Awarta: Bulldozers Plow Land, Israelis Set Up Temporary Houses, Free Treatment Offered

15.03.11 – 09:53PNN – Palestine News Network

Nablus – PNN – In Awarta, south of Nablus, Israeli forces bulldozed Palestinian-owned lands on the village’s northeast side and settlers set up at least two temporary dwellings in the area. The Palestinian Ministry of Health offered free treatment to the villagers, who have been under a general curfew and with severely reduced access to basic necessities for four days.

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The village of Awarta, south of Nablus (PNN Images).

Awarta lies directly below the illegal settlement of Itamar, which witnessed the brutal murder of five Jewish settlers—including a three-month-old baby—on Saturday. Israeli officials have blamed Palestinian terrorists for the attack and have carried out massive security crackdowns across the northern West Bank, focusing especially on Awarta.

Yesterday, Awarta’s four schools were closed and reports circulated about all the village’s men being taken in for questioning. At least one school was turned into a interrogation center, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

Bulldozing operations on Tuesday morning cleared a “wide area of cultivated land,” according to Palestinian state-run news wire Wafa, including olive trees.

The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Fathi al-Mughli, announced that villagers would receive free teatment from the Ministry starting on Tuesday. Dr. Khaled Qadri, the Director of Health in Nablus, said that Israeli troops stopped ambulance workers from entering the village for a number of hours on Monday.

Yesterday the Israeli government announced its intent to construct 400 new illegal settlement units in the West Bank in response to the Itamar attack. Meanwhile, Wafa reported that rumor has circulated that the perpetrator of the attack was not a Palestinian, but a Thai worker offered money to execute the family.

Nablus Governor Major General Jibreen al-Bakri described the situation in Awarta as “collective punishment.” Palestinian medical sources said Israeli troops smashed medicine cabinets and scattered pills on the ground during invasions of Awarta on Sunday and Monday.

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