IDF in Awarta: Updated

ISM Press Release – March 15, 2011

Today the village of Awarta, near Nablus, is facing the second day of a severe curfew imposed by the Israeli military, following Friday morning’s murder of a settler family in the settlement Itamar . Three ISM activists–Cinda, 23, Chad, 25, from Sweden, and Cissy, 53, from Norway–are currently trapped in the village. Anyone caught stepping outside of their house is arrested. Soldiers have said that they’ll maintain the curfew until they’ve apprehended the settler family’s murderer.

The army hasn’t presented any evidence that the murderer was from Awarta, and villagers have said to the ISM that they strongly doubt the murderer was even Palestinian as the settlement is so heavily guarded it would be impossible to break in. Soldiers are beating people and continuing their house raids: destroying houses from the inside, cutting off electricity, and polluting the drinking water by throwing mud in the water-tanks. 30 homes were occupied by soldiers last night. Computers and phones have been destroyed and money and property were stolen by the soldiers. In the last two days soldiers have been throwing sound grenades inside and outside the houses, and shooting in the air. The ISM activists may be arrested soon, but they intend to stay as long as possible because they feel their presence improves the behavior of the soldiers, and villagers have asked them to stay. As of 12:30pm the ISM activists are locked in a room with the children of the family that they’ve been staying with while soldiers search the house. They’ve heard an unconfirmed report that 100 village men were taken into detention at the school for interrogation a few hours ago.

For more information:
Cinda, ISM activist inside the village: +972 59 741 4023
ISM Media Office, Ramallah: +972 59 760 6276

Source

Press report: Itamar culprit an Asian worker

The Voice of Palestine – March 15, 2011

NABLUS, An Asian worker is suspected of the murder of the Fogel family, a settler family from Itamar settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian press sources.

Quds Net news quoted local residents from the area that he was infuriated with an Israeli settler for not paying him his wages carried out the killing of the settler’s family in Itamar, Palestinian press sources reported.

Quds Net news agency on Monday quoted a Palestinian family from Awarta village next to the settlement as saying that Mr. Fogel refused to pay 10,000 shekels in wages which he owed an Asian worker he hired. The worker threatened to kill the settler and his family.

The worker is suspected of committing the crime after midnight Friday using a knife then fleeing the scene to nearby Palestinian villages, the report added.

It noted that the Israeli army knows of the information leading to the suspect  but refuse to announce or deal with it for political as well as security reasons.

Meanwhile, de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the murder crime in the strongest words, describing it as “despicable”.

Speaking at an interview with radio Israel on Monday, Abbas pledged to extend all necessary assistance leading to unveiling the mystery of the crime, adding that he relayed this position to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone conversation on Saturday shortly after the crime was reported.

He also invited Israel and the USA to discuss with his authority in Ramallah the curriculums being studied in Palestinian schools in the West Bank to make sure that they do not contain any “incitement”.

Abbas, however, failed to mention the Israeli settlers’ unruly behavior and the army’s collective punishment against Palestinian in Nablus villages following the crime despite the fact that no concrete evidence was found incriminating any Palestinian party in the act.

Source

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