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Nablus: IOF Treatens to Make 70 Palestinians Homeless

July 10th, 2007. At midnight the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) invaded Nablus with 75 vehicles from all different directions. They entered Balata refugee camp and the Old City of Nablus. During the night 7 men were arrested in the old city.

At 5 am, the IOF moved on to the Rafideh neighborhood with the aim of arresting 2 wanted freedom fighters in the area. Half an hour later the soldiers went into a villa, interrogated the 6 people living in the house, showing maps of the neighborhood and pictures of the wanted men, clearly knowing who they were looking for and where they could find them. At the same time they surrounded the civilian apartment complex situated next to the villa. The soldiers started to fire their guns and throw grenades and sound bombs in the street in order to wake up people sleeping in their homes. When the residents did not respond to their demands to open the door the soldiers blew up the front door.

They forced the 70 people in the house out into the street. All the men had to show IDs and then go through the humiliating act of taking off their clothes in front of everyone. After that women and men were separated and the approximately 20 men in the group were taken to the nearby villa for detention and interrogation. Since the wanted men were not among the men in this group the IOF started to place bombs around the apartment complex with the intention to blow up the whole building in case the wanted men would not turn themselves in. At this point the two wanted men and the apartment owner that hosted them exited the house. They were handcuffed, blindfolded and then brought to the villa, where they were tortured.

When the ISM team arrived at Rafidah they tried to approach the occupied buildings with no success. Shortly after that, the IOF left Rafidah with the 3 arrested men. After that the ISM activists were let into the apartment of the now arrested man. The apartment was completely torn to pieces. The soldiers had gone berserk, ripped up all the furniture, emptied drawers and closets, throwing everything on the floor including the children’s toys and school material. Basically, the soldiers wrecked everything in the family’s house.

The wife of the house owner told the ISM activists what had happen during the morning. The freedom fighters had been let in to the house earlier that night since they had asked for help and as she said; “we would never turn someone down that asks for our help. We’re doing his because one day we might be the ones in need of help and also we have to do it for our nation.”