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Destruction and siege: Tulkarm and Nur Shams camps under attack

4 January 2024 | International Solidarity Movement | Tulkarm

By Diana Khwaelid

On the night of Tuesday, January 2, the Israeli occupation carried out a new incursion against the residents of the city of Tulkarm and its two refugee camps.

Tulkarm camp was turned into a place unsuitable for living, and Nur Shams camp was besieged for more than 22 hours. Dozens of military vehicles stormed Tulkarm, including D9 – D10 bulldozers and personnel carriers, and hospitals’ entrances were surrounded.

A ghost City.

Since the beginning of the Israeli incursion on Tulkarm, the city, nearby villages and the camps, have turned into a ghost area. Social life and daily activity stopped completely after the Israeli occupation forces stationed at all the entrances of the two camps.

The shops closed, including necessary activities like bakeries and pharmacies, and all sectors were at a standstill for more than 22 hours.

Tulkarm camp turned to ashes.

The Tulkarm refugee camp has turned from a lively and active camp full of joy, happiness and safety – despite the difficult life and suffering that Palestinians live in – into a destroyed gray camp, unsuitable for living. More than 10 shops and dozens of houses were destroyed; one of these houses was bombed by drones.

Wherever you look, you will see destruction, whether of Palestinian homes, streets, shops, walls of a house, a school, a playground: everything has been completely destroyed.

Life is very difficult in the camp, especially for women, children, and the elderly. The people of the camp no longer feel safe, especially after the recent incursions, and after the events of October 7, the situation in the camp and the West Bank in general has become more dangerous and worse. But despite everything, the residents of the camp remain steadfast, and said: “We will never surrender. Despite everything that the Israeli occupation does to us, we will remain on this land and we will remain in the camp even if it is completely destroyed.”

Nur Shams camp.

The Nur Shams refugee camp, northeast of Tulkarm, has turned into a closed military zone and has been besieged for more than 22 hours.

Electricity, water, internet and communication lines have been cut since the first hours of the Israeli incursion into the camp. The Israeli occupation forces raided and stormed dozens of Palestinian houses, and arrested more than 20 Palestinians men, most of whom were later released.

The main roads in the camp were also destroyed, especially in the AL-Manshiyya neighborhood. Difficult times are experienced by the residents of Nur Shams refugee camp: Palestinians are unsafe in their homes, and Israeli snipers are everywhere.

Also, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft have not left the skies of Tulkarm since the first minutes of the incursion.

The Israeli occupation forces continued to carry out incursions over incursions into more than one area of the West Bank, especially in the camps, and the fierce Israeli attacks have began more complicated since October 7.


Photos credit: ISM/Diana Khwaelid