The Israeli practice of using dogs to terrorize Palestinian civilians has been documented once again in a shocking video that should galvanize international watchdog groups and governments to action, says Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights.
A video documenting Israeli soldiers siccing two dogs on a Palestinian boy who looks visibly frightened has been spreading across the Web. Hamza Abu Hashem, 16, was detained by Israeli soldiers in December for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces in the city of Bait Ammar, in northern Hebron. In the video, for which the origin is unknown, the boy is seen screaming in pain and fear while being held by Israeli soldiers. One of the soldiers can be heard making fun of the boy, saying, “Who is the coward now, huh? Who is the coward?” Another soldier incites the dog to bite the Palestine child by saying, "get him."
Later, Hashem was taken to an Israeli hospital, then moved to Ofer Prison and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The Israeli army has responded to outrage over the video by declaring that it has opened an investigation into the incident.
“This is not an isolated incident, however,” says Maha Hussaini, spokesperson for Euro-Mid. “We issued a comprehensive report in March 2012 in which we documented such Israeli practices since the Second Intifada. The Israeli army buys most of its dogs from Germany and trains them to attack Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”
Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights warns that the Israeli policy of siccing dogs on civilians is brutal torture and inhumane treatment that violates international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) and the Convention against Torture (1984). The organization is calling on UNICEF to comply with its obligation to protect Palestinian children by pressuring the Israeli government to cease its inhumane practices.