Israel + 1 more

OPT: Israeli soldiers rampage through medical and legal offices in Ramallah

In the early hours of this morning, Israeli forces invaded two office buildings in Ramallah, containing mainly medical and law offices, destroying doors, furniture, files.
Mustafa Abu al Hajj, 35, who works as a guard in a nearby building, said, "At about 3.00 am, I saw about 12 Israeli jeeps surround the area. The soldiers forced their way into the first building by blowing up its front gate. I then heard three explosions, followed by the sound breaking glass and furniture. I didn't know exactly what was happening as I didn't dare to get any closer to the soldiers.

"They continued their rampage for two hours. After they left, I called the Palestinian police and the owners of the offices to tell them what had happened."

Ahmad Njaz, an accountant who owns one of the offices that was destroyed, said, "This is not the first time that my office has been attacked -- it's the third. They also destroyed most of my files last March and April when they invaded my office for no apparent reason."

According to Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, President of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, the soldiers also attempted to enter the optical medical center of the UPMRC by breaking down its front gate. "This is also not the first time we have suffered from this kind of violation against one of our medical centers - UPMRC offices have been attacked in Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah."

The owner of one the buildings, Kamal al Hajj Yassin, said that there was "no justification for the crime committed by these soldiers. The 21 offices in my building are all rented by professionals - doctors, lawyers and other businesses - all activities conducted there are strictly civilian."

Dr Majdi al Malki, owner of the other building invaded, said that the Israelis had destroyed most of the building's doors and searched and destroyed many files in the offices - in addition to invading his mother's house, located on the third floor of the building.

"My mother is 70 years old. Thank God she was in the hospital at the time of the invasion. But I shudder to think of how she'll feel when she comes home and sees all of ther doors blown up and how the Israelis searched through all of her personal items - including family photos."

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