Boy injured by IDF dog in arrest raid in Balata camp

Nablus hospital doctor calls wound serious, IDF calls it light.

IDF dog-bite 298.88 (photo credit: Orly Halpern)
IDF dog-bite 298.88
(photo credit: Orly Halpern)
Eleven-year-old Basel Abu Daoud was injured in his left thigh when an IDF dog bit him during an arrest raid in the Balata refugee camp on Monday. Although the IDF apologized for the incident and said the injury was light, Dr. Khaled Saleh, head of Orthopedic Surgery Department at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, called the wound serious, saying it crushed the muscle of his leg. "The injury is deep - it enters four to six centimeters into his leg - and it's open. He'll probably need one or two surgeries to close it." In a written statement to The Jerusalem Post, the IDF said it "regrets the injuring [sic] sustained to [sic] the Palestinian youth," explaining that "during an IDF activity for the arrest of wanted Palestinians in the city of Nablus, an IDF force searched a building in which it suspected a wanted Palestinian was hiding. "During the activity, a search dog that was with the force exited through the back door of the building and approached a nearby alley. At the same time, the door of an adjacent house was opened and the search dog attacked the person that opened it. As soon as the force identified that the person was an unarmed Palestinian youth, the soldiers called the dog back immediately and took him away from the youth." The family said that the dog was inside the house terrorizing the family for some 8-10 minutes before the soldiers entered and that a neighbor knocked on their door to tell them that the IDF wanted to enter their home. The IDF denied using the method known as "the neighbor procedure," which has been outlawed by the Supreme Court. "I heard my son screaming," said Waleed Abu Daoud, who was outside when the dog entered his house. "I yelled at the soldiers that my son is crying and I want to go to him. They told me to shut up." Basel said it started with the sound of shooting before dawn on Monday. He and his family woke up and went to the living room. Then a neighbor came and knocked on the door. "She said, 'The army's here. They want you to come outside,'" said Basel. Waleed went out, leaving the door open behind him thinking he would be right back. But he was held outside with other neighbors, each a distance from the other and with soldiers next to them. Basel's sister went to close the door and as she did a dog jumped on it from the other side, pushing it open. The family ran for safety. The dog, he said, chased after him closely behind, finally jumping on Basel and grabbing his arm with his teeth. Basel pulled away and a dark red cut marks that spot. "Then he went for my leg," said Basel. "He bit into me. Then he pulled me to towards the door." Basel's brother Muhammad yelled from the top of the stairs for Basel to grab the handrail. When he did, Muhammad dropped a metal chest on the dog, which landed on its back. The dog released Basel, who ran for the bedroom. His sisters closed the door. In a few minutes soldiers arrived and called a medic, he said. A soldier carried Basel to a military jeep that drove him to a Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance waiting to take him to the hospital, according to both Basel and the IDF. This is not the first attack of an innocent person by an IDF search dog. Y-net reported that about two weeks ago a dog attacked a 12-year-old boy in Jenin refugee camp during a similar type search.