The Popular Committee against the Closure of Nablus held a demonstration at Huwwara checkpoint, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on Wednesday morning to protest the curfew imposed on much of the city last week.
The General Woman’s Union and a wide coalition of groups took part in the demonstration to mark International Women’s Day, which is on March 8th.
Israeli soldiers nevertheless met the nonviolent demonstration with violence; first troops prevented the protest from reaching the checkpoint, then used rifle buts and batons to force the demonstrators to leave. A small fist fight broke out.
Dr. Ghassan Hamdan, the director of the Palestinian relief services in Nablus city and the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Closure was attacked by the soldiers and was detained for three hours and released later. In a phone call with IMEMC Dr. Hamdan said that he was the only one injured, since soldiers assaulted him while he was in their custody.
Speeches were given condemning the Israeli military offensive, code named as Hot Winters, that lasted all last week. During the offensive two civilians were killed, many injured, thousands detained and millions of dollars worth of damage to property was caused. In addition, the economic life of the city-which was already under siege- was severely disrupted.
The protest finished at around midday after it started around 10 am on Wednesday morning, Dr. Hamdan stated and concluded that this action will not be the last.