‘I bled for 2.5 hours’ – Palestinian schoolteacher recounts brutal IDF dog attack
“I woke up when I heard explosions, I looked to my house door and it was destroyed by IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] bomb,” Jarrar, a schoolteacher, told RT’s Ruptly video agency from his hospital bed. As he gathered his family in the bedroom, he heard several more explosions, one of which took down the main house door before he was set upon by the dog.
“I saw one dog that started to attack me and bit my shoulder. Then it started to bite my leg. I was screaming," he continued. "After I was bleeding for more than two hours and a half, they took me to the hospital."
The savage mauling, which left Jarrar in need of a skin graft, took place on February 3, during an operation in Jarrar’s home village of Burkin. The IDF were searching for the killer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was allegedly murdered by one Ahmed Jarrar (Ahmed was later killed in a subsequent operation). During the raid, the soldiers also forced Jarrar’s wife, mother and disabled sister to strip for a body search, and arrested his two brothers, one of whom remains in custody.
“I consider it a war crime. They attacked my home and frightened my children and my wife,” Jarrar said.
According to journalist Max Blumenthal, the use of attack dogs on Palestinians is part of a long-standing policy.
“This is being cast by the Israeli military and government as kind of an isolated incident, but, as any of us who follow the situation in the West Bank, this is far from isolated. Its part of a clear policy of using dogs as an advance team during home raids on Palestinians,” Blumenthal told RT, noting the high-profile case of 16-year-old Hamzeh Abu Hashem, accused of throwing stones at soldiers in 2015. A representative of Breaking the Silence, a former IDF soldier left-wing organization, told RT at the time that such cases are “not unusual.”
“These dogs apply 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and Israeli soldiers were taunting him on video,” continued Blumenthal.
"And now Hamzeh Abu Hashem and the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq are suing not Israel, but actually the Dutch company Four Winds K9 – which has supplied what it calls biting dogs to the Israeli military – for violating UN conventions on companies operating in conflict zones. So this is a very significant lawsuit and it speaks to a wider policy of what the Israeli dissident journalist Gideon Levy calls ‘lynching by dog.’”
The IDF said in a statement that the troops “followed standard procedure and sent a search dog to locate people inside the establishment” after Jarrar refused to step outside.
It said that “when the door opened, the dog bit the suspect.” According to the Israeli military, the man “was immediately given medical treatment by the military medical forces until he was taken to a hospital.”