Last updated: 16 March, 2012

Palestinian protester bitten by Israel army dog

A Palestinian protester was bitten by an Israeli army attack dog during a protest in the West Bank village Kafr Qaddum west of Nablus on Friday, an AFP correspondent said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman acknowledged to AFP that a demonstrator was “lightly wounded” by the dog.

“One hundred Palestinians were hurling rocks at security forces, who used riot dispersal means,” she said.

“One Palestinian was arrested for physically assaulting a soldier, and a second was attacked by a dog. He was lightly wounded and treated by army medics at the scene. He did not need to be evacuated to hospital.”

The demonstration was against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel.

Activist Jonathan Pollack named the wounded Palestinian as Ahmad Shtawi, and noted in a statement that, after biting Shtawi, “the dog would not release its hold of the bleeding arm, even as its handler arrived at the scene and tried to order it to do so.”

The second Palestinian arrested was Morad Shtawi, who “tried to reason with the commanding officer into releasing the young man. He was then pepper-sprayed and arrested as well,” Pollack noted.

In a separate West Bank demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, an Israeli woman was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet.

According to the army spokeswoman, security forces used rubber bullets to disperse 40 Palestinians who were throwing stones at them.

“One Israeli woman was lightly wounded by a rubber bullet, she was evacuated by the Red Crescent.”

Pollack noted that two other protesters in Nabi Saleh were wounded, one by a rubber-coated bullet and another by a tear-gas projectile.

Since the end of 2009, Nabi Saleh has been the scene of weekly demonstrations against expansion of the neighbouring Israeli settlement of Halamish.

The protests, which bring together villagers, Israeli leftists and pro-Palestinian activists from abroad are frequently marked by clashes with the army.