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5 Jul 2003 Car confiscation in Nablus


5 Jul 2003 Car confiscation in Nablus

Beit Eda Checkpoint, Nablus

Nine internationals and 4 Palestinians are currently attempting to negotiate with soldiers at Beit Eda checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus who have confiscated a taxi belonging to a Palestinian man. The group had been negotiating with soldiers since the morning for the relase of 30 Palestinians who had been held at the checkpoint since 8:00 AM. The detainees had not been offered water or food and had been kept in the hot sun all day.

The group had left the checkpoint for about an hour to purchase bottles of water for the detained Palestinians and were returning with the water in a taxi driven by a Palestinian. As the taxi slowly approached the checkpoint a group of soldiers ran toward it and ordered it to stop. The driver complied but the soldiers demanded to confiscate the taxi and keep it inside the checkpoint 'for a few days'. They ordered the driver and the internationals to leave on foot.

The group formed a human chain in front of the taxi to prevent the soldiers from confiscating it. The Palestinian taxi driver was taken away from the car and an international agreed to drive it, hoping that would prevent the soldiers from taking the vehicle.

An additional 3 soldiers approached the group and ordered them to leave within 10 seconds. He then started counting to 10. The group did not budge and when the soldier reached 10 he started shooting into the air.

The group continued trying to negotiate the release of the driver and the car. The car was taken into the checkpoint, but the driver and 20 of the 30 Palestinians who had been held since the morning were released.

The group is still attempting to negotiate the release of the vehicle and the remaining 10 Palestinians.

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