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Israeli Onslaught Continues in Nablus Balatah Camp


Israeli Onslaught Continues in Nablus, Balatah Refugee Camp

IOF Detain 200 Palestinians in Week, 2 Die of Wounds

Two Palestinians, including a teenage boy, died early Sunday of wounds sustained earlier by Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) gunfire in Nablus and Qalqilya. IOF also detained more than 200 Palestinian activists in the West Bank in the past week and continued their siege of Nablus and the Balatah refugee camp in an invasion launched on December 16 dubbed “Operation Calm Waters.”

IOF shot and wounded 16-year-old Palestinian Nureddin Ahmad Izzat Imran, from the northern West Bank village of Dir al-Hatab, a few days ago. He died early Sunday of his wounds, WAFA reported.

Another Palestinian died in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya of wounds he sustained from Israeli gunfire in February 2000.

Meanwhile on Saturday, IOF reinvaded the Balatah refugee camp near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

IOF launched “Operation Calm Waters” in Nablus and Balatah on December 16. The invasion involved at least fifty military vehicles, including tanks, and was backed by US-made Apache helicopters. Nablus and Balatah have been under siege and curfew ever since.

Four Palestinians were killed in the ongoing invasion.

IOF shot dead Majdi Mohammad al-Bahsh, Aladdin al-Dawayeh, Jibril Salim Awwad and Fadi Hnaini late Wednesday and early Thursday.

13-year-old Palestinian boy Ahmad Ismail is still in a coma after he was shot in the head by IOF troops in the Balatah refugee camp on Tuesday. Palestinian medical sources declared him clinically dead.

At least fourteen more Palestinians were injured including a two-year-old boy in the city and its nearby camp, six of them on Saturday.

Occupation troops also demolished ten houses belonging to Palestinians in Yabna refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, bordering Egypt.

In the past week, IOF detained 200 Palestinians in the West Bank, 16 of them in a series of overnight raids in the West Bank villagessituated north of Ramallah, including the village of Kober, the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Occupation forces meanwhile detained Adnan Asfur, 40, in the early hours of Sunday.

“Israeli forces arrested on Sunday at 03:00am (01:00 GMT) Adnan Asfur, a Hamas leader in Nablus, who has been wanted by Israel” for two years at his father’s home in the al-Massya neighborhood of Nablus, Aljazeera TV reported.

On Friday, troops stormed the camp’s Ibad al-Rahman mosque for the second time since December 16, searching its interior and scattering its contents.

Separately, a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israeli occupation was killed on Saturday by masked men in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

The officials added that the man’s body was found in a street in the town.

In the meantime Palestinian and Israeli officials are working to set up a meeting between their prime ministers this week aimed at renewing peace efforts, the chief Palestinian negotiator said.

Palestine National Authority (PNA) Minister for Negotiations Saeb Erekat said Saturday he and other Palestinian officials plan to meet in the next two days with Dov Weisglass, the chief of the Israeli premier’s office, to prepare for a summit between Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon.

The much-anticipated meeting would be the first between the two premiers and would come days after Sharon announced a plan to unilaterally separate Israelis from Palestinians within months if peace talks fail.

Qurei has rejected an ultimatum from Sharon on Thursday that Israel will impose its own solution if the Palestinians do not start to fulfill their obligations under the UN-endorsed “roadmap” peace plan.

“This is a process with two partners. No one can do what he wants alone. It will not be an agreement. It will keep the violence. It will escalate the violence. It is an invitation to more violence,” the BBC quoted Qurei as saying.

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