Question of Palestine home
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
21 September 2007
At approximately 03:00 on 18 September, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Border Police entered ‘Ein Beit el Ma (No.1) Refugee Camp west of Nablus city. The entire camp population of approximately 6,900 people was placed under complete curfew for three days. The IDF entered the camp with the stated aim of disarming militant cells in the camp. After initial clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian militants inside the camp, the IDF began house-to-house search and arrest campaigns.
Over the course of the three days, two Palestinian fatalities and 25 injuries were reported, including two children and one woman. In addition, one IDF soldier was killed and five were injured.
This operation is the longest in a series of IDF military operations in Camp No. 1 in the last two months. During the month of August, the IDF conducted five small-scale military operations in the camp, resulting in one Palestinian fatality, five Palestinian injuries and three IDF injuries. Between 10-11 September, two operations were conducted in the camp, resulting in two Palestinian injuries.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS
: Exchanges of fire in the morning resulted in the death of one 17 year old Palestinian boy and one Israeli soldier, along with one IDF injury. Seven Palestinians were injured by rubber coated metal bullets when clashes erupted between the IDF and Palestinian stone throwers. Four IDF soldiers were injured by a tear gas canister that exploded prematurely inside their armoured vehicle. Dozens of Palestinian worshippers were held inside a mosque near the camp from 03:00-13:00.
: A 38 year old Palestinian man was killed by IDF live ammunition while at home.
: A Palestinian journalist was injured by a sound grenade while reporting from the camp. Forty five Palestinians were reportedly arrested by the IDF in the three days of the operation.
The UNRWA health clinic within the camp was closed throughout the operation. PRCS and UPMRC ambulances were allowed to enter the camp after coordination with the IDF though only for emergency cases. Coordination to allow the UNRWA mobile clinic passage into the camp failed until the afternoon of 20 September when they were allowed to go to one neighbourhood only, for a short period of time.
The water, electricity and sewage networks inside the camp were damaged during the incursion. Maintenance teams of the Nablus municipality were prevented to reach the camp between 18-19 September. Their entry was approved on 20 September, allowing them to fix the electricity network and part of the water network.
Shortages of water, bread, milk and vegetables were reported by 19 September. On 20 September, 6 tons of food (including vegetables and canned food) and water were distributed by the Office of the Governor of Nablus and PRCS teams. IDF soldiers searched the vehicles and food parcels before allowing distribution.
Throughout the operation, the IDF closed four roads leading to the camp including the main road connecting Nablus city to Beit Iba checkpoint. All traffic to and from Nablus city was diverted to side roads.