Since the latest incursion in Balata refugee camp started on 1:00 am February 18, medical emergency work has been made impossible by the Israeli military. At this moment all entrances to Balata refugee camp are blocked.
There is only one ambulance left inside the camp. It will bring wounded only to the edge of the camp, out of fear of not being allowed back in. Wounded individuals are carried on stretchers to the entrance of the camp and transported to Nablus hospitals. Normal ambulance traffic has come to a complete halt.
International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS) volunteers are working with ambulance personnel to transport wounded to an emergency field clinic inside the camp and to hospitals in Nablus and other cities. They witnessed all following incidents or heard of them from ambulance personnel of the United Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UMPRC) and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
One man, shot in the neck which resulted in a life-threatening tear in his vein, was arrested from an ambulance and was taken to Huwarra detention center for questioning. Afterwards a Palestinian ambulance was called to bring him to the hospital in Nablus, where he underwent two operations. He is still in unstable condition.
In the morning an ambulance carrying an injured person and a woman in complicated labor was ambushed by two jeeps. The jeeps drove into the ambulance from both sides and shot at it. The soldiers forced the ambulance to stand still for half an hour to use it as a shield against youth throwing stones at them.
Around 1:00 pm two ambulances were held up by several jeeps. According to the ambulance team they were detained for already 30 minutes and someone with a bullet wound in the shoulder was beaten inside one of the ambulances. The soldiers forced the ambulance personnel to undress his wound, which had just stopped bleeding. The ambulance was held until the family, with the help of the ambulance team and the IWPS volunteers, brought his ID card. After his ID was checked, the ambulance continued its way, only to be stopped by the next jeep on the road.
Around 1:30 pm the IWPS volunteers arrived inside Balata refugee camp on foot, where they witnessed the shooting of two boys shot in the leg and the side. One of them had a flesh wound and the other’s bone was crushed by a bullet. A medical team and the IWPS volunteers ran two kilometers with the two injured boys, because the ambulance that was carrying them was not allowed to move.
Around 2:15 pm, the volunteers were called to the site where Mohammed Ahmad Natur and Ibrahim Ahmad Sheikh Khalil had been shot two or three minutes earlier. One had been shot in the neck and the other in the chest. They were later declared dead. According to the IOF the boys were planting bombs. The volunteers have witnessed no explosions or bomb squads in the area and the army has continued to use the road in question throughout the day.
At 4:20 pm, four soldiers in Vehicle #611388 tried to provoke young Palestinians by cursing their parents in Arabic and telling them they would all be martyrs by the end of the day. As of now, the volunteers have witnessed no armed resistance, only youth throwing stones and building barricades.
Later, the IOF did not allow an ambulance transporting a boy with a rubber bullet in his head to move. They were forced to carry the boy on foot.