In the early hours of this morning there was a major invasion in the centre of Nablus, not far from Al Najah university. Six people were killed, one of them a girl of ten years old. Around thirty were injured, nearly all of them children. At least two of the injured are still in critical condition.
We went to the hospital just as the casualties were arriving. Passing several Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles on the way. The bodies carried in were a mess. Some of the victims had chunks of their heads missing. Ambulances had not been allowed by the Israelis to collect the injured or the bodies of those killed until several hours later. Crowds waited at the hospital to see if their loved ones were amongst the casualties. Many people were breaking down in tears, and many relatives were carried in unable to walk such was their grief. We have heard many stories of Israeli murders whilst in Nablus, but the reality of seeing mangled bodies and the grief of relatives really brings home what the headlines really mean.
This is the reality of occupation. Noone ever gets used to death. Though the Palestinians have seen many people killed during the occupation, the pain of losing a close relative or friend never diminishes. To the Israeli soldiers who shot them, the victim`s deaths are just another six `X`s (the IDF term for a kill) for their unit. For the families and friends of those killed, the deaths are a life of lost memories and sorrow. What did the ten year old girl do to deserve to be killed?
I went in the afternoon to teach my English class at a friend`s house (actually my closest Palestinian friend). When I arrived he told me that one of the murdered was his 22 year old nephew, who was like a brother to him. His grief was overwhelming. He told me that before his nephew was killed, he had called his mother to tell her that he had been shot in the knee and wanted to die. The Israelis came in shortly after and shot him in cold blood.
Photos and a short video clip (of the girl being carried in) at the hospital, the streets of Nablus, and the destroyed house where five of the murders took place will be uploaded shortly. Better quality footage of the casualties is also coming soon.