Boy bitten by Israeli army dog in Jenin
Ali Smoudi, Jenin 11:30 am 01.12.05
Twelve-year-old Mohammed Shiekh Qassem, 12 from the Jenin Refugee Camp was moderately wounded when a police dog attacked him during an Israeli army raid on his family’s home.
Mohammed Fadel, 45 says an army force raided his home in the center of the camp, making the adult members of the family wait outside during the search. After the family was allowed back in, the soldiers went to the next house, Fadel’s neighbors Ahmad Qassam and began searching it.
The injured child, Mohammed says his family went up to the second floor of their home while the soldiers were searching the house. “I was lying down on my mattress when I saw a dog charging towards my sister Asma, who was standing at the other end of the room. I don’t remember how I jumped off the mattress and threw myself in front of my sister to protect her from the dog.”
Mohammed continues from his bed at the Martyr Khalil Suleiman Hospital, “In a flash, the dog was on me and had my thigh between his teeth. He threw me down and started dragging me. I started screaming in pain and my leg was bleeding. The dog was so fierce, my parents couldn’t get him off of me.”
Mohammed’s sister, 15-year-old Asma says, “It was terrible. The dog took control of Mohammed and wouldn’t let go of his leg even though my parents and I tried to get him off of him. The dog could have killed me but Mohammed saved me. The dog kept pulling him down the stairs. He was screaming and crying and bleeding. Then the soldiers came.”
Mohammed’s father says it was almost 20 minutes later before the soldiers were able to get Mohammed out of the dog’s grip. “The soldiers had purposely left the house. When they came back they pulled out their guns and almost shot my son even though he was screaming on the floor in pain.”
His father says it was not easy to get Mohammed’s leg out of the dog’s jaws. Several soldiers came in to free Mohammed and then administered first aid to his wounded leg. They then allowed a Red Crescent ambulance come and take the boy to the hospital.
The doctor who received Mohammed says the boy suffered from a nine-centimeter wound to his left thigh in addition to several other punctures from the dog’s fangs.
Mohammed’s father filed an official complaint with the Israeli army, which he says put his son’s life in danger by setting the dog loose inside his house. He also called on international human rights organizations to pressure the Israeli authorities to open an official investigation into the incident.