The IDF decided Thursday to stop the use of dogs after a video was released last week in which soldiers appear to be siccing two dogs on a Palestinian youth. As part of conclusions reached from an investigation into the incident, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Tamir Yadai, ordered a halt to the use of dogs until soldiers undergo renewed training of protocol. He also instructed all use of dogs to be carried out at the order of the brigade commanders only. Yadai further ordered that the soldiers, who he said failed morally, face disciplinary proceedings.
Yadai presented to OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon the findings of the probe into the incident in which an attack dog was directed against 16-year-old Palestinian boy, Hamza Abu Hisham in December in Beit Omar in the West Bank. The incident took place during a raid to thwart terror activity, as part of efforts to secure the Karmei Tzur settlement.
The division commander's report found that during an operation to arrest Palestinians suspected of throwing Molotov Cocktails and destroying the fence around Karmei Tzur, and as part of efforts to secure the area, dogs were employed against stone-throwers and rioters in opposition to the parameters of the mission that were set out by the brigade commander. "The division commander noted that the error in deploying the dogs occurred in the transition from the original planning to developments on the ground," the IDF stated.
Yadai referred to the event as a grave instance of using dogs which displayed a lack of professional skill, a misunderstanding of the damage they were doing to the operation as laid out by their commanders, and unworthy moral behavior.
In the video clip, two soldiers are seen siccing two attack dogs on the 16-year-old after they had already succeeded in gaining control over him. The youth, who is seen yelling in pain, was treated on the scene and taken for further medical treatment. He was arrested for stone-throwing.
Despite the incident, Yadai stressed the importance of continuing the daily fight to thwart terror in Judea and Samaria and emphasized that the use of dogs in accordance with orders and within the state limitations is essential to carrying out the mission and is likely to save lives.
The IDF stated that the army's Criminal Investigation Division's probe into the matter was continuing.