Ali Waked | YNet News
16 December 2009
Family members of a girl who shot a video showing an Israel Defense Forces soldier firing a rubber bullet at a bound Palestinian in the West Bank village of Naalin last year say the army has been harassing them ever since.
The relatives told Ynet that a massive IDF force raided their house on Wednesday night and left behind a lot of damage. The girl’s father and brother were then summoned for investigation.
An IDF official claimed, however, that the soldiers arrived to arrest a man suspected of rioting and that the incident had nothing to do with the videotape.
The girl’s family members said that soldiers arrived at their house at around 3:30 am. “They broke the windows of our car, which was parked outside, and did not leave one whole glass inside the house. They destroyed and ruined everything,” said the girl’s brother, Arafat Canaan.
“They used a loudspeaker and shouted, ‘We are the IDF, we are the IDF,’ without giving any warning, without telling us what they want.”
According to the brother, his mother fainted during the raid, the soldiers attacked his father, forcibly removed two of his brothers from the house and cuffed them in the yard. He said a third brother, who was outside the house, was detained for six hours until the end of the raid.
Arafat added that dogs were brought into the house and caused destruction. He said he believes this was another attempt by the army to avenge the tape. “If they wanted to arrest, they would come and arrest. But to destroy an entire house only to leave behind a letter summoning me and my brother to meet with a Shin Bet officer? This proves they are driven by feelings of vengefulness over that affair.”
‘Soldiers were following orders’
The brother said that his sister documented the destruction caused by the soldiers and their entry into the house, and that the soldiers had threatened her not to film the incident. Arafat himself documents the anti-fence demonstrations in Naalin and says the soldiers’ arrival in the night was meant to also terrify him and make him stop filming the demonstrations and the army’s activity in the village.
IDF sources confirmed that a special force arrived at the house in Naalin in the night in order to arrest one of the family members on suspicion of causing repeated disturbances. A commotion broke out in the area during the detention.
The sources clarified, however, that the soldiers were following orders and were trying not to disrupt the other family members’ lives. The sources also clarified that the arrest had nothing to do with the video shot by one of the family members about a year and a half ago during an ant-fence rally.
It should be noted that the girl’s father was arrested several days after the video’s publication. He was accused of causing disturbances in the area, taking part in a demonstration, violating a closed military zone order and assaulting a soldier with a stick. He was released several days later, after a military judge accused the prosecution of acting unprofessionally.