Holy Land: agony of town under siege

 It is now twelve days since Israeli armed forces launched a massive military operation against the Palestinian town of Nablus, home to more than 200,000 people. So far, Israeli troops have killed fourteen civilians and injured approximately 100. Residents are being prohibited from leaving or entering the town. Medical rescue teams are being denied access to provide basic emergency and humanitarian care, causing a shortage of food and medical supplies. Media representatives have also been barred from entry. For Nablus, this is not the first time that Israeli troops, supported by tanks, armoured vehicles and sophisticated warfare technology, invade the town, vandalizing its streets and inflicting massive destruction all over. But this time is different to the other ten or more invasions since April 2002, because the army is imposing a constant 24-hour curfew. Children are not able to go to schools and Al-Najah University, one of the largest in Palestine, is paralyzed, as students are not able to attend classes. All commercial activity has stopped with the economic situation being brought to a complete standstill. What is also different about this invasion, is the level of destruction being caused. Israeli troops are using heavy bulldozers to destroy 400 year-old houses in the old Kasbah. These buildings are considered a unique part of Palestine's cultural heritage, and according to UNESCO, should be preserved and protected. The Israeli army has taken over 26 buildings, turning them into military outposts, and keeping the residents as hostages. The 110 families living in these buildings, have not been able to leave. They are also being denied access to food and medical care. The people of Nablus are appealing to all human rights and humanitarian agencies, to urgently intervene by sending their teams to Nablus. All UN agencies especially UNESCO, are being called to pressurize the Israeli armed forces, to stop these violations of human rights. Source: Palestinian Medical Relief Society

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