On 3 January 2013, the Israeli military used army dogs to search Palestinian houses during a raid in the industrial neighbourhood of Jenin. During one such search, a 92-year-old Palestinian woman was severely injured when she was attacked by one of these dogs.
This is the latest in a series of attacks by army dogs on Palestinians. In the past year, Al-Haq has documented a number of similar cases; Amira Rahman ‘Awad, Ahmad Shaker Shteiwi and Akram Jamal Hanatsha were all badly injured when they were mauled for several minutes each by army dogs. Amira Rahman ‘Awad lost consciousness after the attack and suffered from nerve damage in her hand.
Najib Mahmoud Hinthawi, (72 years old)
On the day in question, at around 9:30 am, Najib heard someone hammering on the front door of his house in Jenin. When he opened the door, he was greeted by several masked Israeli soldiers pointing their weapons at him. The soldiers ordered Najib and whoever was in the house to stand in the front yard so that they could search his home.
Najib was forced to leave his home along with his wife, son and nephew and they were guarded by a number of Israeli soldiers while other soldiers entered the house. A large dog wearing a muzzle was also used in the search. Thirty minutes later, Najib and his family were allowed to enter their house, but were prevented from leaving again for the next two hours.
According to information collected by Al-Haq, while Najib and his family were locked inside their home, Israeli soldiers entered his mother’s apartment, which is on the floor above Najib’s house.
When the Israeli soldiers left the area at around 11:00 am, Najib went to check on his mother, Amna Muhammad Hithnawi (92 years old), but her house was empty. In her room, he found torn pieces of his mother’s clothing soaked in blood and scattered on the floor. Several Palestinians, who took part in the confrontations with the Israeli army close to Najib’s house, informed him that Israeli soldiers had transferred his mother by stretcher to a military vehicle.
Najib immediately phoned the Palestinian Coordination Office and asked if they had any information about where the Israeli army may have taken his mother. Shortly afterwards, an officer from the same office called Najib and informed him that the Israeli army had transferred an elderly Palestinian woman to a hospital in ‘Afula, inside Israel, after she had sustained a serious injury as a result of a dog attack.
On the same day, at approximately 2:00 pm, Najib visited his mother after obtaining a permit to pass through al-Jalama checkpoint, north Jenin. Amna told her son that while sitting in her home she was attacked by a dog. Despite the efforts of the soldiers to control the dog, Amna sustained a severe injury to her right arm and had to be transferred to hospital where she was told that some of the tendons in her arm had been severed. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 8300/2013)
At the time of writing, Amna was still in hospital receiving treatment.
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