5 November 2009
In the dead of night, at 2am, Thursday 4 November, the Israeli Occupation Force made a series of military raids on civilian home in Nablus, arresting 7 young men.
Al-Ein camp was brutally attacked by a force of some 100 Israeli soldiers, encircling a large part of the camp while firing sound bombs. A large number of houses were invaded, their occupants awoken and forced to stand outside in the freezing cold, while soldiers with dogs wrecked havoc upon their personal belongings. One woman saw two young Palestinians with their hands tied behind their backs, while the soldiers had placed toy guns, partisan scarfs and knives at their side and were taking pictures of this (apparently a ploy to prove that they were ‘dangerous militants’, thereby justifying their arrest). Among the arrested were Mustafa Kasem Al-Mabruk, 21 years old, and Ahmed Khalid Abdo Bohe, his cousin, who is 18 years old. Mustafa’s brother, Abdul Rahman, who is 28 years old, was arrested two weeks ago and is being held in Mashido prison, in Israel.
In the old city of Nablus, a neighbourhood was surrounded by upwards 70 soldiers, who proceeded to throw sound bombs and invade several houses.
The Al-Satar family was also awakened by an invasion of their house. The soldiers had come for the 21 year old Abed Al-Satar Saleem Abo Seres. The young man made a run for freedom, but he was trapped between the soldiers, and when they caught him they hit in the face and chest before arresting him. The women, who were now alone in the house, could only stand and watch as the soldiers called them derogatory and disrespectful names, threw their glasses to the floor, broke a wardrobe (pulling out clothes and personal belongings in the process) and spilled all of the family’s flour and sugar. The house has been raided before and another son has so far spent a year and a half in Mashido prison, in Israel.
Both invasions ended at around 4:30. This type of unprovoked action is usual for many Palestinians, as the Israeli Army tends to suspect all young men of being a danger to them, and prefers to see them confined for years at a time in prisons, although the charges against them are hazy if not non-existent.
Thursday’s invasion of the Al-Satar family’s home struck deep in the heart of a city where presence Israeli Occupation Forces has become an extreme rarity. The entirety of Nablus, with the exception of its main street (which is still subject to Israeli military patrol between the hours of midnight and 6am) lies in Area A, under Palestinian civilian and military control. Nablus’ three refugee camps – Al-Ein, Askar and Balata, are located just on the city’s periphery and in a far more precipitous state. Their location in Area C (full Israeli control) not only prohibit them from expanding to accommodate their rapidly growing population, but also, under the Oslo Accords zoning agreements legalises presence of the Israeli army. This presence is manifested on an almost nightly basis in Balata, Nablus’ largest camp. 13 boys were arrested in a night raid on Al-Ein camp last Wednesday, making this one the second attack in as many weeks.