Huwwara, Wed 14.4.10, Afternoon
We had heard on the news during the morning that settlers had painted graffitti, including a Star of David (Magen David) on a wall of a mosque in Huwarra during the night. If this was a news-worthy item then we obviously had to investigate it and to report on it.
As we drove with Nadim through Huwarra we looked carefully at the older mosque in the center of the town. We saw signs of writing on the lower wall along the street that had been rubbed over; but these were all old graffitti. We thought it might be on the newer, larger mosque on the main street. Nadim stopped to ask someone about the graffitti made by the settlers that night. He was directed to a very new mosque in the neighborhood known as Cuza.
Cuza is a lovely area, higher up than the main part of Huwarra. We came to a beautiful small mosque in among the houses and olive trees in Cuza. Nadim knew that it had been built about two years ago. There were broad steps up to the porch for washing before entering the prayer house. There on the stone wall of the prayer house where everyone entering could see in black spray paint was a very large "magen david" and next to it the letters "MOHAME " in Hebrew. (The final D had been rubbed out, and a rag was lying on the floor).
A young man from the nearest house came out to see who we were and told us that his mother had heard and seen a car moving slowly during the night, but she didn't go out. The very first persons who came to pray early in the morning found the vandalism left by the settlers. They were very angry and distraught, and notified the head of the town council. This is how the story spread. At 9:00 in the morning 4 or 5 military and police cars drove up to the mosque. The police asked questions of the neighbors. All agreed that this was an attempt at religious provocation. We asked him about the possibility of rubbing it out. He said someone had tried but it was too difficult on the stone wall. (I think they would need to sand brush it off.(
The head of the town council, Samer Mil'eb Odi Abu Mir'eh, was no longer in his office at 15:15, so we contacted him by phone. He, of course, deplores the defacing of the mosque, and wants to see a time when actions like this against the Palestinians will stop. "We should be living in peace," he said.In the center of Huwarra life goes on as usual. Unfortunately, vandalism such as what was done to the mosque is too common in the Palestinian territories, The people of Huwarra are carrying on with their lives.