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We Have Three More Martyrs In Nablus This Morning

We Have Three More Martyrs In Nablus This Morning

Author: Anne Gwynne

The Lockdown Intensifies

The situation here in Nablus today is the worst it has been since I came here five weeks ago. This city of 186,000 people is completely closed to the outside world - sealed off. We are very few internationals - too few to send anyone to the checkpoints this morning - every point of entry is closed and patients are not being allowed to go to the hospitals.

The IOF is now beating Internationals at the checkpoints - today a Swedish woman and a Danish man. I have called the West Bank IOF offices many, many times and have spoken to several underlings who say that there is complete closure on Nablus, except for ambulances which should be allowed through. But they are not being. I called the Press Office, the West Bank Comman and the Nablus Command and they all deny that this is happening - we know first-hand that it is.

Nihad, the Raffidia Ambulance driver is here with me now, and he had to leave at 5.00 am to bring four patients from Jericho. He had a hugely stressful time at Huwarra (he arrived here with a shot through his windshield), but it was before 9.00 am and he eventually got through. Now Huwarra is completely closed - any person who approaches the checkpoint (without knowledge of the closure) is either turned away or beaten. Our ambulance answered calls from Beit Fouriq village and has just returned from there. The crew's ID was taken until they revisited the checkpoint, and the degree of aggression and abuse from the soldiers exceeded previous experiences - if that's possible. Two patients were picked up and eventually passed through the first Beit Fouriq checkpoint - a man with chest pains and an old woman with a fracture. She was removed from the Ambulance at the second of the Why is it that, instead of admiring courage, the Israelis are incensed by it? Every day I wonder what is it in their psyche upon which feeds their hatred whenever courage and dignity are displayed to them. A thousand times every day.

A woman in the last stage of labour had been held for the morning at the dreaded Beit Fouriq checkpoint - the soldiers there are so bad that I cannot imagine where they find them. Her husband was in great distress and asked Jarrere to take her to Nablus, since the Ambulance was returning to the city. Amid the shouting and screaming of abuse, the soldiers slammed the doors of the Ambulance and ordered it to "GO" . Imagine, in your own land, driving a life-saving Ambulance, and being told, dozens of times a day, whom you can help and who not, being ordered to leave people who need your help in the middle of the mud, and, at best, being delayed for hours - the terrorism is unimaginable. And it is not a case of "walk not ride" - they are not allowed to walk either. And when you are held at Beit Fouriq checkpoint you are not anywhere at all - just in the middle of an expanse of mud

By the way, I have used the word "checkpoint" so many times here so that you will feel that you are really bored with hearing it - because for you it is a word - for us it is a many-times-a-day reality of abuse, violence, confrontation, humiliation, delay and, sometimes, death..

The numbers for the IOF West Bank are -International code plus - 03608 - 0339;..... .- 03696 - 4639; and Nablus - 02-548 - 62 370018. Anyone who can call and protest this inhuman treatment of innocent people - please do so. Be polite and ask them why they are doing these things. Be reasonable at the stupid responses and ask them how exactly they believe that they will all be killed by Palestinian fighters with only a body, a gun, a belt. And point out to them that the occupation is illegal under every relevant International Law. If they tell you that they must defend their land remind them that this is not their land.

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