[News] PNA Slams Israel for Using Dogs against Palestinian Children

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 1 13:33:14 EST 2005

PNA Slams Israel for Using Dogs against 
Palestinian Children, Mofaz Threatens to Close Israeli Border with Gaza Strip

Palestine Media Center – PMC

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on 
Wednesday sharply criticized Israel for 
unleashing sniffer dogs against Palestinian 
children and launching military incursions into 
the West Bank, which wounded at least ten teenagers in Nablus yesterday.

Meanwhile Israeli “Defense” Minister Sha'ul Mofaz 
threatened the PNA on Wednesday to close the 
Israel-Gaza Strip border if “proper control” over 
the Egypt-Gaza border is not put in place.

Twelve-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammed Qasem 
was sleeping at his home in the northern West 
Bank town of Jenin when he was attacked by a 
sniffer dog unleashed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).

Qasem was seriously wounded from dog bites in the 
thigh, said medics at the Rafidaya hospital in the city of Nablus.

In an official statement, the PNA said the 
ongoing Israeli military offensive in the West 
Bank and the use of dogs against Palestinian 
children were “completely condemned and rejected.”

Media reports revealed recently that a Jewish 
institution in the United States had donated 300 
police dogs to Israel four months ago to help 
Israel fight Palestinian anti-occupation activists.

On Wednesday also more than twenty IOF jeeps 
stormed into the Ras al-Ain district of Nablus 
where Israeli troops surrounded several 
Palestinian homes and clashed with teenager protesters.

At least ten Palestinian teenagers were wounded 
by IOF live fire and rubber-coated bullets, 
including a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the 
head. The boy was rushed to the hospital in very 
serious condition, according to Haaretz.

Palestinian medics said two other Palestinians 
were wounded by live fire and seven others were wounded by rubber bullets.

The IOF troops detained three Palestinian 
activists after wounding one of them in Nablus.

Overnight Wednesday eleven so-called “wanted” 
Palestinians in the West Bank were also detained in Bethlehem and Jenin.

Separately, the Israeli “Defense” Minister Sha'ul 
Mofaz warned the PNA on Wednesday that if proper 
control over the Egypt-Gaza border is not put in 
place, then Israel will close the Israel-Gaza Strip border.

Following a visit to the Rafah and Kerem Shalom 
border terminals between Gaza-Israel and Egypt, 
Mofaz said that border control was incomplete and 
warned, “If the situation does not improve and 
the Palestinians don't cooperate, we will close 
 crossings. They will become international 
borders, with all that that entails. I hope that 
the Palestinians understand the significance of such a step.”

Mofaz was warning against the entry to the Gaza 
Strip of several Palestinian leading 
anti-occupation figures who were either deported 
by the IOF or could not come back home before 
Israel completed the evacuation of its military 
and settlers from the coastal strip on September 12.

Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported on 
Tuesday that senior Hamas official, Fadel Zahar, 
who previously lived abroad, crossed into the 
Gaza Strip through Egypt only days after the 
reopening of the Rafah border crossing.

Zahar was deported from Gaza in 1991. His 
brother, Mahmoud Zahar, is the top leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Other Hamas members who have returned to Gaza 
since Israel's withdrawal include according to Israeli media:

**Rafik al-Hasanat, a senior member of Hamas, who 
has been wanted by Israel for more than a decade. 
He crossed through Rafah last week.

**Sheikh Ahmad al-Milh, one of the founders of 
Hamas, returned in October to the Gaza Strip 
after spending 20 years in different Arab countries.

**Nihro Masoud, one of the founders of Hamas who 
fled to Egypt 14 years ago and spent most of his 
time in Sudan, returned to Gaza in September.

Israel receives 300 anti-terrorism dogs from the United States

PNN, Gaza 12:45 pm 15.10.05

Israeli media sources reported on Saturday that 
Israel recently received 300 well-trained 
anti-terrorism dogs from the United States and 
might use them against Palestinian activists in the West Bank.

The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot said the dogs 
were brought from the United States on a special 
Israeli plane, adding that the Israeli army would 
use these imported dogs in their raids on Palestinian towns.

Palestinians said the Israeli army has recently 
stepped up their use of sniffing dogs in 
arresting wanted Palestinians, adding that these 
dogs are fierce and aggressive and can cause 
severe physical and psychological damage.

The daily confirmed this, saying the dogs have 
the ability to pinpoint and attack their target 
but in the meantime “cause harm to the Palestinians being arrested.”

The report said the donation of the 300 dogs to 
Israel was made by a Jewish organization in the 
United States, which convinced officials in the 
State Department “to send the dogs to Israel to fight Palestinian terrorism.”

The daily quoted a senior Israeli army officer 
saying trainers had started training the US dogs 
to use them in raids on the houses of wanted Palestinians.

US Pups for Peace sending bomb-sniffing dogs
By MELISSA RADLER, Aug. 31, 2002

Pups for Peace, an organization founded by US 
Jews and the Israeli-based Golan Fund to help 
Israel defend itself against suicide attacks, 
announced on Thursday that it plans to provide 
1,000 trained dogs capable of detecting 
explosives to the Israel Police and the IDF by 2004.

The organization, which held a fundraising 
luncheon on Thursday chaired by Gov. George 
Pataki, is currently training its first 60 dogs, 
along with 20 Israeli trainers, in a two-month 
bomb detection course at a facility in Los Angeles.

The dogs are scheduled to fly to Israel in 
October for an additional 30-day training program 
in the Golan Heights, after which they'll be 
deployed to sites throughout the country, 
including supermarkets, sports events, and discos.

The dogs are trained to locate an explosives 
source and indicate the find to its handler, 
after which the military or police takes over to 
prevent an explosion, said the group's director 
of canine operations, Mike Herstik.

He noted that the dogs are not trained to 
physically engage a suspected bomber, and that to 
date, just two dogs have been killed while searching for explosives in Israel.

At the luncheon, the organization's founders 
named a four-year old Labrador after Pataki to 
thank him for his support. The dog, which was 
originally named Nitro, will now be known as 
Gershon, a Hebraicized version of George.

"I am delighted that this pup, that will help 
ensure peace in Israel, has been named after me," said Pataki.

He praised the group's founders, who include 
Herstik, Los Angeles-based economist Glenn Yago 
and the head of the Golan Fund, Ronnie Lotan, for 
helping Israelis by boosting the state's security measures.

"We support the people and the State of Israel, 
not by building bombs and taking lives, but by 
trying to provide security and hope," said Pataki.

Training 1,000 dogs is expected to cost $6-8 
million, and Herstik noted that the group still 
needs to raise funds to train its second group of 
150 dogs, which are slated to start their training course in November.

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