“Can you smell the death?”, asked Abdullah as we passed by the apartment on the first floor. My first reaction was slight fear that you can have in moments when your brain hasn’t quite grasped what is going on but is concerned that it could be bad. It was dark as the lights were not working in the stairwell of these so-called student dorms, and we continued to the second floor, apartment 203.
We’d just come to stay with Ammar as the room in Abdullah’s house was just to hot due to the combination of weather and the sesame seed roasting business downstairs below Abdullah’s family’s house.
“We’ll go and take a look tomorrow, you can take some pictures”.
So this was the location of the most recent IDF assassination in Nablus which I’d heard about a few weeks ago (‘2 militants killed in Nablus’) and it turns out I am watching TV, sleeping, dreaming, waking up, brushing my teeth, sitting on the toilet in the apartment above it.
Details are vague but it goes something like this. The guy in apartment 101 was a member of a threatening organization. He is high enough up in the organization, perhaps the top, to be on a hit list. An operation was then mounted by a unit of the Israeli army to liquidate him and the evidence of this was plain to see in the apartment below.
Although how it actually happened is anyone’s guess: there is the 1m diameter hole in the external wall made to avoid doors and thus booby traps; the strange blast lines on a wall from a grenade or small bomb which is used to stun or kill humans (and bend ceiling fan blades) through the powerful pressure wave created on explosion; and then the follow up gun shots evidenced by the numerous holes in the bathroom and bedroom walls. Probably about 30 seconds work all in all.
Equally guessable was the fate of the second assasinee. According to Abdullah he was a regular, non-political student, much like Ammar, living in his own apartment but which shared the same front door as the first. He must have woken up to see what on earth was going on as his door was kicked in. His body was found in the doorway of his bedroom, shot in the chest, blood spattered up the wall. Ammar casually showed me a dark and blurry picture of his body taken on his mobile phone camera.