Since the siege of the city of Nablus at the beginning of this month, there have been invasions by the Israeli Occupation Forces every night in multiple areas of the city. Stories from the siege are still sifting down through interviews - I spoke with a foreign educated doctor at some length as to the denial of ambulance and medical personnel into areas where there are wounded. He was turned away many times when trying to get to his clinic. The brutality of the occupation will quickly become apparent as I write and post more - it's so impossible to relay to someone who has lived a normal, predictable, and safe life what it is like to have an army of 60 vehicles storm into the city you live in, shoot out all the lights, throw grenades on the streets, and bulldoze everything on the streets out of the way BEFORE beginning to take over their homes for use as sniper posts and kidnapping entire buildings. Those who are lucky just get kept up all night by the noise.
This brings us to the question of why such intensity at this present moment. Even those in the city can feel it - Israel is on a brutal campaign at present to kidnap as many people as possible. This comes on the heels of the Sharm el Sheikh summit where the Israeli President Olmert declared a goodwill gesture of releasing 250 Fatah affiliated prisoners. The truth on the ground here, though, is that more than that number of prisoners have been arrested since this promise was made. It's a classic Israeli promise & switch move. It's how they get away with this all, and why no one notices. I remember it very explicitly from last summer - in the last days of the Lebanon War they pushed 30,000 troops into the occupied Lebanese territory so that they would appear to be making concessions to the rest of the world when they withdrew 20,000.
Now the rumor is that the Israelis have a goal of taking 500. That's right, they aim a taking 500, letting 250 old prisoners go, and then collecting the appreciation of the world opinion for being such a nice brutal occupation force. Here's the latest news report on the situation:
Nablus – Ma'an – Statistical evidence has revealed that the Israeli authorities have intensified their arrest campaigns against Palestinians in the West Bank in the past two weeks, especially after the Sharm el Sheikh summit of Middle Eastern leaders. During the summit Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, promised to release 250 prisoners affiliated to the Fatah movement.
The pledge was portrayed as a gesture of good will towards the Palestinians.
Fatah's information office issued a statement announcing that Israel has apprehended more than 300 Palestinians affiliated to the Fatah movement over the past two weeks. The number arrested in just two weeks has already exceeded the number of detainees proposed to be freed by Olmert.
"Israel is arresting Fatah loyalists and simultaneously discussing the farce of releasing prisoners," read the Fatah statement.
The movement also stated that "Israel's policy of apprehensions cannot bring about peace, nor can Israel's deception of the international community plant the seeds of trust between Israel and the Palestinians."
With hope for peace,