9 March 2007
Israel Defense Forces soldiers used an 11-year-old
Palestinian girl as a "human shield" during an operation
against militants in the West Bank town of Nablus last
week, an Israeli human rights group said on Thursday.
The IDF said it was checking the information from the
B'Tselem group, which monitors Israeli actions in the
occupied territory. Israeli law bans the military from
using human shields.
B'Tselem said the girl, Jihan Daadush, told its
interviewers that IDF soldiers had entered her family home
and questioned her and her relatives about the whereabouts
of gunmen who had fired at them during the raid.
The soldiers, she said, threatened to arrest her unless
she led them to a nearby house.
"[A soldier] ordered me to go towards the house," B'Tselem
quoted the girl as saying. "Three soldiers walked behind
me. When we reached the house, there were a lot of
soldiers. The soldiers ordered me to go inside the house
and I went inside."
B'Tselem said Jihan told them the soldiers shone
flashlights and asked about the rooms of the house. There
was no mention in the report of whether troops found
militants inside. The girl said two soldiers then returned
"[One of the soldiers] told me, 'Thank you, but don't tell
anyone,'" the girl said, according to B'Tselem. "I was
afraid they would kill me or put me in jail. I am still
afraid the soldiers will invade the city again and take me
B'tselem also said the army had used a 15-year-old
Palestinian boy and a Palestinian man for a similar
purpose during the five-day raid of Nablus, a militant
The IDF ended the operation on March 1. During the
incursion, troops shot dead a Palestinian civilian who had
observed the raid from his rooftop. Soldiers also detained
11 suspected militants.