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Jenin: IOF Military Dogs Attack and Injure 73 Year-Old Man in Night Raids

Sunday, 20 May 2018 10:44 [ 7 May – 14 May ]
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Between 4:30 and 5:00 am, on Monday 7 May 2018, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) broke into the family homes of Hashem Ibrahim Khalil Salet, 73, and Salah Hussein Ahmed Yaqoub, 44, in Jenin and attacked the families with trained army attack dogs. Hashem Ibrahim Salet suffered serious injuries to his arms and Salah Hussein on different parts of his body. Unfortunately the attacks are not isolated incidents - in 2013, Al-Haq documented a similar attack by Israeli army dogs on a 92-year-old woman in Jenin.[1] In 2015, Al-Haq wrote an open letter to the Dutch Foreign Minister, warning that the supply of attack dogs by the Netherlands to Israel, may incur individual responsibility of Dutch corporations in the supply chain, for aiding and abetting Israel’s commission of war crimes against the protected Palestinian population.[2]

Hashem Ibrahim Khalil Salet, Talaat al-Ghubas, Jenin

Hashem Ibrahim Khalil Salet 73 lives on the first floor of the apartment building with his two grandsons, Muhammad Samir Salet, 14, and Hashem Samir Salet, 21, in Talaat al-Ghubas, Jenin. Hashem Ibrahim’s son, Samir Hashem Salet, along with his wife and his seven other children, live on the second floor.[3]

At 4:30 am, on 7 May, while he was sleeping, Hashem Ibrahim heard voices and someone trying to open the iron door on the first floor. He immediately that IOF soldiers were at the from the way they tried to open the iron door. He approached the door and told them a few times that he was opening it, but no one replied. He decided to step back 3-4 meters from the door, afraid that something might happen. Soldiers opened the door without detonation and Hashem saw a huge black dog with a muzzle crossing the iron door. The dog attacked Hashem, throwing him to the ground, and then standing over him, as Hashem began to bleed. Shortly thereafter, Hashem saw approximately 15 IOF soldiers in full military gear entering the hall through the door.

When Hashem’s grandson Muhammad Samir Salet, 14 woke and entered the room, the dog immediately attacked him. Muhammad pushed the dog off with his right hand, catching it off the dogs muzzle. Soldiers proceeded to restrain Muhammad and tied his hands. He was forced to sit on the ground in the living room while soldiers took control of the dog. Meanwhile, Hashem Ibrahim remained on the floor in the living room, his hands bleeding.

Soldiers then went to the bedroom where Hashem Samir, 21 was sleeping, tied his hands and brought him through the sitting room, up the internal staircase to the second floor. Soldiers asked Samir Hashem Salet to show his son, Hashem Samir Salet's identity card. At approximately 5:00 am, the IOF took Hashem Samir outside and arrested him. He is currently being held in Megiddo prison inside the Green Line. He has never been detained before.

During this time, there was no medical attention given to the injured family members. The IOF searched the first floor thoroughly, damaging the contents of the house. As soon as they left, Samir Hashem Salet called for a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance which took the Hashem Ibrahim and Muhammad Samir straight to Jenin Governmental Hospital. Hashem Ibrahim Khalil Salet sustained injuries to both hands from the dog, while Muhammad Samir Salet was treated for minor scratches to his hands.

Salah Hussein Ahmed Yaqoub, Jabriat area, southern part of the Jenin refugee camp

Salah Hussein, 44 an employee of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, his wife Sabah Ahmad Mahmoud Yaqoub, 40, and his three children, Ashraf Salah Yaqoub, 21, Abdul Rahman, 20, and his daughter Rima Salah Yaqoub, live in the Jabriat area in the southern part of the Jenin refugee camp.[4]

On the same morning, Monday 7 May, at approximately 4:00 am, Salah was in his home with his family when he heard a shout in Hebrew that he did not understand. Sabah realized that the IOF soldiers had surrounded the house and were trying to take off the iron door. Sabah rushed to the door in an attempt to open it, and saw two big dogs, muzzled, with bulletproof jackets on their backs, cameras around their necks and headphones added to their ears.  Salah described to Al-Haq:

“One of the dogs tried to attack me. I grabbed him from the neck to prevent him from attacking me. Meanwhile, the other dog tried to attack my wife. I came under attack from both dogs who beat me on all sides of my body with the muzzle fixed on each dog's mouth…The dogs continued to assault me for about two minutes.”

Al-Haq © 2018 - Salah Yaqoub, injured in IOF Dog Attack

Soldiers screamed at Salah in Arabic, while about twenty soldiers entered the house in full military gear. Some of the soldiers grabbed the two dogs and put them in the living room. Salah and his wife were then detained at gunpoint while soldiers searched the house. One of the officers questioned Salah about his son Abd al-Rahman Yaqoub. They then handcuffed, blindfolded and arrested Abd al-Rahman. At 5:00 am, when the soldiers left,  Salah Hussein saw that he had bruising to his pelvis, abdomen and thighs.

Legal Analysis

The use of trained attack dogs during raids and arrests violates Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which holds that no one shall be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and also comprises a “measure of intimidation” against the protected population, prohibited under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[5] As such, the United Nations Committee Against Torture has considered the use of attack dogs used to deliberately induce fear, as amounting to psychological torture, which “constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.[6] Notably torture is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime under the Article 8(2)(a)(ii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In addition, the persistent nightly raids on civilian homes across Jenin constitute an “arbitrary or unlawful interference” on the family home in violation of Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).[7] In particular, the belligerent occupant is obliged to protect “family honor and rights, the lives of persons, and private property” under the Article 46 of the Hague Regulations. The destruction of private property in the absence of military necessity, is in violation of the laws of armed conflict. Al-Haq condemns the arbitrary detentions of Hashem Samir Salet's and Abd al-Rahman Yaqoub and calls for their immediate release. Further Al-Haq calls for reparations for the victims of the attacks.


[1]Al-Haq, “Israeli Army Dog Attacks 92-Year-Old Palestinian Woman in Jenin” (23 January 2013), available at:

http://www.alhaq.org/documentation/weekly-focuses/661-israeli-army-dog-attacks-92-year-old-palestinian-woman-in-jenin-; See also, B’tSelem, “Military still using dogs to attack Palestinian civilians” (29 December 2014), available at: https://www.btselem.org/beating_and_abuse/20141229_military_continues_to_use_attack_dogs_against_civilians

[2]Re. The Export of Dutch Service Dogs to Israel (6 November 2015), available at: http://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/targets/european-union/987-re-the-export-of-dutch-service-dogs-to-israel

[3] Al-Haq, Affidavit Number Ref No 2018/346

[4] Al-Haq, Affidavit Number 2018/345

[5] See, Committee Against Torture, Conclusions and Recommendation: United States of America, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/USA/CO/2, at para 24 (25 July 2006). See, also, N.S. Nenova v. Libya, Human Rights Committee, Communication 1880/2009 (2 May 2012); Jumaa v Libya, Human Rights Committee, Communication No. 1755/2008 (10 July 2012) (where just the threat of dogs was amongst factors relevant to a finding of a violation of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment); Chervenyashka v Libya, Human Rights Committee, Communication No. 1800/2009 (2 May 2012). Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “[A]ll measures of intimidation . . . are prohibited.”

[6] Committee against Torture, Concluding Observations on USA, UN Doc. CAT/C.USA/CO/2, para 24

[7]International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 23 March 1976) 999 UNTS 171

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