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IOF attacks Marda village, Salfit region

by International Women’s Peace Service

Around 10:30p.m. on Thursday 28th September 2006 the Israeli army entered the village of Marda with at least seven armoured vehicles, including jeeps, hummers and a truck. IWPS volunteers present in the village witnessed as soldiers got out of the vehicles and dispersed into several groups all over the village, throwing numerous sound bombs and shooting flares in the process. The soldiers started to randomly bang on doors, ordering residents to open and come out of the house. According to residents, in some cases the whole family had to come out onto the street, in others they forced only male adults and youth to line up in front of the house while guns were pointed at them. No targeted arrest attempts were reported, though many residents had their ID cards checked. IWPS volunteers witnessed several soldiers lecturing and warning parents with threats to prevent the youth of the village from throwing stones. In one case soldiers forced a youth out of a house and threatened to arrest him, because they had heard someone speaking in a loud voice inside, which the soldiers seemed to perceive as an act of defiance. Local sources reported that about 30 houses were forced open until the soldiers left at around 00.15 a.m. A man later reported that he had been slapped around by soldiers and a youth reported he had been punched in his nose.

Human rights activists that called the Israeli DCO to inquire about the situation in Marda were told that the army invaded the village because children had thrown stones.

Randomly throwing sound bombs at houses and forcing a large number of residents out of their homes at gunpoint at night time as a reaction to the alleged stone throwing by some children constitutes a Collective Punishment, which is illegal under International Law, as stated by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as Article 50 of the Hague Convention.