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Update on Occupied Home in Nablus

The Israeli army has withdrawn from one of the homes occupied earlier today in Nablus, although as many as five other houses remain occupied.

The twelve soldiers left the Mushara home at 3pm, after having occupied it since 3:30am Monday. The family, four children between the ages of six and twelve, their father, and their four months pregnant mother, were held in the kitchen for the entire time. The mother has now been evacuated to a hospital.

Bassam Mushara, the father of the home, reported that their cell phones were confiscated, and that they were told that if they made any noise the soldiers would kill them. When their neighbors knocked on the door this morning, to pick the children up for school as usual, the soldiers responded by firing shots at the ceiling.

The neighbors realized that the army must have occupied the house, now for the second time this week. Word of the house’s occupation spread, and soon a crowd of about 200 youth gathered outside the house, some of whom threw stones at soldiers through the windows.

In response soldiers fired live ammunition into the crowd, which included journalists and international human rights workers. A 13 year-old boy was hit in the neck while “standing next to the wall doing nothing,” according to Chilean activist Ana Maria who witnessed the shooting. ISM volunteers saw another four people in the crowd be injured, at least one by shrapnel.

When the soldiers left at 3pm, internationals went inside the house to survey the situation. They reported that the house was completely trashed. All of the windows were broken, shells from the soldiers firing were seen under every window, and pieces of the house, including a door, were torn apart to be used as shields in front of the window. The house was filled with rocks and rubble.

19 people were injured in Nablus today during the invasion, according to Palestinian news sources. Most of the injuries occurred in the center of town, where there were not any occupied houses. The army was seen driving through the center of Nablus for no apparent reason. When children threw stones at the army vehicles, soldiers responded with live ammunition.