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Israeli Army Occupies Tulkarem Camp


Israeli Army Occupies Tulkarem Camp

Massive round-up of men, women and children

[Tulkarem] The Israeli Army invaded Tulkarem Refugee Camp shortly before 11:00 this morning. Approximately 20-30 military vehicles - APCs and jeeps - rolled into the camp, occupied its entirety and carried out operations in three neighborhoods in the central part of the camp – al-Hamam, al-Nadi and al-Balawni. Four international ISM volunteers, who had received an urgent call in the morning, arrived in the camp at 11AM to find that soldiers had called all men women and children in a section of the camp to come out of their homes. Soldiers rounded up the residents at a local building used as a daycare, which they had occupied and were using for interrogation. They then separated men from the women and children and sent the women and children over to the UNWRA building, which the Israeli military had also taken over.

Shortly before 1PM soldiers loaded approximately 230 men, handcuffed and blindfolded in to military armored carriers and left the camp.

The women and small children were kept in the streets in the cold and rain from 11AM until approximately 9PM, when they were allowed to disperse. However the women were prevented from reaching their homes by military cordons and were forced to seek other shelter.

There has been Israeli military fire and explosions throughout the day as soldiers conducted house to house searches. One house in the camp caught on fire and Israeli soldiers let the house burn for a significant period of time before they would allow a fire truck to approach the house. Soldiers have not only taken over the camp daycare and UNWRA building, but have also occupied civilian homes, including the home of Abu Ghassan al-Sifareeni, who lives with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren.

Currently the entire camp, home to 17,000 refugees is under house arrest and explosions can still be heard throughout the camp as soldiers continue their operation. Two international ISM volunteers are staying in a house across from UN building, where approximately 20 women and 30 children who couldn’t get to their own homes are also staying.


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