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Footage of the soldiers in Hebron
B'Tselem: IDF exploits Palestinian homes for personal use
The IDF is investigating claims made by B'Tselem that IDF soldiers stationed in Palestinian homes for temporary operational purposes used the homes' facilities for personal use.
Palestinian residents in Hebron claim that IDF soldiers who arrived at their homes while taking up positions used facilities in the homes for personal use, contrary to military procedure.

 

 

Following complaints that the soldiers used beds, kitchens and bathroom, the IDF said that it was looking into the veracity of the claims.

 

 

In one such claim, Anwar al-Muati, from the neighborhood of Jabal Al-Rahma in Hebron, said woke up the household and the officer leading the force informed Anwar that he had a military warrant requiring temporary use of the property.

 

Upon asking to see a copy of the order, Al-Muati noticed that it only specified the roof and not the house itself. According to Al-Muati, the officer checked with superiors who confirmed that the force was only allowed to operate from the roof. However, the officer still demanded that Al-Muati leave a bathroom door open so that the soldiers could use the toilet.

 

Al-Muati went on to say that soldiers came in and out all night and that a soldier even used his kitchen to prepare coffee for himself and his comrades. Furthermore, he claimed that the same group of soldiers came back the next night and the scene repeated itself once more.

 

In another similar claim, Samih Da'ana, from Jabal Johar near Hebron, claimed that a group of IDF soldiers entered his home with a military warrant that allowed them to sleep overnight inside the house.

 

B'Tselem footage of the soldiers
B'Tselem footage of the soldiers

 

At first, Da'ana refused and said he wasn't prepared to allow military personnel to sleep in the same home as him and his wife. Despite his protestations, Da'ana claims the IDF soldiers chose his 17-year-old daughter's bedroom and informed him that they would also be using the kitchen and the bathroom.

 

According to Da'ana, the soldiers slept in his daughter's bed, used the bathroom throughout the night, used the kitchen to make coffee and eat, and even requested an electric heater, which Da'ana provided them. He did point out that the soldiers did not behave aggressively towards him or his family and even cleaned up after themselves, he still felt "disgusted that they slept in my daughter's bed."

 

B'Tselem, which collected evidence from the scenes, said, "Puzzling that the defense budget, which manages to pay the 600 soldiers guarding the 800 settlers in Hebron, could not find the money to buy the soldiers soap. The IDF treats the homes of Palestinians in Hebron like hotels which they have free access to. This is routine in the occupation, which has been going on for nearly 50 years. The entry of the army into a private home is a violent and humiliating act that terrifies the residents, invades their privacy and harms their ability to lead a normal life."

 

An IDF Spokesman said in response that the decision to commandeer homes was made out of operational considerations and that they emphasize "before every operation, soldiers are briefed by their commanders on ethical behavior." Furthermore, the IDF will investigate the claims the B'Tselem report made.

 

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