Palestinians break curfew in Nablus under noses of Israeli soldiers

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Thousands of Palestinians poured onto the streets of Nablus on Monday in defiance of a 40-day-old Israeli army curfew, the strongest challenge yet to the Israeli army restrictions on West Bank cities and towns.

If Nablus residents effectively lift the around-the-clock curfew on their own, such actions could spread to other West Bank cities. Nablus Gov. Mahmoud Aloul, who had urged his people to defy the curfew, said Palestinians should follow the Nablus model.

"People who can’t find food and need medicine and treatment should break the doors of their jail," Aloul said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Early Tuesday, a Palestinian entered a house in the Jewish settlement of Itamar near Nablus and stabbed a settler and his wife, seriously wounding them, rescue officials and Israel Radio said, adding security guards at the settlement killed the infiltrator.

Shops, banks and offices opened to accommodate the curfew breakers, who filled the streets of Nablus. "I’ve been confined to my home for more than a month. I have eight children, we’ve eaten all we have," said Tamer Adnan, working at his felafel stand. "I’m just fighting to get food for my kids."”