Israeli forces invade and impose curfew on Nablus

An Israeli soldier shoots tear gas at Palestinians during a military operation in the West Bank city of Nablus, 25 February 2007. (MaanImages/Rami Swidan)

Nablus - Ma’an - Israeli occupation forces initiated a huge operation in Nablus, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, considered to be the biggest operation there in two years. Ma’an’s correspondent reported that more than 60 Israeli military vehicles and several bulldozers entered the city and imposed curfew.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that a large force participated in the incursion, focused on the old city, particularly Al Yasameen neighborhood, where dozens of Israeli soldiers were deployed in the streets. The city resembles something like a military camp, the sources said.

In an unprecedented step the Israeli forces infiltrated the airwaves of the radio stations, seeking to provoke Palestinian resistance. The soldiers distributed lists of ‘wanted’ Palestinians in the city and arrested six citizens, four of whom are relatives and two are brothers. The arrests took place in Rafidia, west of the city, and followed the besieging of one of the houses.

Ma’an’s correspondent reported that the Israelis announced the curfew through the local radio station of An Najah University and warned the citizens against breaking it. The Israeli forces commanded Palestinians to stay home and to keep away from banks and public departments and institutions.

The announcement also said that the curfew will be imposed for no specific time period and that they will be allowed only during specific times to be supplied with food. Citizens expect that the curfew may last for a long time.

The education directorate announced that teaching in the schools will be suspended for the coming period due to the curfew.

The Israeli forces said that the operation aims to arrest many of the ‘wanted’ Palestinians; they said that they are searching for Mahdi Abu Ghazala, Ammar Akkoub, Sufian Qandeel, Amin Libbada, Abdulrahman Shinnawi and Mahdi Akkoub.

Israeli forces continue their operation in Nablus, which began early Sunday morning. Armed clashes erupted between Israeli forces and resistance fighters and resulted in the injury of at least two Israeli soldiers.

According to the most recent reports two Israeli soldiers were injured when Palestinian resistance attacked an Israeli patrol vehicle with an explosive device in the old neighbourhood of Qasaba.’

The Israeli army stated that a bomb was hurled at one of the patrols and that shooting at the Israeli soldiers occurred in the city, but they did not announce any casualties to the Israeli military or the resistance fighters.

The Palestinian presidency denounced the ongoing Israeli assault in the northern occupied Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus, which began on Sunday morning.

A spokesperson of the presidency said that the Israeli incursion is a brutal aggression by an army which possesses all means of destruction and killing of unarmed citizens. The Israelis have imposed a blockade on the city and all its neighbourhoods, transforming residential houses into military posts. They also imposed curfew and apprehended dozens of residents.

The spokesperson of the presidency, in a statement, depicted the Israeli assault as seeking to hinder every measure to maintain the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and violating the agreement, which was affirmed in a tripartite summit to enhance the ceasefire in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The statement also said the Israeli incursion aims to intervene in Palestinian affairs and spoil the Mecca agreement in an endeavour to prevent the formation of a unity government. He said the Israelis want the sanctions against the Palestinian people to continue so as to keep the Palestinian arena bound to a state of attrition and tension.

Consequently, the spokesperson called on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to end their aggression.

Spokesmen of the Palestinian government, Ghazi Hamad, condemned the Israeli military operation in Nablus, which he said, has resulted in the paralyzing of activity and life in the city. He said that the “Israeli occupation forces continue crimes against the Palestinian people through the killing, assassination and arrest of Palestinian citizens.”

Hamad said the operation came in the shadow of an agreement on the formation of a Palestinian unity government, which is supported by the Arabs and the international community. He called on the international community to condemn the Israeli attacks on Palestinians and the United Nations to intervene to protect Palestinians.

Related Links

  • Ma’an News Agency
  • BY TOPIC: Israel Attacks Nablus: “Operation Hot Winter” (25 February 2007)