Nablus, 18 Safar 1437/29 November 2015 (MINA) – Police dogs trained in the Netherlands to bite civilians have been exported to Israel for more than two decades.
The video below shows Ahmed Shteiwi as he took part in an anti-occupation protest in the West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum, near Nablus, in March 2012. After the video emerged, the embarrassment caused a temporary halt on the practise however another viideo emerged in 2014
This is not an isolated incident. In fact it is one of many instances of Israeli forces setting dogs on unarmed Palestinian civilians, including children – a violent tactic reminiscent of US police practices against Black citizens.
The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and Dutch lawmakers are calling on the Netherlands to immediately put an end to the the annual export of dozens of police and military dogs to Israel.
Such dogs “are intentionally used by Israeli occupying forces to terrorize and bite Palestinian civilians, especially during protests and night house raids,” Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin wrote to Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders and trade minister Lilianne Ploumen earlier this month.
Tonny Boeijen, owner of Four Winds K9, has said that 90 percent of the dogs used by the Israeli military are trained by his company, based near the eastern city of Nijmegen.
He told the newspaper NRC that he has delivered dozens of dogs to Israel every year for 23 years.
Another 15-30 dogs are provided to Israel annually by Engelbert Uphues, a trainer in the German city of Ramsdorf, NRC states.
Israel’s use of dogs to in terrorizing civilians is prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Al-Haq states in its letter to the Dutch government. It also stated that it is possible to that it could be considered a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Dutch human rights attorney Liesbeth Zegveld says she’s already looking into whether she can sue Four Winds K9 and the Dutch state on behalf of Palestinian victims. (T/P002/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)