Amid Israeli attack, tales of abuse
As Israel pulled out of some West Bank towns Thursday, Jenin, a center of Palestinian militancy, remained closed.
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That city, the cultural and economic hub of the West Bank, has been occupied by Israel soldiers since March 29. Israeli forces control most of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Ramallah headquarters.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Keating said UN and other humanitarian organizations were hearing reports of "a very traumatized population" in the Jenin refugee camp. That term aptly describes Ms. Nijmi, who fled the camp Wednesday afternoon and came to stay in Burqin.
Nijmi said the Palestinian cause had suffered another 200 "martyrs" in the camp. Israel estimates the Palestinian death toll at about 100.
In Israel's reckoning, the Palestinian dead are terrorists who have been killed resisting the advance of Israeli troops. Nijmi couldn't account for the 200, but said she and other bystanders witnessed Israeli troops executing five unarmed young men on Wednesday morning.
The young men had hidden in their homes rather than obey the orders of Israeli soldiers that men and boys come out for questioning. When the men were eventually discovered, the punishment for disobedience was death. She said the Israeli soldiers dragged the bodies away.
Nijmi also said the Israeli soldiers had buried 13 bodies at a hospital, five at a mosque, and 15 to 20 bodies in mass graves dug by bulldozers. She said she had heard nothing from her husband and teenage son since they were taken away by Israeli soldiers on April 3.
In the village of Rummane, men from the Jenin camp who have been detained and released by Israeli forces have made the local mosque their home. Amjad Khazem, a television repairman, holds up his arms as evidence of his experience.
Both wrists are encircled with welts and wounds, which Mr. Khazem says were caused by the plastic manacles Israeli soldiers used to bind his hands. Other ex-detainees cluster around to tell reporters about Israeli soldiers battering their way through houses, breaking furniture for no discernable reason, and using civilians as human shields.
Detained on April 5, soldiers manacled Khazem, stripped him to his underwear, and blindfolded him, he says. During repeated interrogations, Israeli investigators demanded to know whether he belonged to Hamas, which has been responsible for dozens of attacks against Israelis. Khazem says he is not a Hamas member, and repeatedly told the Israelis as much.
Moved from house to house, often kept on buses for hours at a time, Khazen says there was no food, no water, and no opportunity for him and his fellow detainees to relieve themselves. Denied access to a toilet, he said, he had no choice but to urinate on himself.
In one house, Khazem said he pulled down his blindfold and saw an Israeli soldier stub a cigarette out on the skin of a detainee who had ignored an order not to smoke.
After releasing Khazem on Tuesday, Israeli soldiers left him at a crossroads outside Jenin, shoeless and still wearing only underwear. For the first and only time in four days, they cut off the manacles.