The Reoccupation of Parts in the West Bank

The Reoccupation of Parts in the West Bank



While the whole world is busy with America's strike on terror, Palestinians in the West Bank have been experiencing all sorts of terror imposed and inflicted by the Israeli military authorities. Both the current international situation and lethargy towards the conflict in the Middle East gave Sharon the golden opportunity to implement his plan of annihilating any chance for peace.
 Two weeks after president Arafat declared ceasefire on October 10th, Israel invaded area A (according to Oslo agreements, this area is under Palestinian jurisdiction) in the West Bank with its heavily equipped tanks and missiles, instilling fear on Palestinian residents and destroying both civilian homes and basic infrastructure, besides causing losses of many lives.
Before Israel's incursion in area A in many cities, villages and refugee camps of the West Bank, Israel proceeded with its assassination policies, despite Arafat's ceasefire and intentions to stop the violence. Assassinations of two Hamas members took place within 26 hours in Nablus and Qalqilya, one on October 14th and the other on October 15th.
On October 17th, the Israeli minister of tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, was killed while staying at the Hyatt Regency in Jerusalem. Sharon was waiting for such an excuse to reoccupy Palestinian autonomous areas and destroy all resources needed for a future Palestinian state. 
In the morning of October 18th, Israeli tanks approached the Ersal area in Ramallah to get deeper into the city (See Photo1).

Photo 1: Israeli tanks approached the Ersal area in Ramallah

Gradually, Israeli tanks coming from the northern entrance of Ramallah, along with Israeli military jeeps, surrounded and occupied Best Eastern Hotel, to overlook the whole city (See Photo 2).

Photo 2:Israeli tanks coming from the northern entrance of Ramallah.


Other tanks rolled from the eastern entrance of Ramallah to get to the middle of Ersal area in Ramallah. (See Photo 3).

Photo 3:Other tanks rolling from the eastern entrance of Ramallah.


Israeli tanks squeezed in narrow streets surrounded with residence complexes and occupied other buildings to shoot from (See Photo 4 & Photo 5). On the same day, Jenin was also reoccupied by invading its western and southern entrances, where the Israeli tanks rolled up to hilly areas overlooking the whole city. A 10-year old school girl in her school costume was killed in the midst of Israeli indiscriminate shelling.

Photo 4: Israeli tanks squeezed in narrow streets  surrounded with residence complexes.   

Photo 5: Israeli tanks occupy buildings to shoot from.


In the evening of October 18th, three Palestinian political activists were murdered by an explosion in their car, caused by an Israeli ploy. Israel's assassination policies reflect Israel's disinterest in achieving quiet in the area. Such Israeli provocations triggered Palestinian military groups known as ''Tanzeem'' to retaliate with shooting at the Gilo settlement near Beit Jala. 

By Thursday midnight, Israeli military troops invaded area A in Bethlehem district with their tanks and heavy artilleries and settled in strategic locations to overlook the city. For example, Israeli military soldiers have occupied Paradise Hotel in Bethlehem, located near Al-Aza refugee camp as it overlooks the whole city. Israeli tanks were parked in the hotel's parking lot to shoot from, (See Photo 6). The hotel fell under a cross fire and was partially destroyed and burnt, (See Photo 7).

Photo 6: Israeli tanks were parking in the hotelâ??s parking lot to shoot from.  

 Photo 7: The occupied Paradise Hotel in Bethlehem Governorate by Israeli Forces


Rolling from the northern entrance to the city (from Rachel's tomb), Israeli tanks reached Al-Aza and Ayda refugee camps as well as Al-Husein Governmental Hospital at Bab Al-Zukak junction. The figures below show Israeli tanks rolling in the street leading to Ayda refugee camp while people pass by (See Photo 8 & Photo 9).

Photo 8: Israeli tanks reached Al-Aza refugee camp  

Photo 9: Israeli tanks heading to Ayda refugee camp


Israeli tanks reached Al-Madbasa area in Bethlehem and destroyed many stores in a building found at Al-Cinema Square in the vicinity (See Photo10).

Photo 10: Israeli tanks destroyed many stores in a building found at Al-Cinema Square


Hospitals such as the Holy Family Hospital (French hospital), Al-Hussein Governmental Hospital in Beit Jala, and the Holy Land Christian Mission hospital were also targeted with Israeli shells and bullets, where the Israeli aircraft bombarded the premature baby's section of the Holy Family Hospital. Targeting hospitals has also impeded the injured from being treated in time.  Moreover, Bethlehem University was subjected to Israeli shells ruining parts of its buildings. Cars parked in the street were also smashed and crushed by Israeli tanks (See Photo11).

Photo 11: A car crushed by Israeli tanks


Holy places in Bethlehem were not safe from Israeli attacks, where a 19-year-old young boy was shot in the Manger Square, after leaving the mass at the Nativity Church. Israel is obviously targeting all civilian houses, commercial centers and infrastructure to further deteriorate the already dire economy and render Palestinians helpless. For example, electricity, water pipes, roads and traffic lights were all deliberately obliterated. In addition to destroying Palestinian properties, many civilians were mercilessly shot, including children, mothers and fathers.

Qalqilya and Tulkarm were also invaded by well-armed Israeli forces killing and destroying on October 20th. Tulkarem was invaded by Israeli troops approaching the city from the southern and western entrances up to the city center.  During the last 24 hours, five people were murdered by Israeli soldiers in Tulkarem. As for Qalqilya, the Israeli military troops invaded the city and occupied the northern and southern entrance areas of the city.
Thus, the Palestinian governorates in the West Bank (area A and B) are currently divided under two categories: the reoccupied areas and areas under Israeli military siege. (See map)


Due to Israeli occupying policies, Palestinians in almost all the West Bank are living with no security nor shelter and with little food. Palestinians living in reoccupied parts of area A are living under curfew conditions. Furthermore, schools, transportation systems, health services and other public services found in the reoccupied areas are totally non-functional. Palestinians continue to live under such Israeli brutality hoping that Israel leaves their territories and stops the violence.  



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Israeli Violations