World Watches Lebanon, Noose Tightens On Palestine
While the World Watches Lebanon, the Israeli Army Tightens the Noose in Palestine
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Since around 5am this morning the Israeli army has surrounded the Mukatah (local government building) in Nablus with close to 100 military vehicles. Israeli soldiers have occupied buildings nearby and they are shooting into the Mukatah. This comes on the same day that the Israelis stormed a government building in Ramallah, arresting five people. They also stormed the office of the Palestinian Wafa News Agency in a pre-dawn raid. The Israeli military has bombed refugee camps, civillian infastructure and government buildings in Gaza in the last few days, killing many civllians. Since Israel steped-up the bombing of Gaza last month, the Israeli army has been enforcing more and more severe closures on the entire West Bank. It is currently impossible to travel to Nablus from the south.
Member of the ministry of security have been held hostage in the Nablus building, surrounded by bulldozers, jeeps and tanks. It has been reported that they were moved to another building and stripped of their clothing. The army has completely destroyed the preventative security building, part of the Nablus Mukatah which was already mostly destroyed by the Israeli offensive in the West Bank of 2004.
So far it is confirmed that three people have been killed, all Palestinian. The Israeli is claiming they were "wanted men", as is their standard practise. The bodies have not yet been identified because their faces were so mutilated by gunfire. Palestinian Medical Relief, one of the many ambulance services, has reported that twenty people have been injured including a female Al-Jazeera reporter who was shot in the leg by a rubber-coated metal bullet while she was giving a live broadcast. At least one other reporter was also injured by Israeli gunfire. BBC News Online has reported 45 people injured, according to hosital officials they talked to.
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