Burin village: The exercise in brutality and collective punishment
Around 2am on 23 September this year, the Israeli soldiers came to the house where one of during the raid, but turned himself in to authorities the following morning.
The Israeli occupation force smashed their way through the gate to the yard; one group of soldiers forced their way into the upstairs flat where the wanted man sleeps, and another group broke into the downstairs flat, where the his brother lived with his family.
Neither the wanted man nor his brother were at home during the raid. The soldiers threatened to arrest their 70 year old father if he did not provide information to the whereabouts of his sons. They took the father and his third son outside in their sleepwear, and they kept the son tied to a tree for an hour.
The army got everybody out of his/her bed, letting nobody to dress. Initially four soldiers violently searched and ransacked the upstairs flat. Not long after, they were joined by another 20 to 25 soldiers who did the same downstairs. The soldiers asked the brother’s pregnant wife where he was and she responded by saying that he was in Ramallah, where he worked. They did not believe her and responded by overturning everything in their way.
Before the aggressive search started, the soldiers checked the children’s beds with children still asleep in them. Later on, the children were woken up and taken upstairs to their grandparent’s flat.
The soldiers insisted that the family phoned the wanted man. When he did not answer, they said to the parents that their son worked with ‘tanks and rockets’ and if he did not report to them by the next day they would ‘bring the house down on their heads’.
Unsurprisingly, after such threats, the young man turned himself in at 11am to Huwwara Interrogation and Detention Centre.
He appeared in front of the judge soon after and was given another court date in 10 days’ time.
The evening after the arrest, we spoke to the arrested man’s family. Nobody, including the children, was able to go back to sleep after the soldiers left at around 4.30am.
The four children were trying to tell us how they saw the army intrusion and vandalism in their house. A nine years old boy said how afraid he was, because he heard that the army said in another arrest that ‘next time we will arrest the small ones’.
His grandmother confirmed this and said that ordinarily she would not be afraid but this time she was, because of the very violent way the soldiers entered and searched her house. She said to the soldiers, ‘Why are you entering my house like this? Do you think that this is Gaza?’
The family explained that nearly every night the soldiers walk through the nearby olive trees.
Their house is located near a settler road used by the illegal Yitzhar settlers who are known for their extremism and attacks on the Palestinians. They frequently stone Palestinian cars and a couple of farmers living near the road had their sheep stolen and poisoned by them.
The troubles in the Burin village, located south of Nablus, did not stop with the early morning raids and arrests of its young men. When villagers woke up they found two checkpoints blockading the village and people unable to leave for work. The blockade continued throughout the day and at 5pm the army shot a young Burin man in the leg while at the checkpoint. The young man’s brother was arrested with his friend and they were released later that day.