We have been sitting inside this hot and smelly van for almost six hours, we were waiting for the green light to go into one of the towns in the West Bank and snatch a leader from a local terrorist cell. All of us were ready to explode, summers in Israel are hot. 110+ hot and sitting inside that van was not the best way to spend the afternoon.
When the OK finally came we waited for another couple of hours until night to move. Movement was very slow and deliberate. Imagine a 3, 4 and 5 stories buildings with balconies, windows and doors everywhere. In between little streets sometimes with enough room for a single walking man to pass. Not the best place to be on a firefight.
This particular terrorist we were trying to capture was in charge of planning the suicide bombings several factions were trying to (unsuccessfully) send into Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other urban areas in Israel. We wanted him badly. Usually another unit, one that specializes in this type of missions, would be tasked with this, however we were told they were otherwise busy. So on we went, a sniper platoon. We had a lot of training in urban warfare and counterterrorism, yet this was our first capture mission.
We finally arrived at the house the intel guys told us. We divided into two teams and took position. My team was going to enter via the front door while the other team was going to jump a little wall and enter via the backyard.
The house had all the lights off, except for one on the second floor. Carefully we tried to open the door but it was locked. Brute force it is then.
I radioed the other team leader and we started the counting. 3… 2… 1… GO!
We crashed the front door and went in. I saw the other team coming in from the back door. They would clear the ground floor while we took care of the upper floor. One of my guys took the lead and we all went up the stairs. As a soon as he turned the corner after clearing the stairs I heard a woman screaming followed by my buddy’s yell “contact!”. I saw this big woman running at my buddy with a frying pan. He didn’t want to shoot the woman so he knocked her out with a hit of his M4. She went down, but soon started yelling again while trying to hit my buddy with that frying pan from the floor. I saw movement in the corner of my eye and there, another big mama coming at me.
In the meantime our target jumped out of his bed and started shooting with an AK-74. The rest of the guys started returning fire while we took care of two women. We did not want to hurt them, but we didn’t want to lose anyone because of these two women.
So, my buddy was dealing with the first woman we encountered and as I was running toward the second one, I saw the woman that was trying to attack me, a big, big woman, change course and start going in the direction of my buddy. She reached him first and started pounding him with the frying pan. A second later I was there. I placed rifle on my back with the sling and grabbed the woman by the neck and restrained the arm holding the pan. All the sudden I saw her pull what looked like a 1911 from under her curtain-like dress. Now this was getting serious. I knocked the pan our of her hand while applying more pressure to her neck. In a few seconds she would be unconscious but she was still trying to get that fucking pistol out. Meanwhile the guys managed to kill the target and my buddy managed to get the other woman restrained.
I grabbed my knife, and stabbed her in the heart. She kept on moving. I stabbed her again. She kept on moving. And again. No luck. Finally she went limp from the choke hold I had on her.
WTF? I stabbed that woman 3 times and nothing happened.
After everything settled down the medic went to check on the two women. He called me and with a huge grin pointed at the woman, who was just beginning to wake. I looked down and saw that this big woman wasn’t a woman at all. We later learned that he was one of the target’s main guys. He was wearing several layers of clothing to make him look bigger, but more importantly, he was wearing one mean, not yet activated, suicide vest under all that. My stabbing went through the clothing and stopped dead at on one of the explosive packs that was full with rusty nails and other metal pieces.
Man… During the whole operation my heart beat has been quite steady, but upon learning this all the sudden I felt weak. My heart was going 1000 Miles an hour.
No Shit There I Was….What a woman.
This article previously published by SOFREP 07.28.2012, written by Aleph
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