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Israel army 'violently harasses Palestinian family at home' in Hebron

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron, on 22 September 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]
Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron, on 22 September 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

Israeli occupation forces repeatedly raided a Palestinian family in Hebron over the course of a month harassing its occupants, reported human rights NGO B'Tselem. The attacks took place in an area of the city "ostensibly under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA)".

Hanaa, 39, and Jamal Karamah, 49, live with their six children – Jamil (20), Jannah (19), Othman (16), Baraah (13), Muamen (ten) and Tasnim (five) – in Wadi Abu Katilah, north-west Hebron.

On 25 August, Israeli soldiers arrived at the Karamahs' home at 1:30am, demanding that the parents present themselves for interrogation the next day. The next night, after neither Jamal nor Hanaa had obeyed the summons, soldiers returned at 10.00pm.

"This time, the soldiers assaulted members of the family, searched the home, turning it upside down, and then arrested Jamal Karamah and confiscated the family car," B'Tselem reported.

Read: Israel settlers storm Palestinian homes in Hebron

"Shortly after they left the house, friends of the family told them the soldiers had abandoned their car after it broke down. Jamal Karamah was held in custody until 30 August 2018. About ten days after his release, soldiers once again arrived at the family home and once again confiscated the car."

Overall, between 25 August and 20 September, "soldiers showed up at the family's home in the middle of the night on four different occasions".

In the early hours of 20 September, dozens of soldiers showed up at the home – and, according to B'Tselem, "the events that unfolded were exceedingly severe even for the routine violence West Bank residents are subjected to".

After soldiers had forced their way into the house, "the soldiers immediately dragged the father outside, then went inside and began assaulting other family members".

Read: Israel demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Hebron

"The soldiers ultimately arrested the father, the mother and the eldest son Jamil and led them to jeeps that were parked near the home".

As they were leaving, a soldier threw a stun grenade which "landed under the wheelchair of 30-year-old Samir Karamah and went off right beside him". After Samir fell on his face, and his 13-year-old nephew Zuheir Karamah tried to come to his aid, "the soldiers assaulted him too".

By the time the incident was over seven members of the extended Karamah family required hospital care

B'Tselem said.

"Soldiers raiding homes in the middle of the night has become a common part of life not only for the Karamah family, but across the West Bank," the NGO added.

"These raids, which take place also in areas that are ostensibly under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, are carried out with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses, in keeping with the sweeping arbitrary powers it has granted itself."

"There is absolutely no justification for these actions, which are clearly designed to intimidate and terrify the residents."

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