The Palestinian refugee camp al-Jalazun in the West Bank is home to some 15,000 Palestinians, 5,000 of them children and teens. The settlement of Beit El was established nearby in 1977, on private land belonging to residents of the town of al-Bireh and the villages of Yabrud and Dura al-Qare’.
The close proximity to the refugee camp has led to regular military presence in the area. Soldiers are often involved in clashes with residents, usually near the schools at the entrance to the camp. The forces use crowd control measures in these confrontations, and in some cases also live fire. Over the past five years, soldiers entered the camp once a week, on average.
In July and August, B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad documented two military incursions into the camp. In these night raids, soldiers carried out arrests, fired live ammunition at residents, violently raided nine homes while damaging property, and confiscated documents from a cultural center that provides services for some 150 children and teens. During the raids, soldiers arrested seven residents, six of whom were released several hours later. Two other residents complied with the demand to turn themselves in. Of the three residents in custody, one was indicted for possession of arms and opening fire at a person near Beit El. B’Tselem does not know whether the other two have been indicted.
According to B’Tselem, “Israeli military raids on Palestinian homes in the dead of night, with soldiers waking entire families and ransacking their property, have become a staple of the occupation regime in the West Bank. The forces are not required to present a search warrant and are sent in at any time and place their commanders see fit, in keeping with the military’s adoption of sweeping arbitrary powers. These actions, which are clearly designed to intimidate the population, are unjustified. This is yet another example of daily life under the occupation.”
Related: Read full report by B’Tselem