Jerusalem: Israel`s army is using attack
dogs to stop Palestinians trying to damage the West Bank
separation barrier in order to illegally enter Israel through
the gaps, the military admitted today.
An army statement said that in the past few years, a
stretch of the barrier in the southern West Bank had been
purposely damaged "to permit the passage of terrorists into
Israel" in a move which endangers Israeli lives.
"In order to prevent damage to the security fence, the
IDF (army) uses a number of different measures, including the
canine unit and its trained dogs, while taking appropriate
precautionary measures to avoid unnecessary injury," it said.
"The use of dogs actually limits bodily injuries and
obviates the use of other measures," the statement said.
But Israeli human rights group B`Tselem said dogs have
been used to attack at least three unarmed Palestinians who
were attempting to pass through a breach in the barrier in
order to find casual work in Israel.
One worker was stopped then released on the spot,
B`Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said, saying it would
not have been the case if he was a suspected militant.