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Israeli Soldiers Invade Lajee Center, Seize Two Computers

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, for the second time in three days, Israeli soldiers entered Lajee Center. They demanded access to Lajee’s computers. When staff members refused to give them passwords, they called Lajee director Salah Ajarma to the site. He, too, refused to give the soldiers access, insisting that he would not do so without a court order. Soldiers searched the center, especially the Media Unit and the director’s office.During the ordeal, soldiers detained the three staff members who were present in one room for almost an hour. Nevertheless, they carefully documented  the soldiers’ incursion. Finally, the soldiers confiscated two computers from LajeeCenter and gave Ajarma an order to come to be interrogated by the Israeli army the next day.

Earlier in the week, on Sunday, February 5, soldierscameto Lajeelooking for a “little boy,” as they said in a video recorded by one of Lajee’s staffers. As Media Unit Director Mohammad Al-Azzaexplained, “They come for no reason, just to disrupt our work and scare children so that the children will be afraid to come to Lajee.”

These are two in a series of Israeli attacks on Lajee Center in recent months, including:on July 14, 2016, when soldiers searched the Center and detained the librarian and three other people in the library for several hours;on July 16, when they seized two young men assembling a new playground structure;on September 19, when they threw tear gas into the Center while children were in it; and, most recently,on December 17, when they harassed football players and then beat and detained Media Unit Director Mohammad Al-Azza when he tried to come to their assistance.

Moreover, last week, in the early morning hours of February 2, two youth who are active in Lajee Center’s Environment Unit were arrestedfrom their homes as part of a major raid on Aida Camp, during which 12 people were arrested. They have not been released

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