By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello
Read or Download 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem PDF
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Additional resources for 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem
They cleared off when they saw us coming. We are at the last house. I am running with the squad, my rifle in my hand. I feel that I have to shoot. A movement in front of me. A little Arab dog running away. I raise my rifle and shoot. The dog howls. The howling wakes me up. What have I done? Have I become an animal? Shlomo, running behind me, raises his rifle and shoots. The howling stops. That incident makes me feel sick. I want to get away. My comrades are lying on the ground drinking water. In front of me is the corner house.
A mortar shell. At least three inch. It exploded in the middle of the village. So the Arabs have reinforcements. The feeling of being surrounded depresses us. We are dog tired. We have gone at least thirty hours without sleep. We hear that we are to withdraw under cover of darkness. We imagine that we will be brought back with armored vehicles. And this idea encourages us. At sunset we assemble at the command post, talking and even joking. Freddy and Reuven, our fat mortar crew, keep a lookout.
We feel fine. The exchange of memories wakens our appetite. Nachman opens a pack of cheese. We touch the yellow mass as though it were something sacred. Our stomachs, used only to sardines and bully beef,17 rejoice. Latrun. We examine the great prison with curiosity. 18 A group of Arab police stare at the enormous convoy and its armed escort with wide eyes. 19 Immediately we tense up. To both sides the land rises steeply. If we are attacked from the heights, all we can do is to 42 BAPTISM OF FIRE jump into the ditch and wait.