28 June 2009
At 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 28th, the village of Azzun in Qalqiliya governorate was invaded by 120 soldiers looking for a wanted teenager. After entering and ransacking three homes, they entered a fourth through the back door after throwing rocks at the door and adjacent window. There they found the youth for whom they were searching: a 16-year-old high-school student who was apprenticing with his father over the summer months as a carpenter. He was taken into custody by soldiers in his underwear and without shoes. The teen’s parents pleaded with soldiers that he be allowed to get dressed, but the soldiers assured the parents that there was no need as they would only take him for a minute or two and then return him. His family has not seen him since.
The youth’s parents did not know why he was arrested, but the family has faced a similar experience before. When their eldest son was 12, he was also taken by soldiers who said they would return him after a couple of minutes. Instead, he was imprisoned and released three years later. A second son was reportedly shot to death by soldiers beside Highway 55, which borders Azzun to the north, in March 2003 when he was with two friends. Soldiers (who did not deliver first aid) then left that son’s body outside the District Coordinating Office in Qalqiliya, and the army later claimed the youth had died after he fell and broke his neck.