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Women's Voices: Wafa G. - Night raid/arrest

Name: Wafa G.
Age: 44
Location Al 'Arrub Camp, Hebron, West Bank
Nature of incident Night raid/arrest
Date of incident 3 July 2017

On 3 July 2017, Israeli military raided the home of Wafa, a 44 year old mother of six, arresting her son without a warrant. After the raid, her family still experience depression and insomnia.

“My name is Wafa and I am 44 years old. I live in Al 'Arrub Camp, located about 15km north of Hebron city. I live with my husband and our six children; the oldest is Mahmoud (21) and the youngest is Rahaf (4).”

“On 3 July 2017 at 3:30 a.m. (I checked the time on my phone), my husband and I woke up to a loud banging on the main door of my house. One of them was yelling, in Arabic, that they were soldiers and that they wanted us to open the door. I actually realized they were soldiers from the way they were banging on the door – raids like this have several times before.”

“My husband rushed to open the door, with me behind him shaking with fear, and 20-30 Israeli soldiers entered the house, all with masks and wearing full military uniform. They spread into the living room and guarded some other rooms in the house. We were not given a search or arrest warrant.”

“Immediately, four soldiers went up to the roof where my son Mohammed (17) was sleeping.”

“Then, the commander presented himself to my husband and asked him to gather everyone in the living room. I hurried up to my children’s bedroom to wake them up, telling them about the soldiers. We all gathered in the living room, with 10 soldiers guarding us. When my husband asked what was going on, the commander asked him to remain silent. My children were terrified; my little girl, Rahaf (4), crying and shivering, horrified.”

“Meanwhile the soldiers searched the house thoroughly. After they left I discovered they didn’t cause any damage to the furniture. About half an hour after they entered the house, the four soldiers came down from the roof. Mohammed’s hands were tied behind his back with plastic ties but his eyes were uncovered. Then the soldiers started to leave the house gradually.”

“Rahaf started to cry, saying the soldiers kidnapped her brother, but I calmed her down and told her that there is nothing to be afraid of. Within me, however, I was terrified and worried about Mohammed. I did my best to hide my tears from Rahaf.”

“In the morning, 3 July 2017, around 9:00 a.m., my husband called the Red Cross and discovered that Mohammed was detained at Ashqelon center for interrogation.”

“I am worried about my son. My other children are nervous and have insomnia; they can’t sleep, fearing the soldiers will raid the house. My son Mahmoud (19) has become depressed and can’t function well in his studies.”

keyword: Night raids