This morning at 7AM human rights workers rushed to the other side of Nablus in Ta’awun Street where 8 homes had been taken over by the Israeli army. They joined the medical assistance relief team that had already arrived at the scene. 10-15 military vehicles and a bulldozer were in the street. In this case the families were told to leave their homes at 2AM. People were roused from their beds, among them small children including a 2 1/2 month old baby, and were forced to leave their homes, which were then occupied. One of the occupied houses was used for interrogation purposes – people were taken from the surrounding homes and brought there for questioning. There were a lot of holes in the homes, shattered glass and destroyed rooms, crying women and children and many projectiles that were fired as well – 2 of them Israeli and one of them, the largest, referred to as an energy bomb, was made in the USA. Maher Awada, aged 19 and Omar Ma’alla, aged 20, who were arrested, are purported to be wanted by the Israeli army. Forcing families from their homes as the Israeli army did is a form of collective punishment and is illegal under international law. For some of the families, this has been the third and fourth time this year that the soldiers have invaded their homes and destroyed their personal belongings. One of the mothers has two sons in Israeli prison: Ihsan Awada, 25, who has been imprisoned for 5 months and Husam Awada for 1 year. She also related how one of the invasions took place right before her daughter was to be married – they shot holes in the clothes cupboards and then burned all their clothes, including the wedding dress and trousseau. Others described crawling on their hands and knees to keep from being hit from the soldiers’ gunfire.
The incursions, explosions and shootings are a nightly occurrence in Nablus.