Elsewhere in the Middle East

While focusing on the war in Iraq, it’s important not to lose sight of events taking place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestine Monitor reports that limited resources and humanitarian aid make the population especially vulnerable during the war. "[W]hile Israel is ensuring that its own citizens are provided with gas masks and other equipment in the event of an attack on the region, no such provisions have been made for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories — in contravention of Israel’s clear obligations under the Geneva Conventions [Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War]."

There are also reports from the PM (not yet on the website but sent to me by a colleague in the area) that as of Friday, March 21, "Israeli soldiers…invaded the Old City of Nablus and are currently holding several men, women and children hostage. The Israeli army has also destroyed several houses in the area. In another development, an Israeli soldier shot a US activist and member of GIPP (Grassroots International Protection for Palestinians) in Nablus — the second Israeli attack against a US citizen this week. Eric Hawanith, 21, from Chicago, was shot in the chest and leg by three rubber-coated steel bullets."

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