“Now, you can stretch the boundaries of your interpretation, but not in an unlimited fashion, after all, it must be bound by physics, as it contains buildings and alleys. The question is: how do you interpret the alley? Do you interpret the alley as a place, like every architect and every town planner does, to walk through, or do you interpret the alley as a place forbidden to walk through? This depends only on interpretation. We interpreted the alley as a place forbidden to walk through, and the door as a place forbidden to pass through, and the window as a place forbidden to look through, because a weapon awaits us in the alley, and a booby trap awaits us behind the doors. This is because the enemy interprets space in a traditional, classical manner, and I do not want to obey this interpretation and fall into his traps. Not only do I not want to fall into his traps, I want to surprise him! This is the essence of war. I need to win. I need to emerge from an unexpected place.”
“This is why that we opted for the methodology of walking through walls.”
The maneuver conducted by units of the Israeli military during the attack on the city of Nablus in April 2002 was described by its commander, Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, as â€œinverse geometry,â€ which he explained as the re-organization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions. During the attack, soldiers moved within the city across hundred-meter-long â€œover-ground-tunnelsâ€ carved out through a dense and contiguous urban fabric. Although several thousand soldiers and hundreds of Palestinian guerrilla fighters were maneuvering simultaneously in the city, they were saturated within its fabric to the degree that most would not have been visible from an aerial perspective at any given moment. Furthermore, soldiers did not often use the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that constitute the syntax of the city, as well as the external doors, internal stairwells, and windows that constitute the order of buildings, but rather moved horizontally through party walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement is part of a tactics that the military refers to in metaphors it borrows from the world of aggregate animal formation as â€œswarmingâ€ and â€œinfestation.â€
The tactics of â€œwalking-through-wallsâ€ involved a conception of the city as not just the site, but as the very medium of warfare â€“ a flexible, almost liquid matter that is forever contingent and in flux.