Six years ago, the second Palestinian Intifada - or uprising - was raging in the West Bank town of Nablus. This was an era when Palestinian militants regularly battled the Israeli Defence Force in the streets. The BBC's Alan Johnston reported from Nablus in those dark, dangerous days. Now, on his first assignment back in the Middle East since he was kidnapped in Gaza, he returns to the town to find out how life has changed.

He finds a community transformed: Israeli checkpoints have been dismantled, Palestinian troops patrol their own streets, and the economy is on the up; Nablus is breathing once more. But in the absence of a more lasting Middle East peace settlement, the mood is far from optimistic, and the outlook is complicated by disturbing allegations of human rights abuses within the occupied territories emanating from the Fatah/Hamas split in Palestinian politics.

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30 minutes

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Mon 14 Dec 2009 20:30

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