June 28, 2007 Nablus under invasion - Sounds like an afternoon outing for IWPS

Dear friends and family,
Despite the relative calm in the immediate vicinity of Hares, the occupation is intensifying in other areas.

More than fifty military vehicles raided Jenin refugee camp late on Tuesday evening. Army confrontations ensued with resistance fighters from the Fatah-affiliated Al Aqsa Brigades and the Islamic Jihad-affiliated Al Quds Brigades. A Palestinian man was seriously injured and three Palestinians were arrested during the incursion.

Israeli tanks invaded the southern Gaza Strip while Israeli fighter jets bombarded Gaza City early Wednesday morning. Thirteen Palestinians have been killed.

Heavy Israeli forces invaded the city of Nablus on Wednesday night blowing up an electricity transformer, placing many hospitals under siege, turning more than 30 Palestinian homes into military bases. Additionally, dozens of Israeli military vehicles invaded Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.

Did any of this make the newspapers in the U.S.?

This may sound trivial in the larger scope of things but this all comes at a particular bad time as high school students are being prevented from taking their final school exams. This exam, called the Tawljihi is extremely important as it will determine whether or not the student can continue to the university. The results of the Tawljihi are awaited breathlessly by the whole of Palestine and much celebrating (or mourning) occurs when they are released. (The mourning is much quieter.)

Here in the vicinity of Hares the occupation continues in la ess dramatic manner but equally devastating as the daily lives of Palestinians are constantly filled with humiliation, limitation and harassment. Since Tuesday afternoon the army has erected a roadblock at the entrance of Kifl Hares, the village just to the east of us. We are to meet with the mayor this afternoon and try to negotiate with the soldiers stationed there to remove it.

We also got a call from farmers in Deir Istiya, the village to our north. They reported serious harassment from settlers and soldiers while trying to herd their goats. (The IWPS Human Rights Report No. 328 that describes this incident will be posted on our website shortly. http://www.iwps.info/) So we also have another appointment this afternoon to go to the military encampment outside the settlement of Yaqir and negotiate a cessation of this harassment.

However, I received a call just ten minutes ago from the ISM coordinator in Nablus. He very politely told me that Nablus is under invasion (as I had mentioned at the start of this email) and he would like to invite the womyn of IWPS to come there and be with the people. He sounded like he was inviting us to tea! I am alone in the house right now, but two others will return soon, inshallah. We will probably cancel the other afternoon appointments and go to Nablus.

I’ll let you know what happens.

P.S. OK. Now you can worry, but just the tinest tinest bit. Really.

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