OPT: Urgent appeal from Nablus

The Israeli army has launched a massive military operation against Nablus City, including its four refugee camps. For the fourth time in three months Israeli troops have reinvaded the city and suburbs under the pretext of fighting terrorism. However according to the Israelis, this time the invasion will be for a longer period of time. The one hundred and fifty thousand residents of Nablus are forced to remain inside their homes as a strict 24-hour military curfew has been imposed over the city.
Already Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles have vandalized the streets of the city causing enormous physical damage to the infrastructure. Additionally they have taken permanent positions on top of high buildings, forcing the residents to remain in one apartment of the building.

Mass arrests are taking place in most of the neighbourhoods of the city - thus far dozens of Palestinians have been seized and sent to detention centers. The whole social, educational and medical systems have come to a standstill; the end of year high school exam (tawjeehi) has been cancelled due to the fact that students are unable leave their homes to attend school.

Medical teams are prevented from moving freely, ambulances are frequently stopped and medical personnel are harassed. One doctor and the driver from Medical Relief were detained for two hours while attempting to transport an ill two-year-old baby.

Yet again the Israeli army is creating a situation of fear and terror among the civilian population, as well as endangering their lives. There is no justification for the attacks on civilians, and collective punishment Palestinians are subjected to.

This latest Israeli aggression against Palestinians is another facet of the continuing aggression of the Israeli occupation. The international community should realize that the main cause of the current dangerous situation in the region is this occupation, and security and regional stability will not assured until this occupation is ended.

We appeal to the international community to intervene immediately and force the Israeli government to comply with international law and to withdraw its forces immediately from the Palestinian areas.

For more information contact Dr Mustafa Barghouthi - +972 (0)50 254 218, and Dr. Allam Jarar in Nablus, +972 (0)59 649133