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Women's Voices: Amal T. - Night raid

Name: Amal T.
Age: 49
Location: An Nabi Saleh village, West Bank
Date of incident: 12 January 2012
Nature of incident: Night raid
On 12 January 2012, a 49-year-old woman from the village of An Nabi Saleh, in the occupied West Bank, describes how Israeli soldiers raided her house twice in one night.
“On 12 January 2012, at around midnight, I woke up to the sound of loud banging at our front door,” recalls 49-year-old Amal. “I woke my husband up and told him soldiers were at our door. My husband opened the door and about 14 soldiers stormed the house. They had a big dog with a muzzel on its mouth. I was very frightened and didn’t like the dog in my house. They wanted to search the house but didn’t tell us why. The dog went in first and the soldiers followed. I was worried about my young daughters; I didn’t want them to wake up and find a dog in their bedroom.”
“After searching the house and turning it into a mess one of the soldiers asked for my son Mohammad,” says Amal. “I told him Mohammad is married and lives with his family in Ramallah. He then asked about Mutaz, my younger son and I told him Mutaz lives and works in Ramallah and that he only comes home on weekends. The commander then started to shout at us. He told us to go into one of the bedrooms. We all went into the bedroom where my youngest son was sleeping. He is two years old and I didn’t want to drag him out of bed in the middle of a cold winter’s night. The Commander agreed that we could all stay in the room.”
“The Commander ordered us to shut the door. We sat in the room for about an hour while the soldiers searched the house. The whole time we could hear banging and slamming in the other rooms. It sounded like the dog was banging its nozzle against the furniture. It was a terrible feeling to be locked up in a room while soldiers and a dog were searching the house. An hour later the soldiers left the house without saying anything.”
“We came out of the room to inspect any damage they might have caused and of course we could not sleep. About an hour later again we heard loud banging at the door. We couldn’t believe it. This time I opened the door and about 15 soldiers entered the house. It was a different group of soldiers and they had female soldiers with them. I didn’t like to see the female soldiers because I thought their presence meant they might arrest me or my daughters,” recalls Amal.
This time around I lost my temper and could not control myself. I started to shout at the soldiers and asked them why they had come back only an hour after a different group of soldiers had already searched the house and found nothing. One of the soldiers shouted back at me and told me to shut up. I didn’t listen to him; I was fearless and was determined to prevent them from arresting my daughters at any cost.”
“The second group of soldiers searched the house again. They too had a dog with a muzzle with them. They remained in the house for about half an hour and left without saying anything. The second group of soldiers was more aggressive. They shouted at us and pushed us around and threatened to beat us up and to arrest us. It was a terrible night,” says Amal.
“When they left the house we could not sleep for fear that they might come back once more. This is not the first time that my house has been raided in the middle of the night but it was the most terrifying night. I thanked God that my sons were not at home. We never knew what they were looking for and they never presented us with anything in writing.”
This statement was supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations

keyword: Night raids