For the second executive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have continued their wide-scale military operation inside Nablus. No casualties among the Palestinian civilian population have been reported, but the IOF military operation has paralyzed all aspects of daily life in the city, which has been placed under a curfew. PCHR strongly condemns this latest operation, and remains concerned over its outcome, especially as IOF declared that their Operation “Hot Winter” in Nablus could continue for several days. PCHR also holds IOF responsible for such escalation, which aims at increasing tension in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 01:00 on Sunday, 25 February 2006, at least 60 IOF military vehicles, accompanied by bulldozers, moved into Nablus through various directions and imposed a curfew. A number of IOF soldiers transformed the roofs of a number of houses in the old town into military sites, after they had held their residents in one room in each. Soon after, IOF bulldozers placed sand barriers and cement blocks in the middle of Faisal Street in the east of the city, dividing the city into two parts. IOF then besieged the National Hospital in the center of the city and Rafidya Hospital, raided an number of houses and seized control over a number of local television and radio stations, through which they broadcasted statements inciting against Palestinian resistance groups.
IOF have so far arrested at least 30 Palestinian civilians, claiming that they are wanted. These civilians include Sheikh Nabegh Nafez Braik, 43, the owner and manager of Sanabel Television. According to his wife, IOF raided the building of the television station, arrested her husband and confiscated a number of computer sets and video recorders and cassettes. According to local sources, IOF transformed Jamal ‘Abdul Nasser School into an interrogation center, into which dozens of Palestinian civilians have been brought.
PCHR is gravely concerned over this latest escalation by IOF, and:
1) Condemns ongoing crimes committed by IOF in the OPT.
2) Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to stop such crimes, and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure protection for Palestinian civilians in the OPT.