Israeli forces unleash attack dog on 4-year-old Palestinian boy

Feb 07, 2024
Israeli forces released an attack dog on four-year-old Ibrahim Hashash inside his home in Balata refugee camp on February 4, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. (Photo: Courtesy of the Hashash family)

Ramallah, February 7, 2024—Israeli forces unleashed an attack dog on a four-year-old Palestinian boy in the northern occupied West Bank this week.

Israeli forces released a military dog into the Hashash family apartment the morning of February 4 after carrying out an arrest operation in Balata refugee camp, near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. The dog ran into the apartment and began attacking four-year-old Ibrahim Hashash after knocking him out of his mother’s arms. The dog tore off Ibrahim’s clothes and repeatedly bit him on the lower half of his body as he bled profusely. The attack continued for about three minutes before Israeli forces entered the apartment and removed the dog from Ibrahim. An ambulance brought Ibrahim to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he is being treated for internal and external injuries.

“Israeli forces routinely show complete disregard, and often contempt, for Palestinian children’s lives and safety,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “In a hypermilitarized environment where systemic impunity is the norm, kids like Ibrahim will increasingly be targets.”

Ibrahim will remain in the hospital until he receives plastic surgery to repair his injuries, according to medical information collected by DCIP.

“The dog made frightening sounds while biting Ibrahim, and blood was flowing heavily as he screamed and cried intensely,” said Ibrahim’s mother, who was unable to get the dog off of her child.

Israeli forces systematically use military dogs to attack Palestinian civilians, including children, during military incursions into Palestinian cities and towns.

DCIP documented four cases in 2023 where Palestinian children were attacked by Israeli military  dogs. These cases include a 13-year-old boy in Tulkarem, a 14-year-old girl in Jenin, and two siblings aged eight and 12 in Tubas. Such actions pose immediate physical harm and contribute to a broader context of fear and insecurity within the affected communities.

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