Four dead in Nablus slaughter
By Shaista Aziz
Saturday 03 January 2004 - Aljazeera + Agencies
Israeli occupation soldiers have killed four Palestinians in an
ongoing invasion of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
The latest fatalities came after Israeli forces opened fire on a
group of mourners marching at the funeral on Saturday of three
Palestinians killed earlier by Israeli fire, Aljazeera's
Eyewitnesses say Muhammad al-Masri, a relative of one of those being
buried, was shot in the head and seriously wounded during the funeral
procession. He died shortly afterwards from his wounds.
Those attending the funeral said occupation soldiers opened fire
without provocation from a distance of 200 metres.
Earlier, soldiers fired on Palestinians throwing stones at an
Amjad Bilal al-Masri, 15, was killed by two bullets to the chest
fired by a sniper as he hurled stones from a rooftop.
An hour later, Amir Arafat, 18, and Rawahi Shuman, 25, were
pronounced dead on arrival in hospital after coming under Israeli
Witnesses said the two men were hit in the chest when troops fired
live bullets to disperse stone-throwers.
An Israeli army spokesman said the soldiers had hit two Palestinians,
one of them "armed" and the other preparing to throw a petrol bomb.
Nablus has been under total Israeli curfew for nine days, according to
Aljazeera's correspondent there, who adds Israeli forces began their
raids into the city 14 days ago.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says its ambulance crews have
been denied access to the al-Qarun area of the city.
Locals living in the old city quarters of Nablus said occupation
soldiers were searching houses and making arrests.
"The soldiers have been making many arrests and they have been using
explosive devices to blast their way into the houses," said the man.
Another local who only wanted to be identified by his first name told
Aljazeera.net that occupation troops had been opening fire in the
streets of the old city.
"The soldiers are shooting everywhere and they have occupied at least
10 houses in Nablus. They only left the city a few days ago and now
they are back with more tanks and bullets" said Hussein.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Balata refugee camp, occupation troops have
re-invaded the camp with scores of soldiers inside the refugee camp
and four bulldozers outside one of the entrances to Balata.
"The soldiers returned to Balata on Friday night, they have been
shooting inside the camp and they have placed us under curfew. I can
hear ambulance sirens - they seem to be heading towards the city of
Nablus," said a Balata local.
Occupation soldiers demolished historical buildings in al-Qarun, in
the Old City, claiming they were looking for tunnels where resistance
fighters take refuge.
Huge Israeli bulldozers demolished the buildings, eyewitnesses told
Aljazeera. Explosions were later heard in several areas, they added.
Israeli occupation soldiers have also invaded the northern West Bank
City of Jenin, hours after the Israeli military announced it had
pulled troops out of the city.
Media reports stated occupation troops had dismantled roadblocks and
tanks had been withdrawn, opening up routes between the city's eight
entrances and surrounding villages.
However, residents painted a different picture.
"They have been moving their soldiers and tanks into Jenin all night,
the number of troops in the city has increased.
"The Israelis are lying when they say their soldiers are leaving the
area, this is propaganda," said a local man who did not want to be
named for fear of reprisals from occupation troops.
Palestinian officials in Jenin city described the Israeli decision to
lift the curfew on the city as a "false announcement" to mislead the
But an Israeli military spokesman denied the invasion of the city was
fresh, saying soldiers were "conducting routine searches". He failed
to specify what the occupation troops were looking for.
"On Thursday we decided to remove the encirclement around the city
but this doesn't mean that the force will not go back in to carry out
patrols or conduct searches," he told news agencies.
Israel has repeatedly invaded Jenin since 3 April 2002 when a major
assault on the town's refugee camp killed 52 Palestinians and cost
the Israelis 23 soldiers.
Meanwhile Israeli occupation soldiers imposed a curfew on the town of
Bait Ummar, near the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Aljazeera's correspondent in the town reported occupation soldiers
had carried out house to house searches, demolishing a house.
It was unclear what the soldiers were looking for, he added.
On Friday, occupation soldiers wounded five Palestinians in Gaza, two
in the city of Ram Allah and one Palestinian in al-Khalil.
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