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Update A nation under curfew
10 July 2002
A nation under curfew: Palestinians are deprived of freedom of movement, freedom to work and the right to education and health care.
The major towns and cities in the West Bank remain under curfew; isolated from each other by a series of barriers, dug up roads, check points and military patrols.
The Israeli army remains in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkaram, Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Salfeet, Nablus, and Jenin, punishing thousands of civilians, restricting them to their homes with the occasional lifting of the curfew. In the case of Nablus the curfew has only been lifted on two occasions since the city was invaded over on the 21st of June.
On July the 8th, 18-year-old Suheir Adel Al-Atari who is seven months pregnant was travelling home from Ramallah to her village. According to one of her relatives travelling with her "we all were walking down the road, when suddenly one of the young soldiers opened fire on all the people who were just walking - not doing anything. We were not even at the checkpoint, which was open. There was not one problem or any warning."
A bullet hit Suheir in the head; she remains in a serious condition in hospital.
Areen Abdullah from Nablus was in such a hurry as she left her house when the curfew was lifted for the second time that she forgot to take her identity card. On her way home, a mere 100 meters from her house, she was stopped by an Israeli military patrol that demanded to see her ID. According to Areen, "one of the soldiers came very near to me and then suddenly took my baby out of my arms. Abdullah is only seven months old, and the soldier held him in one hand and raised him up in the air - I was terrified he would drop him. The soldiers told me they would keep the baby while I went home to get my ID, but I refused. I felt I had lost my baby forever and began to scream and weep. So did Abdullah. The soldier kept asking me if I was scared from him and I told him yes. They insisted I went home and got my ID but I told them I would never take one step away from my baby".
Eventually Abdullah, the seven-month-old baby, was returned safely to his mother.
These are but two examples of danger civilians are in when a foreign army occupies the streets of their towns and cities.
Update from The Palestine Monitor - for regular updates check out http://www.palestinemonitor.org