Soldiers released an attack dog on unarmed Palestinians at a Friday anti-occupation demonstration in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, report eyewitnesses that include an AP photographer. According to a report from Jonathan Pollack, a political activist, Border Police officers released an army dog at a group of protesters who were standing several dozen meters away. The dog chased the protesters, then locked his jaw on the arm of one of them – Ahmad Shtawi – sinking his teeth into the man’s arm. The dog refused for several minutes to respond to his handler’s order to release Mr. Shtawi’s arm.
IDF attack dog refuses to release his grip on Ahmad Shtawi’s arm (photo: PSCC)
Although he was bleeding, in pain and in need of medical attention, soldiers decided to arrest Mr. Shtawi after the dog finally released his arm. When Morad Shtawi, a member of the village’s popular committee, tried to reason with the commanding officer and convince him to release the wounded man, he was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and pepper sprayed – as documented in the video below.
uploaded by mahdisharawi1997 on Mar 16, 2012
A Palestinian protester is seen on the ground after being pounced upon and bitten by a military dog. The dog locked its jaws on the protester’s arm and would not release him, for several minutes. The military dog handlers are seen unsuccessfully attempting to release the dog’s hold on the protester. The protester and a relative who attempted to free him were both arrested.
Video credit: Odai Qaddomi/B’Tselem
Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem has called several times for the Israeli army to stop using attack dogs on unarmed Palestinians. In February 2012, a 19 year-old Palestinian was attackedby an IDF dog; B’Tselem reported another five such incidents in 2011.