refuse to take part in the mission if they knew it was not military but rather one of destroying Jewish homes.
A member of Hevron's emergency alert team, which generally works closely with the army, was quoted as saying: "This creates mistrust between echelons in the military framework, and is liable to cost human life. In the next security incident, the residents won't believe the security forces, and the soldiers won't believe their commanders.""It is sad that for the purpose of destroying two Jewish homes, they cause such harm to the delicate security relations here," the man said.
Border Guard officials confirmed that the soldiers had been tricked. "The sensitivity of the incident required us to maintain high secrecy," a Border Guard source told Maariv. The incident in question was the bulldozing of two Jewish homes in Kiryat Arba in the middle of the night, in which the occupants of the two buildings were given five and zero minutes, respectively, to get dressed and pack some belongings.
The forces arrived in three rings: Special black-uniformed Yassam policemen in the inner ring, doing the actual destruction, including breaking windows, hitting the occupants (at least one woman and some children), throwing and trampling books and clothing, and bulldozing the buildings; policemen to protect them and ensure that Jewish neighbors not come close; and soldiers at street intersections to prevent Jews from entering the area.
The soldiers were some 40 yeshiva hesder soldiers whose job it was to man the entrances to the area. They told residents who wished to enter the area to fight the destruction that a terrorist had been sighted in the area. In some cases, they had to fight with Jews who tried to enter despite the warnings. Thanks to the soldiers' work, the Federman and Tor homes were practically empty of Jews, and their destruction proceeded without interruption.
One soldier told reporter Sharon afterwards, "I still cannot believe that I had a part in this eviction. I am a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, not a policeman, and there is no reason that they should take me on missions that have nothing to do with protecting Jews. I almost cried when I found out." Though the Border Guard confirmed the deception, the IDF claimed that a terrorist had in fact been sighted near the Machpelah Cave, some three kilometers away. Hevron's Jews said they received no word of any such incident.
A word about yeshiva hesder soldiers. Briefly put, hesder soldiers are religious soliders who actively combine military service with advance Talmud studies. Overall, I can think of a better way to demoralize an army than having commanders deliberately lie to the grunts who are needed to carry out a mission. Arutz Sheva does have a English video report online of the incident. Current Minister of Defense Ehud Barack's latest remarks suggests the pogrom against the Jews will not have a forseeable end in the near future.
In other news, a kassam attack was again launched from the Gaza Strip. Some truce.