Israeli occupation forces set dogs on elderly Palestinians and teenagers in their homes during a raid of Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank last month.
According to rights group B’Tselem, on 7 May, a group of some ten Israeli soldiers raided Jenin refugee camp at around 4am, along with “two attack dogs”. The soldiers “forcibly entered two homes, woke up all the residents, turned the homes topsy-turvy, and detained two people”.
In one house, home to Zahra Ya’qub, 85, her son Salah, 44, his wife Sabah, 40, and their three children, soldiers “muscled in”, and “assaulted the couple with dogs that knocked down Sabah”.
B’Tselem continued: “One soldier kicked Sabah while she was lying on the ground and shoved her into the bedroom. Salah pulled her into the bedroom and then helped his mother in. Two soldiers stood by the door and prevented the members of the family from leaving.”
In the meantime, the account continues, “the soldiers went into the other rooms in the house, conducted searches, and arrested one of the sons, ‘Abd a-Rahman, 20, who has intellectual disabilities. The soldiers led ‘Abd a-Rahman into the bedroom, handcuffed with plastic cable ties”.
The next house to be raided was the home of the Salit family, where ten people live: 73-year-old Hashem; his 46-year-old son Samir with his wife and seven of their children, three of whom are minors aged 7 to 13.
Here, “the soldiers broke down the front door and entered the ground floor”, where “the soldiers, accompanied by one dog, assaulted the grandfather”, with the dog “knock[ing] the 73-year-old man onto his back and scratch[ing] his arms. The soldiers left him lying there injured.”
The soldiers then went into another room, and “set the dog on Muhammad (13). The dog knocked the boy to the floor and bit his finger through the muzzle. The soldiers handcuffed Muhammad, threw him to the floor, and covered him with sheets to keep him from seeing what was going on.”
B’Tselem notes that “night raids by the Israeli military on the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank have long since become a regular part of the routine imposed by the occupation regime”.
“In these raids, everyone in the home, including small children, is made to get out of bed. In this instance, the soldiers even had dogs with them, and they used them to assault some of the people in the home and terrorize the others.”
The NGO concluded:
This conduct is not a local initiative by individual soldiers or commanders in the field. It is part of the Israeli military’s policy in the West Bank. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that no one will be held to account in any way for what happened in Jenin R.C. last month.