As Israeli occupation forces finally began to recede from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, in the northern West Bank, after an all-out assault on the camp that has lasted for four straight days, the carnage and wreckage in the streets, homes and schools were a testament to the violence of the invasion.At least two children were killed by Israeli forces during the assault, and dozens more injured. And a girls’ school, used as a base by the soldiers for the last four days, was covered in filth, with obscene, racist and sexist graffiti written all over its walls, and its computer lab of thirty computers completely destroyed.
Israeli military sources justified the four-day invasion by saying it was made in order to kill an Islamic Jihad resistance leader. The leader, 28 year old Ahmed Abu Sharkh, was killed early Monday morning by Israeli forces in Nablus.
On Monday morning at around 10:00, Israeli forces injured three boys Balata Refugee Camp. All of them were just 16 years old. Israeli soldiers shot them in their chests. The most critically injured was one Osama Ghazi Al Banna with a live bullet in his chest. They were throwing stones at the invading military vehicles. At the same time, Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians in the camp.
On Monday, 20 February, Israeli forces expanded their operations in the region, also hitting Nablus City. More than 40 military vehicles invaded the city while Apache helicopters circled overhead. The city was devastated within a single hour and 15 minutes at dawn on Monday. Israeli forces besieged the Sheikh Musallam District in the southeastern area of the city near the major Mosque.
The next morning the children of the refugee camp had had enough and began throwing stones at the Israeli military vehicles, while Israeli soldiers shot at them from the rooftops of homes the soldiers had occupied.
Israeli forces had wounded at least 31 Palestinians by Tuesday, and blocked ambulances from reaching the injured. Among the injured was a medical relief worker, Anan Al Aterah, 44, who was shot in the head while trying to rescue the wounded.
The Israeli occupation forces also shot two other Palestinians in the head, including 16 year old child Mohammad Habesh. Israeli soldiers injured 35 year old Mohammad Zaaryn in the leg as a gas bomb exploded next to him. Israeli forces then arrested 31 year old Salih Mousa Abu ‘Alef, who also suffered a leg injury.
Israeli snipers shot both 17 year old Ahmed Issa and 17 year old Mohammad Al Nator in their necks, immediately killing the boys. Eyewitnesses reported that they had not participated in any stone-throwing or anything during the invasion of the camp.