IDF night raids, an everyday occurrence in the occupied territories, ensure that Palestinians cannot feel safe in the one place where safety should be assured.
By Salwa Duaibis
In a sample of 100 instances of night raids conducted since 2014, the one common thread mentioned by the women who provided testimonies to WCLAC was a sense of terror. The raids usually begin at around 2.00 a.m.
with aggressive banging at the door or simply an explosion to blow it in. Masked soldiers storm the house as the family tries to comprehend what is happening. Sometimes a family member will be arrested, other times not. Sometimes there is violence, sometimes not. The house will be searched with reports of damaged furniture; wardrobes emptied with contents thrown to the floor, while soldiers leave muddy boot marks throughout the house.
Perhaps the most devastating impact these raids have is on the children
. Mothers report that their children have problems sleeping after experiencing a night raid. Some children become aggressive, others wet their beds. No one feels safe in the one place where safety should be assured.
While this strategy is largely successful, it would be naïve to assume that it does not generate resentment and anger. The question is how long can this anger be contained and how is it likely to manifest itself?
Salwa Duaibis is the head of the International Advocacy Unit at the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC).
Published August 31, 2015