News Release

Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem: Aid Workers Available for Interviews


An emergencies officer for Christian Aid, Dominic Nutt is currently in Bethlehem.
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Zeitoun, who is an international aid worker and a water engineer, is in the West Bank. He said today: “In almost all the cities that the Israel Defense Force has occupied, there has been severe damage to the water infrastructure through systematic targeting and sabotage. The destruction is done either by digging up the water pipes or by destroying the electrical lines to the water pumps. Most attempts to repair the infrastructure or to deliver water to the curfewed residents are blocked. Just a few hours ago, I attempted to deliver a truckload of bottled water into Nablus and I was turned away at an IDF checkpoint. Municipal workers who try to repair the damage are often either arrested or shot at by the IDF. In one case, a tank rolled over the repair truck with the municipal worker still inside the truck; in another case seven municipal workers were arrested while trying to repair the pipes. Some people had on-and-off access to running water but we estimate that 50,000 people have been continuously without access — this includes hospitals. Just yesterday in Bethlehem, the sewer lines backed up. This creates the danger of cross-contamination from the backed-up sewer lines into the damaged water pipes. This is a disaster.”

Awad is spokesperson for Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, a group coordinating investigations into the Israeli attacks on Jenin and Nablus. She said today: “The situation in the Jenin refugee camp is disastrous. It had 16,000 people in only one square kilometer, a very dense area — those people are now scattered; we saw many people who could not find their family, including a 10-year-old boy. The refugee camp was shelled for eight consecutive days. The Israeli military has confessed that they killed 120 people. We conservatively estimate 450 killed…. One thing that everyone from the refugee camp said is that they will not become refugees again. These are people who were driven out of their homes in 1948; Israeli forces destroyed their villages in what is now northern Israel — they don’t want to become ‘re-refugees.'”
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Spokesperson for OXFAM Quebec, Peter Holland said today: “Yesterday, a few people from the Jenin refugee camp were able to reach our shelter — we found that they were suffering from severe dehydration after spending 12 days under the curfew without running water. We estimate at least 40,000 people in Nablus and thousands in Jenin are in their 13th and 14th day under the curfew. Neither us nor any other agency is allowed to go in to distribute crucial supplies. This lack of access by aid agencies is unprecedented and is going to have severe, severe negative consequences. A colleague of mine, an American citizen, was allowed briefly into Jenin camp. She was not allowed to drive any supplies in, so she took in whatever little she could carry. She told me that she is now able to differentiate the smell of animal corpses from human corpses.”

Manu and Khalil are members of the International Solidarity Movement and have recently returned from Bethlehem. Khalil, while in a peaceful protest, was hit by shrapnel when the Israeli military fired on them.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167