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Two hospitalized following Awarta raid

Despite Israeli media claims that a breakthrough in the murder investigation of the Fogel family is close, the village of Awarta continues to experience collective punishment. At about 2 AM on the night of 13 April dozens of soldiers entered Awarta as they have been for the past month. Soldiers targeted two homes, which were raided using force, arrested two men and caused the hospitalization of two women.

Solider Inspecting Palestinians from Awarta. Photo: michaelramallah/Flickr

Solider Inspecting Palestinians from Awarta. Photo: michaelramallah/Flickr

Two houses were raided by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night tonight at the West Bank village of Awarta. The soldiers entered the houses violently, knocking down the doors and using concussion grenades. The two families were forced into one small room in the house belonging to Salim Awwad’s family, while soldiers searched the houses in and out. Twenty people, among them children and the elderly – the oldest 80 years of age and the youngest a mere six months old baby – were denied access to water, food, toilet and other necessities for nearly 12 hours.

During the night two of the women experienced medical problems, one of them due to advanced pregnancy. Despite having repeatedly asked for medical assistance, the women were not allowed to see a doctor. Only hours later, when the pregnant woman’s condition seriously deteriorated and when a second women lost consciousness due to dehydration, an ambulance was allowed access to the house. The two women were taken to hospital after another two hours delay.

Both the houses were ransacked and sustained substantial damages to their interior during the raid. Witnesses described one of the houses as “rendered nearly uninhabitable”. In the garden, the soldiers uprooted several olive trees claiming that they need to search beneath them.

Both Noam Sheizaf and Yossi Gurvitz have commented on this site about the punishment that Awarta has been given since the brutal murder of the Fogel family nearly a month ago. Their points address the crux of the problem of collective punishment of Palestinians in the absence of blame or responsibility for the murders and highly recommend that you read their posts. Looking at the series of events that has led to the curfew of Awarta, I am left wondering what the Israeli army is looking to achieve by placing the small village under curfew, attacking pregnant woman and incarcerating an entire village. The Israeli army, an extension of the State, seemingly never misses an opportunity to exercise collective punishment the defenceless and occupied Palestinians under Israeli control.

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    1. Waleed

      How friendly

      Reply to Comment
    2. aristeides

      It is a campaign to drive them away so the Itamarites can take what’s left of their land.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Joseph, thank you so much for your important reporting.

      This is the kind of report that I typically pass on to friends/colleagues who might be skeptical about the accuracy of such reporting.

      It would help to know if the photo was taken during the time about which the article reports, or whether it is a “file photo” meant to illustrate what it might have looked like but not an actual image from the story. I went to the Flickr account mentioned in the caption and couldn’t find the picture.

      Also, it’s not clear from your story whether you are reporting first hand or second hand. Were you there interviewing people? This should be made clear. Even if you spoke by phone and the people did not want to be identified by name, it would still be helpful to describe exactly that, for your readers to know how you got the information.

      My criticism is meant to be absolutely constructive. I want to increase the impact of your storytelling so that it will be even more effective in openong some people’s minds who don’t think the IDF could possibly behave this way.

      Reply to Comment
    4. directrob

      It seems it is known who did it and why but even Silverstein will not tell. Do gag orders also cover this site?

      Reply to Comment