David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead—1 Samuel 17:49
Jordan Valley, Late 1980’s
by Roy Tov
“Concentrate, control your breathing and you can achieve the impossible,” I said casually to the paratrooper munching pistachios with me during a very short military weekend.
In the kibbutz, there was nothing else to do. You just gave the dirty uniforms to the communal laundry and recovered the calories that the army failed to supply during the week. Pistachios were great. Yet, I was more interested to hear about the sniper’s course he had been sent to after being wounded. Snipers seldom run; it was a career advance for a wounded paratrooper.
Surprised by the comment, he added: “Breath is everything. Control your breath and you control the weapon.”
I said nothing. This was the best to keep him talking. Any passerby would swear that I was oddly fascinated with the toasted pistachios. Pistachios are great.
“Breathe deeply several times to oxygenate your tissues. Then take a very deep breath and expel one third of the air in your lungs. Stop breathing. Your body won’t tremble anymore. The subsequent shot would be good.”
Studying the enemy is important. Years later, I faced a bad sniper* and emerged victorious. I knew their dirty tricks.
Four years ago, a recruiting video was produced by the IDF snipers’ training unit, which is part of Lotar, the Anti-Terrorism School. Originally it was shown at the infantry and paratroopers units from where most recruits arrive. It is impossible to join the IDF as a sniper, it is seen as a military profession derived from a more basic training; in this case infantry.
Against all odds, it reached the internet. In the day this article is being written, July 11, 2013, the shocking video has reached almost a quarter million views.
The video is official. It was produced by the Training and Learning Development Branch of the Instruction Department, of the Ground Division in the Ground Arm of the IDF. As official as it can get. Thus, it is even more shocking.
The language used can be described as “cool-militarese,” with many dry jokes said seriously. For example, while describing an attack on Gaza, the site is described by the officer as a mountain. Gaza is as flat as the Netherlands. The snipers are called in code “atzlanim,” lazy. As said before, snipers don’t like to run.
Two times during the video, a hollow-point bullet** (“doomdoom” bullet in IDF slang) can be clearly seen crossing the screen. These bullets—like their soft-point counterparts—are considered inhuman and forbidden. The IDF feels secure enough to advertise that it is using them.
In the movie, several soldiers disguised as Palestinians appear. The movie shows their activities as well as preparations for their assassination by “Team Moki.” The code name for the Palestinians is “meluhlahim,” i.e. “dirty ones.”
Several grotesque assassinations are shown. In one of them, a man about to shoot a Qassam missile is hit. This can be understood as part of a military reality.
However, in a different case, a man entering a house without weapons and obviously not engaged in any type of violence is assassinated. There is no justification for that. This is a crime circumventing all legal principles under which the State of Israel is supposed to work.
He is not a soldier engaged in war. Was he killed for being a criminal? Then, he should have been given the opportunity to defend himself in a just Court. Was he about to commit a crime? Also in this case there is no legal justification for an assassination.+
The released video shows nothing but crime-techniques sponsored and covered up by the State of Israel++ while being funded by the USA. Most military means showed were purchased in the USA with money given to Israel by the USA Government as military help. American people, the State of Israel is staining your name with the blood of innocents.
full version and video at http://roitov.com/articles/tzalaf.htm
* The following text has been adapted from The Cross of Bethlehem
Prologue – A Bad Sniper
Jinghong, China – December 1, 2003
On that chilly morning, I woke up early and began brewing coffee after having slept my first full night in a bed since fleeing Vientiane. Holding the window frame with my left hand, I opened the double curtain with the other one, both stretching my body and checking the weather in a single movement. After a night in this dark hotel room, the bright sunlight forced me to squint and look down. The red spot advancing from my belly upwards was hard to miss. A laser microphone was improbable. Its beam wouldn’t be moving.
Instinctively, I bent my knees, left hand flat on the floor, once again becoming the Israeli soldier who had endlessly practiced that move in my former life. My legs stretched backwards as, lightning fast, I dropped to the carpet and lay prone; my right hand still holding the curtain, cast it back over the window. A second later, I heard a swish and the only light penetrating the room was from a bullet hole in the curtain.
Quickly, I grabbed my things and left the hotel. Then, to avoid the attention of the crowd, I walked into the brisk morning air of Jinghong as if I had all the time in the world. The Israeli secret police had found me.
I was being hunted by my own kin.
** The Goldstone Report made public a criminal practice of the IDF. “Vidu Ariga” translates as “Corroboration of Killing” and refers to a procedure performed by IDF units while in combat. It characterizes mainly commando units like Shayetet 13, Sayeret Matkal, and Shaldag, but regular and parachuted infantry units like Golani and Tzanhanim are not shy of using it. The idea is simple: during their attacks soldiers advancing wouldn’t leave wounded enemy soldiers behind in order to avoid being attacked from behind. Military doctrine worldwide recommends disarming the wounded enemy and putting them under guard. This is seen as a waste by the IDF doctrine, which teaches to perform a “corroboration of killing.” This is done by shooting a bullet in the head and another one in the chest—or back depending on the circumstances. Afterwards, the soldier may advance. Many times illegitimate types of weapons—like hollow-point bullets—are used during this type of operations to ensure the killings (Corroboration of Killing).
+ This would amount to claiming that the State has the power of precognition (Israel did that again recently, see Minority Report: IDF arrests Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit swap). On the issue of crimes, Israel operates according to Criminal Law, also known as Penal Law, the law pertaining to crimes and punishment. The laws comprising this topic regulate the definition of offences found to have a sufficiently deleterious social impact and impose punishments on them. However, the law does not impose restrictions on society that physically prevents people from committing a crime in the first place; a person has the right to commit a crime, though if caught, he will face justice.
++ Even the Israeli Court recognized that. Bagatz 769/02 approved sniper killings only to avoid ” strong and convincing threat,” assassinating an unarmed person clearly doesn’t enter this category. Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice usually operates as the highest appellate court in the country, but it features also a special operational mode as a court of first instance, called in Hebrew bagatz (acronym for High Court for Justice, not to be confounded with the formal name of the court: The High Court). In this instance, everybody under the jurisdiction of the Court can initiate a process against the State of Israel if he feels one of his rights has been legitimately oppressed by the State; this is the result of Israel lacking a Constitution and formal recognition of Human Rights.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.