In the past week, Al-Haq documented a number of raids on Palestinian homes across the West Bank city of Hebron. On 22 September, Israeli forces announced that an Israeli soldier had been shot dead in the Qaytun neighbourhood in the southern part of Hebron. In retaliation, hundreds of Israeli soldiers were deployed in the neighbourhoods of Qaytun, Abu Sneineh and Jabal Johar. Many Palestinian homes were raided and searched and male residents over the age of 16 were gathered by the soldiers for hours, questioned and some were beaten. Israeli forces also blocked all roads leading to Hebron until the following morning.
Murshed Abdel Ghani Karaki – Hebron
Murshed, 50, lives in the Qaytun neighbourhood with his wife, his mother and 13 children. On 24 September at approximately 9:00 pm, heavy knocks were heard at Murshed’s front door. Before anyone could answer, approximately 30 Israeli soldiers stormed through the door and into Murshed’s home. According to Murshed, one of the soldiers was not wearing a uniform and introduced himself as Captain Adeeb. Adeeb ordered Murshed’s family to stay in one room while the soldiers searched through the house, damaging furniture in the process. Adeeb questioned Murshed as to whether he had heard gunshots on the day the soldier was killed and questioned four of Murshed’s sons as to what they knew about the soldier’s death. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9014/2013)
Mohamed Sadiq Ajlouni – Hebron
Mohamed, 53, who is a resident of the Jabal Johar neighbourhood in Hebron, arrived home at approximately 8:30 pm on 22 September with his 11 children to find that around 30 Israeli soldiers had broken into his house. The soldiers were searching through the bedrooms, bathrooms and living room of his two-storey house. Once he was inside, Mohamed saw that his furniture had been turned upside down and some property was damaged. Mohamed estimates that the value of the damaged property amounts to roughly 15,000 Shekels (approximately 420 USD). Later on, Mohamed learned from his neighbours that Israeli forces had raided many other houses in the neighbourhood. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9013/2013)
Ashraf Ismail Abu Sharkh – Hebron
On 22 September, at approximately 8:00 pm, Ashraf, 41, heard knocks at his door and a voice calling in Arabic “open up, it’s the military”. When he opened the door, about 14 soldiers entered the house, where he lives with his wife and six children and began searching it and damaging property. Forty minutes later, Israeli soldiers took Ashraf to the street where other men had already been gathered and restrained by the soldiers. Ashraf, along with the other men, were directed to walk towards a military checkpoint located nearby with their hands over their heads. According to Ashraf, there were approximately 500 detainees at the checkpoint, who were made to sit down on the ground. An additional group of men were brought to the checkpoint by the Israeli soldiers but were kept in a separate area.
Ashraf states that the soldiers shouted at the detainees, prohibited many of them from using the toilet and took their cell phones. In addition, the soldiers beat some of the men and twisted their arms behind their backs. Those that were given permission to use the toilet were ordered to crawl to a nearby field to do so. Anyone who argued with the soldiers was blindfolded, in addition to having his hands cuffed behind his back. Ashraf also states that many of the detainees were barefoot or just wearing their underwear, having been taken from their houses late in the evening without warning. At approximately 3:00 am, Ashraf and most of the other detainees were released. When he arrived home, Ashraf found that the drawer in his bedroom in which he keeps his family’s official documents and money had been emptied onto the floor and 5,000 Shekels (approximately 1,400 USD) was missing. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9015/2013)
Suhad Jihad Karaki – Hebron
On 22 September, at approximately 8:00 pm, Suhad, 44, was at home when 10 soldiers entered her house. One of the soldiers ordered Suhad to call the male members of her family to come down to the ground floor. Suhad’s four sons, one of her nephews and her father-in-law were all taken outside while the Israeli soldiers carried out a search of the house. While some of the soldiers were on the upper floors of the house, Suhad heard her pregnant daughter-in-law, Reem, 19, screaming from upstairs. When Suhad went to check on her, Reem told her that one of the soldiers had kicked her in the stomach because she had refused to go downstairs when ordered. Approximately 30 minutes later, the soldiers interrogated Suhad and her family and questioned them as to their whereabouts that evening. Reem was later taken to hospital for medical checkups and was discharged that night. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9016/2013)
Al-Haq condemns the use of collective punishment against the residents of Hebron and the restraint of hundreds of its residents. In addition, Al-Haq expresses its concern regarding how the raid was conducted and the resulting damage to property, which amounts to plunder. Al-Haq calls upon Israel to strictly abide by its legal obligations under international human rights law, including the right of all persons deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity.