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Huge Israel Invasion in Balata 17 Wounded 1 Dead

IOF Wounds 17 Palestinians, One Clinically Dead, During Massive Invasion in Balata

NABLUS, Palestine, December 17, 2003 (IPC + Agencies)-- During a massive invasion into the West Bank refugee camp of Nablus, several West Bank cities, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) shot and wounded 17 Palestinian citizens, including a child who was pronounced clinically dead late last night.

Medical sources at Raphedia hospital in Nablus City confirmed late last night that 15-year old Nour Emran was clinically dead, after being shot with a rubber-coated bullet in the head during an IOF invasion of a nearby refugee camp yesterday, IPC correspondent said.

The IOF have invaded the Balata refugee camp yesterday under a barrage of heavy gunfire and supported by combat helicopters, then imposed a tight curfew on the camp. 17 Palestinian citizens, including Emran, were wounded during confrontation between the residents of the camp and the occupying forces. The injuries resulted from either being shot with rubber-coated bullets or suffocation from the tear gas canisters fired at the citizens. Some of the wounded were still in critical condition, hospital officials told IPC's.

The occupying soldiers also conducted a house-to-house search campaign, moving from one house to the other through blowing holes in their walls, a thing that caused large structural damages in the searched houses. As well, the occupying forces used an enormous amount of stun grenades to frighten citizens and disturb their sleep.

Concurrently, IOF invaded the nearby town of Hewwara and imposed tight curfew on the entire town for the second consecutive day, firing heavy and indiscriminate gunshots and tear gas canisters at Palestinian homes, which resulted in various damages in these houses. An Israeli military caterpillar bulldozer started removing the huge sand barriers the occupation piled up some time ago, in order to allow more reinforcements to enter the town of Howwara and to the Balata camp, eyewitnesses confirmed.

Additionally, IOF troops raided several high overlooking buildings in the aforementioned camp, occupied them and used them as watch points for their snipers, after herding their residents to a small flat in the lower floors.

Eyewitnesses and local residents asserted that the Israeli soldiers started a wide house-to-house search and vandalism campaign, where they thoroughly searched every house after evicting its residents and messing up its furniture. Later, the troops arrested several Palestinian citizens and led them into an undisclosed location.

The IOF invasions also reached the village of Madama, south of Nablus City.

Palestinian villagers from Madama told WAFA news agency that IOF invaded the village under heavy gunfire and stun grenades, and ordered the residents of the western part of the village to leave their homes and proceed to the village school yard, where they were searched and their IDs checked by the occupying soldiers, while a contingent of IOF troops searched their homes.

Earlier in the city of Jenin, IOF invaded the city under a hail of gunfire.

Eyewitnesses told IPC correspondent that several Israeli military jeeps backed by tanks invaded the city and advanced deep into its eastern neighborhood, where soldiers started to raid many houses, searching and vandalizing them.

In another incident, IOF arrested three Palestinian citizens from the town of Beit Kahel, west of the city of Hebron, after raiding several houses there.

Palestinian security sources said that a number of Israeli military jeeps and armored vehicles stormed the town yesterday in the morning, and started raiding and searching houses there. The Israeli troops then arrested three Palestinian citizens from the town and led them into an undisclosed location.


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