Video: Israeli night raids on sleeping Palestinian children

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem today released two harrowing videos of heavily armed Israeli soldiers raiding the bedrooms of Palestinian children in the middle of the night.

The first video, above, is titled “Night search of Sameeh and Mai D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015.”

The video was shot during a night raid on ten homes in the occupied West Bank city. B’Tselem does not say who shot the video, but typically the videos it releases are made by Palestinians.

After forcing the children – at least one as young as four – out of their beds, the video shows the soldiers in full combat gear, armed with rifles and hand grenades, photographing and interrogating them.

The father asks the soldiers why they are invading his home in the middle of the night.

“Because stones are thrown at us all day long,” one soldier replies.

“What’s that to us?” the father asks. “I don’t have to explain my schedule,” the soldier shouts and orders the father to “go wake up your children.”

We see the soldiers follow the father into the room and order the children – one of whom is visually impaired – out of bed.

The soldiers then interrogate the children, including the four-year-old.

“Do you think he understands?” the father asks.

“Yes, I think so,” the soldier says. A short time later the soldiers leave.

Children terrorized

This video is titled “Night search of Nayef and Dalal D’ana’s home, Hebron, 24 February 2015.”

It shows the soldiers forcing their way into a home and shouting to wake everyone up, demanding their ID cards.

The mother protests that the children are young and asleep. The soldier shouts at her, “Get them all here.”

The mother tries to persuade the soldier, telling him the children will be terrorized, but the assault on the home continues and the soldiers enter a bedroom occupied by the family’s sleeping children.

Frequent night raids

Such night raids are a frequent occurence.

In 2013, more than half of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank were taken from their homes in the middle of the night, according to Defence for Children International–Palestine.

The children’s rights group estimates that annually 500-700 Palestinian children are prosecuted in Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by occupation forces.

These disturbing scenes underscore that many more children who are not arrested are nonetheless subjected to traumatizing assaults in the very place they should feel safest.

B’Tselem has posted more information about the videos and testimonies from the parents on its website.

No accountability

They also provide an insight into what Palestinians live and have lived through for decades with no respite in sight as Israel continues to enjoy immunity and impunity for its violations.

“Not only is this policy of entering Palestinian homes by night unjust and terrifying,” B’Tselem says in its description of the video, “it illustrates how casually and arbitrarily the lives of Palestinians under occupation are disrupted and their rights violated.”

B’Tselem “calls on the military to discontinue this policy without delay.”

B’Tselem should call for those who perpetrate these harrowing attacks and those who order them to be brought to justice.

These videos depicting systematic violence against children should also give pause to the UN officials who are allegedly sabotaging moves to have Israel’s army included on a UN list of serious violators of children’s rights.

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Comments

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A good book-end to "Burning Conscious" (video easy to find.)

I wish I could stop this. Despite the appearance the support for Israel is a mile wide and an inch deep - mostly perception accomplished by hijacking a tiny number in the media and politics.

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I would like to know how these videos were taken. If they are genuine they are yet another example of how appalling the Occupation is

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What do you mean "if"? There are any number (sickening fact in itself) of fully documented Reports by highly respected human rights groups (inc. israeli) out there. Try googling 'israeli illegal detention of minors, etc. You'll have a field day. Or maybe you won't.

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Can you imagine what ADL or the Israeli government would say if armed gunmen from the Palestinian Authority broke into the houses of Jewish settlers in the West Bank in the middle of the night and pointed guns in the faces of their children...? This is what Netanyahu uses the $3 billion in US tax dollars that Barack Obama and Congress send to Israel to subsidize the illegal occupation of Palestine. Isn't it time for the US to stop subsidizing the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine...? ‪#‎BoycottIsrael‬

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Many of us knew well that Israel never wanted "peace". Zionism never wanted "peace".

Netanyahu's remarks about Palestinian statehood have stunned the US which never
wanted "peace" either. (See Naseer Aruri, DISHONEST BROKER...)

But with Israel's subterfuge and in full complicity with Israel's conquest and dehumanization of Palestinians, the US was able to portray Israel as seeking
peace and Palestinians as an "uncivilized" and primitive warrior race.

Bibi has now unmasked the US which desperately seeks to blame Bibi, and only
Bibi, for showing them up.That is absurd.

While these remarks may not seem relevant to the ongoing terrorism portrayed
above, commenter Pauline Park shows us this in her comparison to what treactions
would be (have been?) to similar actions aimed at Israeli families, Israeli children.

The "Israel wants peace, Palestinians make war" mantra was useful for the US
on many fronts such as in public statements for domestic US consumption and
in the UN. Those who believed this PR (which I would guess would number few
of EI regular readers) have been fools.

Expect US to donn the role of peacemaker and blame Netanyahu---only
Netanyahu---for telling the truth about Israel and puncturing the US PR lie.

PS: We do ourselves a disservice by focusing ONLY on children and children.

---Peter Loeb, Boston, MA USA

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Not just the Palestinians. Most of the civilised world. We just don't get heard enough.

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When we visited a refugee camp in the West Bank last year, we were told Israeli soldiers regularly make night raids - every couple of weeks or so. We were told that the soldiers were trainees - and breaking into Palestinian houses at night was part of their training exercises. That seems to be the case in these videos. A sergeant is telling his young trainees how to do it. They are not really searching for anything...

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The fact that the soldiers allow someone to take a video of their entire actions and this video taker is not hiding just does not make sense. I'd like an explanation for that.

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Having lived several times in the West Bank and Gaza and listened to people speak about their situation, I always find it totally inaccurate to read non-Palestinians interpreting their feelings about the occupation and all its forms as "hate". Palestinians find actions such as the one here impossible to understand, unkind in the extreme, but also their lot to bear. They cannot fathom how anyone could be so inhuman. Perhaps the younger generation is now dissatisfied with the dignified steadfastness of their elders - steadfastness being a value of Palestinian society under occupation. In this case, the feelings might be described as revolt and refusal. Hatred is simply not an emotion one encounters, not among ex-prisoners or families of victims. It is a question of cultural values.

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Excellent description! While I only visited Palestine for 2 weeks, I came away thinking this and it is a great confirmation of those thoughts. Blessed be them.

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Why are none of the wests politicians up in arms about this kind of thing, it is criminal, this IS an occupation, no matter what the Israelis claim. Israel is a country that has no honour, and will one day rightly be called what it is, a terrorist state.

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It is an indication of how out of tune with the rest of the world Israel is that they allowed that pacifist organization to film their raids. I'm sure the lunatic IDF thinks the film shows their kindness toward the Palestinians they abuse because they did not kill or physically brutalize any of the children they terrorized.

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This has nothing to do with 'stone throwing'. It's about creating PTSD as a public health issue.
It's about incitement.
These kids all likely know other kids who've been arrested in one of these middle of the night raids and tortured.
(from a friend ..Jewish.. who has worked in a post torture recovery centre in Ramallah)

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.