Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A week of house raids in Hebron after killing of soldier

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By Tim Vlostek - September 27, 2013
Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Hebron] [Israeli army]

Photos by Vivian Calle. 

Tensions were especially high in Hebron after the mysterious shooting and death of an Israeli soldier on Sunday, 22 September. After the killing on Sunday night the IDF soldiers reportedly went around the neighborhoods surrounding the Abu-Arish checkpoint, close to where the soldier was killed, and rounded up all Palestinian males with an ID card - those over 16 years old. They were broken up into large groups, some of which were kept for hours outside on the street. The Israeli security forces detained around 1,000 Palestinian men and boys and ransacked hundreds of homes in searches. 

One local resident, Asharaf Abu-Sharkh, was one of the men who was detained and had his house violently searched. 

“[The] Israelis broke the door to my home and came in. They swept everything off a table and broke my phone. They got into every house and do this,” said Asharaf.

He went on to say that he and his sons were taken out of their home around 8pm on Sunday and were kept seated on the street near to where the shooting had occurred until around 3am, Monday morning. Asharaf said that anyone who resisted or yelled at the soldiers was handcuffed and blindfolded. The Israelis questioned many, but not all, of the men and boys in their custody.

While the men were rounded up, IDF forces moved through hundreds of homes in the area, supposedly in a search for any clues connected to the shooting. A reporter from the Palestine Monitor entered a couple homes in the area and saw clear evidence of forceful entry; broken locks, doors, and windows. Inside the homes, damages from the raids included cupboard doors that had been ripped off their hinges, broken windows and mirrors, and smashed appliances. Though the occupants had cleaned up after IDF soldiers tore their homes apart, they had pictures of the aftermath on their cell-phones showing ransacked rooms with overturned beds and piles off objects knocked to the ground.

No group or individual has yet claimed responsibility for the killing. Since Sunday’s shooting, raids on Palestinian homes, arrests, and clashes between Israeli security forces and local Shabab - youths - have continued throughout the week. 

Maan News Agency reported that Israeli forces had arrested two brothers, Ammar and Jalal al-Karki, from their home in the Wadi al-Harba neighborhood in Hebron on Wednesday, 25 September. The brothers were taken to an unknown location. 

Hisham Sharabati, an activist working with the Hebron Defense Committee said that a family’s home, near to where the soldier was shot, has now been raided three times since the Sunday’s killing; twice by Israelis and once by the Palestinian security forces. 

He went on to say that, “The investigation in this case is quite complicated. They army hasn't found the bullet that hit the soldier; you heard it from ISM [Solidarity activists who were at the scene of the killing] that they haven’t heard any shooting and it's kind of a mystery still. They need to solve it and this will take a long time.” 

Hisham reported that families were splitting up, as wives took their children away to live with family elsewhere until things calmed down. Constant home raids in Hebron throughout the week by Israeli armed forces have made a tense situation almost unbearable for many local residents. “I’ve seen a little girl who told me when the army was raiding her house, she said that her teeth were moving by themselves because she was shivering….They are turning the lives of people into hell.” 

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