Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The children here have been brutalized, but not by their own community. In a four year period since this Intifada began, nearly 400 people from Balata Refugee Camp were killed. That would equate to a rate of two per week from the community of 30,000 although the higher numbers were killed by Israeli soldiers during Israel's massive invasion of the West Bank in 2002. While the killing rate has fallen since the Sharm Al Sheikh "ceasefire", assassinations of resistance fighters and killings of civilian children by Israeli forces have continued. Israeli forces have killed five in five months from the camp. Residents do not feel the respite of the ceasefire. Israeli soldiers in jeeps, hummers and APCs enter Balata several nights a week and have arrested scores of residents.