9 February 2012
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Soldiers invade numerous homes in
Early on the morning of 8 February 2012, more than twenty Israeli soldiers and
Border Police broke into at least thirty homes in the Al-Khalil (Hebron)’s Old
City. The soldiers, many of whom are part of a unit of the Golani
Brigade, used rifles, boots, and pry bars to break in doors and destroy
locks. Soldiers ransacked more than a dozen houses, ordered families
outside into the night, damaged and destroyed property and verbally and
physically harassed families who were asleep in their homes when the raid
began. Soldiers also broke down
the door of the Ministry of Labor, which was empty in the early morning hours.
One family reported that Border Police arrived at their door at about 1:30 a.m.,
awakened everyone and wrote down the names and ID numbers of all eight family
members, and then left. Then, shortly before 4:00 am, twelve soldiers
from the Golani brigade forced their way into the house and ordered the family,
including two small children, into one room. The soldiers ransacked the rest of the home,
breaking the locks on interior doors and tossing belongings onto the floor. They remained in the house, not allowing
the family to use the restroom, until almost 7:00 a.m. The family
reported that soldiers stole money and a child’s wristwatch during the raid.
One father reported that soldiers entered his home during the night and locked
his toddler daughter, who is developmentally disabled and has severe breathing
problems, into a room by herself. They forced the rest of the family to
leave the house and wait outside while they searched the rooms.
Nearby, soldiers forced two women who were alone at home with five children, to
wait in the street for four hours while they broke all the doors of the
house. Another man reported that soldiers broke the door to his house and
forced their way in, saying that his two children, who are under the age of
four, had been throwing stones.
Internationals who spoke with the families the next morning witnessed damage to
doors and stonework, broken glass, scattered belongings and destroyed locks. At many homes, boot prints were visible
on the doors and owners were working to replace broken and bent locks and
Civilians living the Old City have faced a sharp rise in human rights abuses
since a unit of the Golani brigade arrived there in late December. Abuses have included the arrest and
detention of children, serious physical injuries to children and civilian
adults while in military custody, home invasions of civilians by soldiers, and
an increase in the number and duration of arbitrary detentions of civilians at
Soldiers also invaded homes in the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus.
Additional pictures of damage done by the soldiers are