- NABLUS (West Bank) - An eight-year-old
Palestinian child was shot dead yesterday when Israeli troops in a jeep
opened fire on a crowd of stone-throwing youths in the northern West Bank
town of Nablus, which is under army occupation and curfew, Palestinian
- Jihad Faqih was standing in the street when he was fatally
shot in the chest as the army fired at a crowd of youths in the centre
of the city where clashes erupt almost daily between army patrols enforcing
the curfew and defiant Palestinian youngsters.
- His death raises the toll for the two-year-old intifada
to 2,716 people, including 1,994 Palestinians and 672 Israelis.
- Eight other Palestinians were wounded, two of them seriously,
in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the city, Palestinian security sources
- A 39-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man were seriously
injured by Israeli tankfire as teenagers and children threw stones at armoured
vehicles, the sources said, adding that no Palestinian fighters were involved.
- Meanwhile, three Israeli soldiers forced a Palestinian
man to strip naked at gunpoint and walk like a dog in a West Bank city
under curfew, Palestinian witnesses said yesterday.
- A Reuters photographer snapped Yasser Sharaf, 25, standing
naked in a cold, muddy street in Nablus on Sunday as two men were handing
him clothes to put on and two Israeli armoured vehicles were pulling away
from the scene.
- Sharaf declined to comment yesterday about the incident.
- Israeli military sources denied that Sharaf was forced
to strip, saying checks with soldiers involved determined that he had been
ordered only to raise his shirt to show whether he was carrying explosives.
- "When he saw members of the media in the area, he
decided to undress completely," a military source said.
- Witnesses including two Palestinian firemen said Israeli
soldiers stopped Sharaf after spotting him walking in a street in violation
of curfew and, "pointing their rifles at him, ordered him to start
- "Yasser told them he had nothing to hide but they
continued shouting and readied their rifles to shoot," fireman Samir
El Lifdawi said by telephone from Nablus.
- "They forced Yasser to take off all his clothes
including his underwear...They ordered him to walk like a dog and then
he burst into tears," Lifdawi said.
- He said he watched the incident unfold from a fire station
a few metres away. A colleague, Sultan Al Minawi, provided the same account.
- "He kept crying and was in a very stressful situation...
"Many residents, including women, watched him and he was very embarrassed,"
- Palestinian civilians have often complained of being
humiliated and abused by Israeli troops who have reoccupied Palestinian-administered
West Bank cities to combat an uprising for statehood spearheaded by armed
fighters. The army says strict controls on Palestinian residents are necessary
because militants hide among the population and wear civilian clothing
when they carry out martyrdom attacks.
- Scenes of Palestinians rolling up their shirts to prove
they are not hiding bomb belts have become frequent since the Israeli Army
swept into West Bank cities in June after a spate of attacks which have
killed scores of Israeli civilians.
- Sunday's incident in Nablus would be the first time a
Palestinian was reported to have been ordered to strip naked in a security
operation. Palestinian civilians have complained of being ordered to strip
to their underwear at roadblocks.
- From Zundelsite
This report from Nablus brings back memories - the headline says it all.
> At the end of World War II, German civilians as well as authorities
collected thousands of reports about unbelievable torture and >humiliations
inflicted on German prisoners and even conquered civilians. I pull a German-language
book from my shelf, titled "Alliierte Kriegsverbrechen" (Allied
War Crimes) that document such cases. It is not easy reading.
- I am leafing through it at random, and I find such physical
and psychological tortures as German of highest rank having to kick and
slap each other, having to bark like dogs, having to crawl on their bellies
while pushing heavy rocks with their noses. "Chariot races" were
sometimes staged where soldiers had to race each other on all fours across
broken glass while carrying a comrade on their backs. Others were made
to stand in latrines up to their necks etc. Even amputees were subjected
to these cruelties.
- Many but not all of these torturers were Jews.
- What happens now to the Palestinians is more of what
happened many > times before out of talmudic vengeance. The world ought
to take notice.