Alarm in Nablus


The number and type of people taking part in a meeting held in the Chamber of Commerce building in Nablus two days ago, to discuss the phenomenon of armed chaos and breach of law by armed groups, was alone indicative of the level of danger felt by the inhabitants of the city.

Those taking part in the discussion spoke about the level of danger this new phenomenon imposes on society, and their wish and readiness to fight it. Lately, during the period that followed the re-occupation of the city, the impotence of the official institutions subjected to destruction became more apparent, as well as the negligence of those in power and their involvement in the phenomenon.

The meeting, which was called for by the Medical Relief following the murder of one of its employees last Thursday night, Amna Abu Hijla, 36, mother of 3 children, by armed men while kidnapping a man from the city, a crime which shook Nablus and sent a warning sign concerning the danger threatening the lives of people in the city.

Many of those taking part in the meeting, attended by hundreds of personalities and representatives of various institutions and activists in the different fields, spoke not only against the criminals who take advantage of the weakness of the official institution to practice their crimes and attacks against civilians and their property, but also against those who offer these criminals protection — officials and those in power in security and authority institutions.

Balata refugee camp’s Fatah leader, Hazim Thoqan, said that several crimes were committed in Nablus yet those who committed the crimes continue to wonder around because they have the protection and blessings of heads of security institutions and officials.

He added, “Some criminals were stopped because they are small time, but the big criminals move freely in front of our eyes.”

Thoqan said, “85% of those committing crimes are from the security institutions.”

Nablus had witnessed murders, blackmail for money and attacks on property including planned killings recently.

Several sources confirm that those committing the crimes are well known to the families of the victims and the authority institutions. However, no measures have been taken against them.

The Mayor’s car was recently set on fire.

Hamdi al-Bizra, father of Anan al-Bizra who was killed lately during a random shooting in the center of Nablus said, “To lose your son is the most painful experience but to see him killed by people wandering the streets as if nothing happened is even more painful.”

The article was originally published in Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. Translated by Hear Palestine.