People of Tulkarm Camp seek new refuge

People of Tulkarm Camp seek new refuge



As the Israeli Occupation Forces – IOF- are increasing their violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – OPT-, too many incidents were recorded concerning house demolition, land confiscation, uprooting of trees, imposing curfews and other aggressive measures. Most recently a new type of humiliation was practiced by the IOF on the inhabitants of Tulkarm Camp. On April 3, 2003 the IOF imposed a curfew on the city of Tulkarm then asked the people of Tulkarm camp aged between 15 and 45 years to go out of their homes and to gather in a school located at the edge of the camp.

The Israeli act was recorded when the IOF did not allow a thousand people to come back to their homes. The operations continued till the second day and the number of the new-old Palestinian refugees reached around 2000 people. Those people were transferred to Nur shams refugee camp and others were looking for a place in the mountains and the nearby villages to sleep during the night time. There became a need for a new refugee camp for then to settle, as the IOF banned them from returning back home. Click on Map


Three days after the beginning of the operation, the people were allowed to ''visit'' their camp and to discover the disaster in their homes. The walls were drilled or destroyed and the water networks were damaged. In addition, some of the people were used as human shields by the IOF while accomplishing the military operations inside the camp.

The Israeli military commander Colonel David who supervised the military operations in the camp said that the operations are a part of a previously prepared plan that the IOF are applying in The OPT in order to arrest ''wanted activists''. (Israeli Radio, April 2nd, 2003). This answer is almost unreasonable to punish more than 2000 people from residing in their home for the fact that the IOF wants to arrest few activists. The Geneva Convention insists on the protection of civilians during the time of war, prohibition of violent acts against residents of the occupied territories and prohibition of collective punishment.

The Israeli progressive historian Dr. Ilan Pappe expressed that this act is a preparation or test for a larger plan that could be applied in the near future. As a result, part of the Palestinian Population might be displaced and transferred  to another place as the Israeli government would benefit from the actual situation in Iraq. It can be observed that more violations are committed each day against the Palestinians since the beginning of the war on Iraq.


Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem