Israeli Army Surrounds Awarta School, Arrests 12 Palestinians; Settler Attacks Escalate

PNN – Palestine News Network –  14.03.11 – 11:00

Nablus – PNN – Israeli soldiers surrounded a girls’ secondary school in the village of Awarta, near Nablus, and arrested 12 Palestinians betthe ages of 15 and 40, according to village council chief Qays Awad.


The village of Awarta (PNN Images).









Awarta lies below the hilltop settlement of Itamar, where a family of Israeli settlers was murdered two days ago, prompting settler violence and security crackdowns across the West Bank. The Israeli manhunt for the presumed Palestinian culprit has swept most of the Nablus area, but nobody has been charged.

“The soldiers told [the Palestinians] that the police would come to take their fingerprints,” said Awad, who also claimed that settlers beat several of the Palestinians.

The entire village of Awarta was declared a closed military zone. As of this report, home invasions were continuing throughout the village.

Suleiman Quareeq, a village council member, told Palestinian state-run news wire Wafa that the situation in Awarta was “tragic.” He said the people in the village were suffering from lack of bread, baby milk, and other supplies. Sick people have not been allowed to leave their homes for treatment in Nablus.

Ayman al-Nubani, an eyewitness in the village, told Wafa by phone that Israeli troops were stopping ambulances and press vehicles from entering Awarta as well.

The soldiers arrested 65-year-old Kamil Quareeq in his home on Sunday evening and other members of his family. The army did not release any information that would suggest his involvement in the Itamar murders.

In Hebron in the southern West Bank, Israeli soldiers arrested five Palestinians and settler attacks continued.

An armed group of settlers closed several roads around Hebron and pelted passing Palestinian cars with rocks. Reports of these incidents circulated from Beit Awa south of Hebron, Ithna in the northwest, the entrance to al-Arroup Refugee Camp in the north, and the entrance to Kfar Etzion settlement south of Bethlehem.

Settlers from Beit Hadassa in the center of Hebron’s Old City assaulted and harassed families living on Shuhada Street, the focal point of recent demonstrations in the city.

Israeli soldiers shot toward at least one car on Halhoul Bridge north of Hebron.

In al-Baq’a, a village northeast of Hebron, armed settlers supported by Israeli army regulars broke into the home of Abdul Jawad Jaber, causing damage. Jaber told Wafa that his home, which lies near the settlement of Kiryat Arba and the controversial Bypass Road 60, housed 20 family members including children, women, and the elderly.



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