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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe Levant‘Everyone’s a Suspect. ’Six Former Israeli Soldiers Speak on Their Time in...

‘Everyone’s a Suspect. ’Six Former Israeli Soldiers Speak on Their Time in Hebron.

Director: Rona Segal

Affiliation: Documentary Filmmaker

Organization/Publisher: The New York Times

Date/Place: November 16, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Documentary

Time Length: 22 minutes 34 seconds


Keywords: Palestine, Hebron, Israel, IDF, Settlements, Surveillance


This 22 min-long short film is directed by Rona Segal who learned filmmaking while she was serving in the Israeli army. It consists of 6 former soldiers of various ranks indicating their actions extensively and giving insights into the operations that have been taking place in Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank and which is predominantly Palestinian. However, the Israel Defense Force (IDF)’s actions have resulted in thousands of Palestinians leaving. The soldiers indicate that the ‘official’ mission is to protect the residents of the Jewish community which numbers only 850 in the middle of Hebron’s Palestinian population of 782,227. But the soldiers are required to follow various techniques of creating the ‘Sterilized Route or Area’ for these illegal settlers to live a normal life, which in operational terms means creating a Palestinian-Free Zone and implementing an ‘unofficial’ policy of making life impossible for Palestinians. In order to ‘sterilize’ neighborhoods, the soldiers have been following operational tactics—which are extensively explained by them—such as, Static, Searches, Patrol, Check-Posts, Detentions, Initiated Actions, Disturbances, Sleeving, and Policing. The army acts in collaboration with a Military Security Coordinator, however there have been incidents they experienced where they do not know who gives the command because the settlers and the army’s relationship is intricated. This short film showcases that the former soldiers did not know the point of detentions nor any age restrictions since no intel has been given. “Everyone’s a suspect. That is the security approach, every Palestinian there is a potential terrorist.” (8:56) “My commander told me: stop in the street there and shoot the first thing you see moving.” (12:27) As a result of the IDF’s strategical operations, in 2019 Israel announced that planning had started for the construction of a new settlement in Hebron.


By: Camile Cengiz, CIGA Research Assistant



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