Israeli-Arab family reports violent, unprovoked police attack
Family from Jaljulia says raid on home left two family members hospitalized after sustaining injuries; 'Police are are licensed criminals,' argues the father of the family; Police: 'We arrested and detained two suspects involved in a violent confrontation that attempted to interfere with police procedures.'
According to the family, the police waited outside their house and as soon as some family members started firing fireworks, they ambushed the family and conducted a violent search of the house.
Mahmoud Salameh, 29, the father of the family, said they had been celebrating another family member’s release from prison when the incident occured.
"A few days ago we were celebrating one of our family member being released from prison, and when we set off fireworks, suddenly policemen who were hiding outside our house entered the premises and searched our vehicle for no reason," Salameh said.
“We told them that the person who was released from prison had nothing on him. We asked what they wanted, but unfortunately they continued their search, aiming to damage our property," he vented.
Salameh also said that one member of the family began filming the police search but was asked to do so from afar.
"We told them we were allowed to film what they were doing, and that’s when the police confronted us and started pushing us aside," Salameh recalled.
"They used tear gas and hit me and my son in the upper part of our bodies," exclaimed the father, adding that following the incident both he and his son had been rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Salameh said it was not the first time he encountered similar treatment from the law enforcement authorities.
"This was not the first time that police broke into our house, and in the past some of them were wearing masks. They smashed the walls and destroyed our property, they did not find weapons or anything like that," he claimed.
"To this day I do not know what they want … They won’t let us breathe, and the children are afraid of them," he bemoaned.
"The police should be a body that protects the citizens, but it seems to me that they are licensed criminals, and we demand that they stop harming us,” the father went on to say.
The Israel Police issued an official response to the incident, claiming the account of the family is partial and does not reflect true nature of the events.
"This is an incomplete documentation of events showing only parts of a wider operational activity against the use of weapons. The party was held in a public area celebrating the release of a prisoner," the statement stressted.
"When the police arrived in the area, gunfire was heard, forcing the police to immediately search the area and the vehicle. At a certain stage a riot erupted and included curses, threats and brandishing chairs at the police force," it continued.
"The police arrested and detained two suspects involved in a violent confrontation that attempted to interfere with police procedures. The actions of the family are an attempt to deter the police from conducting similar operations in the communities of the sector,” concluded the statement.