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IOF human rights violations in Nablus

by IWPS, March 2nd

Soldiers Raid Student Dormitory in Nablus

March 1, 2007, 4:15-10:30am

At 4:15am on Thursday, March 1, 2007, Israeli jeeps and bulldozers surrounded a student dormitory for Al-Najaa University in Nablus, threw sound bombs, and announced over loud-speakers that everyone should leave the building immediately or the Army would bomb it. According to a couple who own several of the apartments and live in the building with their family, residents hurriedly ran out to the street, where soldiers separated the men from the women and children. Several women were told to return to the building to check if anyone was left inside. They returned to confirm that the building was empty, and were taken with the rest of the women and children (about 30 total) to a small room in a nearby building, where they were enclosed together for six hours. They were allowed to sleep and occasionally use the bathroom, but not to contact their families.

The men who came outside were ordered to raise their hands. All 30 or so men (including boys as young as 14) were handcuffed and led to the basement of the same nearby building. There they were enclosed in two separate rooms, guarded by three soldiers. They were not permitted to speak, nor to lie down or even lean against the wall to sleep. They were denied access to a toilet until they insisted, and soldiers refused to loosen their handcuffs (which were so tight that they left marks on many of the men’s wrists) or let them open a window for fresh air.

Around 10:30am, the Army left the area, leaving the men with their handcuffs (made with strong plastic) still on. Residents returned to their building to find it in ruins. Each flat had been raided. Soldiers used bombs to open several doors, and left the students’ homes in a shambles. Windows were shattered, light fixtures were broken, living and bedrooms were turned upside-down, and the elevator door was blown apart, creating a very dangerous drop into the lift’s cavity. None of the wanted people that the soldiers were looking for were found in the building.

15-year-old Nablus Resident Shot with Rubber Bullet while Trying to Buy Bread

February, 28, 2007, mid-afternoon

On February 28, 2007, a 15-year-old boy from the Amud neighborhood in the Nablus Old City went out to buy bread for his family. According to the boy, just before he reached the shop he saw soldiers aiming at him and he froze. One soldier shot him in the wrist with a rubber bullet.

The Red Crescent Society wanted to take him to the nearest hospitals, but ambulances were being delayed by closure by the Israeli military so instead they took him to a clinic and bandaged him up, unable to even x-ray the injury. The boy says he has no idea why the soldier aimed at him, and fears his wrist is fractured or even broken.

Unarmed 49-year-old Man Killed; Son also Shot and Denied Medical Care

February 26, 2007, around noon

According to 20-year-old Emergency Medical Committee Volunteer Ashraf Tibi, on February 26, 2007 around noon his father Anan Al-Tibi went up to the roof of their home to check on the water source, which was not functioning properly. Ashraf heard that a neighborhood boy was being pursued by the Army, and saw soldiers through one of the windows in his house. He ran up to the roof to warn his father that soldiers were present, and as he was delivering the message he was shot in his right arm, shattering his elbow. With help from his 12-year-old brother who was with him, he started downstairs to call for medical help, and then heard more shooting. When he ran back up the stairs he found his father shot twice (according to medical volunteers in the head and the neck). They were both unarmed.

Ashraf, a medical volunteer, tried to give his father CPR, and immediately called for an ambulance, stressing how dangerous the injury was. Shortly thereafter, soldiers entered his home. One soldier announced that he had shot them both, and demanded whom the third person on the roof had been. He was surprised to see it was Ashraf’s 12-year-old brother and not one of the wanted men. Meanwhile, Ashraf’s father was rapidly losing blood. Eventually, the family was allowed to carry Anan down to an ambulance that was waiting, but soldiers prevented the ambulance from moving for more than one and a half hours by parking jeeps on either side of it. Ashraf was taken into one of the jeeps, given basic first aid, and held for an hour and a half, before being taken in the jeep to a nearby village named Jit, where a Palestinian ambulance met him and brought him to the hospital. Ashraf says the soldier who shot him followed them all the way from Nablus to Jit.

Ashraf’s father died and doctors say Ashraf will need several operations to repair his elbow. They recommend he get them in Jordan, where there are better facilities.