Israel's Military Campaign in the 1967 Occupied West Bank, Update, 4 April 2002

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This afternoon, the Palestinian Red Crescent has announced the cessation of all its operations due the ongoing and massive Israeli assaults against its hospitals, clinics, ambulances, and medical staff in all areas targeted by the current Israeli military campaign. Among the most recent incidents was an Israeli attack on the Ramallah Red Crescent Hospital, which resulted in damages inside the hospital and the detention of five of the medial team.

Nablus:

Israeli tanks have reached the center of town and are met by Palestinian resistance, both in the city and its refugee camps (Balata, Askar, Ain al-Ma). A multi-storied residential building was forcefully entered by Israeli soldiers; six families (35 persons) were moved into two rooms on the ground floor in order to serve as human shields. Yussef Jaber, officer of the Nablus fire brigades, explained that many homes and office buildings in the city are on fire; the fire brigades have been prevented from accessing these buildings. Among the houses on fire is the home of the Abu Halima family and a near-by carpentry. The Nablus governor, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, stated that all water supply in the city and the refugee camps in the area was cut. Shelling from Apache helicopters resulted in partial power shortage. Israeli snipers have shot at least one man in his home (his identity was not yet not known). Ambulances and public services are not permitted to operate; several injured people have reportedly remained in the streets and fields.

Jenin:

Nine Palestinians are reported killed and some 20 injured during the Israeli military attack. All those injured are in severe condition due to lack of medical aid. Also in Jenin, massive destruction and damage of water, electricity, and phone installations is reported; the local hospital became the target of Israeli shelling today. Palestinian and Israeli sources report of fierce Palestinian resistance in the town and in the Jenin refugee camp.

Bethlehem:

Israeli tanks and snipers have completely surrounded the old city of Bethlehem and Manger Square. In the morning hours, the Israeli army shelled and bombed the southern gate of the Nativity Church next to the Milk Grotta, causing massive damage to Bethlehems historical sites. Inside the Nativity Church approximately 250 people have remained closed-in, including civil servants (tourist and traffic police), the governor of Bethlehem, some families, and resistance fighters who have laid down their weapons. Several of the people in the church are reportedly injured.

Since the morning of 4 April, the Israeli army has occupied the following houses and transformed them into military positions:

*Al-Tawil building on Manger Square (opposite the Peace Center);
*The home of Abu Saber al-Lahham and his family; several family members reported severe beating by Israeli soldiers;
*The private medical clinic of Dr. Tabbash;
*The home of Marzouq Zawahra and his family; family members were beaten, and the arm of his 70-year old mother was broken;
*The photo studio of local journalist Moussa Shaer and the beauty parlor Dalia li Sayyedat were forcefully entered by means of explosives;
*The home of Abdullah Shallash and his family; family members report beating and destruction of furniture.

In the Jabal al-Mawaleh neighborhood (opposite Manger Square), Israeli tanks destroyed water pipes, and electricity and phone grids. The Zaatara village, located next to Beit Sahour, was completely invaded by the Israeli army which currently undertakes house-to-house searches there. Pigiausios autodalys internetu Vilniuje ir Kaune - www.pigiausiosdalys.lt

In circumstances yet unclear, Brother Samir Salman, the bell-ringer of the Nativity Church was shot dead today. He was found in the backyard of the church, and his death was confirmed by sources inside the church.

At 3.15 p.m. Bethlehem churches rang their bells and mosques called-out simultaneously in protest against the wide-scale destruction inflicted by the Israeli occupation army.