Most of the Israeli tanks had pulled out by this morning, yet soldiers remained in many houses dotted within and around the Old City. Nearly every narrow street has at least one occupied house somewhere on it. For some reason, the soldiers are trying to keep most of the houses a secret; familes held inside are not allowed to call out, the doorbell is not answered and soldiers only occasionally peep out from behind the curtain.
It's unclear whether 'curfew' was officially declared or not, yet most obeyed it nevertheless out of fear. Most shops remained shut, schools were closed and most didn't go to work. In one instance we did witness Border Police forcing girls to leave their school where they had just begin writing exams.
Also today, Regai Rayan, 17, was shot in the heart. He was a friend of Mustapha (an amazing UPMRC volunteer who I've worked with since the April invasions and a friend).
Only two tanks remained in the City, one parked just below a central graveyard. As a funeral procession made its way through the cemetery to the graveyard, the tank began pumping out enormous clouds of smoke that engulfed the entire area. Later on, a clash developed between stone-throwing Palestinian youth and and Israeli tank and a jeep. At one point, the two military vehicles specifically moved between the stone-throwers and a crowd of medical volunteers and journalists, to subject us to the bouncing stones. The Golani jeep also penned in a UPMRC ambulance so that it couldn't escape the stones. Whenever the ambulance tried to move away, the jeep followed it. When Mustapha was hit on the head by an errant rock and collapsed only ten metres from the ambulance, the jeep refused to let it approach, blocking its route until the jeep itself was blocked. Seventeen were injured today in Nablus, six with live ammunition. The Israeli Army claims that they didn't use any live bullets today. Interesting..
I still don't know whether the Haniye shot yesterday was my friend or not. I have heard that a 35-year-old man from Balata was also killed yesterday in the camp, although I haven't been back since Christmas Eve to verify this. The entire city remains bifurcated, with strict blocks at all connecting points.