18th June 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
Yesterday the Israeli army invaded a family house in the H1 area, supposedly under full Palestinian Authority civil and security control, of al-Khalil (Hebron). The father of the family is very ill with heart disease; the family was forced in to one room and was not allowed to leave. The eight Israeli soldiers used the house as an unofficial army post, both to rest and to view the area. The soldiers stayed there overnight, terrifying the family, as they had no idea when the soldiers would leave. At approximately 11:00 am, the soldiers left the house, however they informed the family that they would return.
The soldiers then entered the next house, relatives of the same family, with four young children. First they searched the house, and then occupied the children’s room on the second floor. They moved the children’s beds to get more space and placed a black blanket to cover the doorway.
The soldiers took shifts, sitting in front of the room watching the family, while the rest were sleeping, eating, and viewing the area. The family told the ISMers present that the soldiers also took showers. The soldiers seemed very uncomfortable with the ISM volunteers in the house, and behaved very aggressively towards them, and the family members who were taking photos.
The family offered the soldiers to use the roof instead of the children’s room, but they refused.
The military presence in the house caused a lot of fear for the family, they were unable to carry out their daily routines, and the children were very upset that they could not enter their room; they were afraid the soldiers would take their belongings and break their toys.
After five hours the family convinced the military to leave, as they left, it was witnessed them joining with a much larger group of soldiers.
Since last Friday, there has been a large increase in home invasions all over the West Bank. This is part of the collective punishment inflicted on the Palestinian population, since the disappearance of three Israeli settler youth on Thursday.