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Shevach and Jarrar

by on February 16, 2021

In the Israeli settlement of Havat Gilad, west of Nablus, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was murdered on January 9, 2018.  A month later, in the early morning of February 3, Israeli Defense Forces soldiers in the village of Burkin – near Jenin – burst into the house of elementary school teacher Mabruk Jarrar.  At around 4am, thirty-nine year old Jarrar told Gideon Levy, the family was awakened by an explosion that came from the direction of the front door.  The family was awoken to find IDF vehicles outside; about twenty soldiers entered the house, said Jarrar, along with a dog from the army’s canine unit that ravaged Jarrar for several minutes.  After the soldiers ripped Markruk’s clothes – apparently to get the dog off of him – a solider punched Mabruk in the face twice.  Handcuffed, Mabruk was taken to the detention facility at Salem, near Jenin he said.  For hours he received no medical attention.  Jarrar was arrested for reasons he didn’t know and spent two weeks in the hospital, chained and handcuffed to his bed. 

Mabruk’s wife, thirty-seven year old Innas, was prevented by the soldiers for tending to Mabruk while in the hospital.  Both in the second marriages, they had been married for about a month before Israeli soldiers burst into their house.  Mabruk’s two children, he told Levy, were both traumatized by what they witnessed.  Mabruk’s two brothers, , Mustafa and Mubarak Jarrar, were also arrested that night.  Mubarak was released; Mustafa remains in custody, reported Gideon Levy on February 16.[1]

A few days later, on February 8, Innas said, at around 3:30 in the morning twenty soldiers showed up again.  They ignored her pleas to stop stepping on the bed.  They asked her where Mabruk was – apparently unaware he was in army custody at the hospital.  “They told her there was Hamas money in the house and that they had come to confiscate it,” Levy reported.  In search of the money – or other reasons – a female soldier “took the three women – Jarrar’s wife, his 75-year-old mother and his 50-year-old disabled sister – into a room and ordered them to undress completely.”  The search turned up no Hamas money. 

Innas said that she received permission from these raiding soldiers to visit in Afula.  She was told he was in prison there; he was not.  Innas reached out to BTselem where a “kind redeemer” found that Mabruk was in the hospital in Afula, not the prison.  She was allowed to visit for forty-five minutes.

Gideon Levy reported that HaAretz reached out to the IDF for comment about the treatment of Mabruk.  The spokesperson said

On February 3, 2017, security forces came to the village of Burkin, to the house of Mabruk Jarrar, who is suspected of activities that endanger security in Judea and Samaria. Once they were at his home, the troops called him to come outside. After repeated calls and after he did not come out, the forces acted according to procedure and a dog was sent to search for people inside. The suspect had locked himself in a room on the upper floor of the building together with female members of his family.

“When the door opened, the dog bit the suspect, injuring him. He received immediate assistance from the army’s medical forces until he was evacuated to the hospital. Thereafter other activities were conducted in search of wanted individuals. We stress that in contrast with what is claimed in the article, the women of the house were not stripped by army forces.[2]

What the Israeli army said should be taken with a grain of salt.

Also on February 3, Gideon Levy reported in the same article, a similar incident occurred, involving different IDF forces, in the village of Al-Kfir, near Jenin.  At around 4am Israeli soldiers “broke into the home of Samr and Nour Adin Awad”.  An army dog was brought into the bedroom; it both and wounded Samr and Nour, the parents of four children.  Nour told a field researcher from BTselem

I held my 2-year-old son Karem, who was crying, to my chest. I opened the door, which the soldiers were banging on, and a dog attacked me, jumping on my chest. Karem fell from my arms. Later I saw that my husband picked him up from the floor. I tried to push the dog away after it bit me in the chest. I managed to move it away but then it grabbed my left hip [with its teeth]. I managed with all my strength to push him away. At that moment, the soldiers looked at the dog, but did nothing. During this whole time my husband was begging the soldiers to release the dog from me. One soldier spoke to the dog in Hebrew and then it grabbed me by the left arm [holding me] for a few minutes, until a soldier arrived from outside the house and removed it. I was bleeding and in great pain.[3]

Ahmad Ismail Jarrar and his cousin Ahmad Nasser Jarrar – were killed by Israeli soldiers on 17 January and 6 February respectively by the Israeli army for the death of Rabbi Shevach.  Although Gideon Levy leaves the impression that Mabruk is not related to either Ahmad, Maureen Murphy quotes the rights group al-haq as saying ‘Israel orchestrated a series of attacks against the extended family members of the Jarrar family and the broader communities of Jenin and Nablus.’.  Beyond the strip-searching of Innas and her dwelling, al-haq says that the collective punishment included ‘widespread movement restrictions, punitive house demolitions, attacks using police dogs, arrests, indiscriminate killings and the retention of the bodies of the deceased.’  Ahmad Samir Abu Ubeid, was killed by Israeli soldiers during confrontations that erupted when Israeli occupation forces raided a village in search of Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, Murphy reported.[4] 

Palestinians inspect the site where Israeli forces killed Ahmad Nasser Jarrar in Yamoun village in the northern occupied West Bank on 6 February (Ayman Ameen APA images) – found at

The story doesn’t begin or end here. Shevach and some of the Jarrar family are dead but their stories is a broader story of military occupation, international law, oppression, and retribution.

[1]Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 16, 2018 1:52 AM accessed 2/25/18

[2] Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 16, 2018 1:52 AM accessed 2/25/18

[3] Report and quotes found in Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 16, 2018 1:52 AM accessed 2/25/18

[4] Maureen Clare Murphy 3 March 2018 accessed 3/10/18 at times quoting al-haq

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