Huwwara, Jurish, Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Observers: 
Hadas C., Dvorka A. (reporting), Nadim (driving), Translator: Charles K.
Nov-3-2014
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Afternoon

 

Za’tara/Tapuach junction, Huwwara, Jurish

 

Molotov cocktails and curfew in Huwwara

Dozens of soldiers and military vehicles at Za’tara junction and throughout the area

An invitation to the Jurish women’s club

 

14:50  Za’tara junction.  A number of jeeps and Border Police units were parked at the junction as we drove east, the soldiers wearing helmets with plastic visors (perhaps for dispersing demonstrations).

When we returned at 17:00 approximately ten military jeeps and command cars stood in the plaza;  in and around the parking lot, dozens of armed soldiers stood beside them.

 

15:15  Huwwara.  On the way we saw two military jeeps on the road to Beita and two soldiers at every hitchhiking station near the abandoned checkpoint.  A number of heavily armed soldiers came toward us as we approached, their weapons at their chests.

One approached us who wanted to know what we’re doing.  We explained and he relaxed.  He said he thought we wanted to drive to Nablus.  We asked why there were so many soldiers at Za’tara; he replied, hesitantly, that there’s an exercise.  Then he asked whether we notified the soldiers at Huwwara who provides security for us.  We said we hadn’t notified them because they provide security for the settlers, who endanger us and him and his colleagues.  He smiled a broad smile which combined amazement and disagreement, but was very polite and said he loves them and also us…

 

15:30  We returned to the town to meet M. and hear about the past few days’ events about which Petahya and Nadim had told us.  It turned out we’d arrived about two hours after the end of the curfew the army had imposed on the town yesterday.

It all began when two Molotov cocktails were thrown toward a bus driving on the road past the stores.  The soldiers immediately arrested Palestinians who were there, witnesses, and interrogated them to identify the culprits.  M. said they told the army that the culprit was apparently a collaborator, because had he wanted to hit it he’d have thrown them at the bus itself.

 

The curfew was imposed toward evening, until Monday afternoon.  People coming from outside didn’t know about it (sound familiar?), were stopped and made to stand against the wall for a long time, until evening.

M. complained that businesses were closed for a few hours yesterday and today, and merchants who’d been ready for business like every day lost thousands of shekels.

The army closed the road from  Y8izhar settlement (toward Tulkarm and Jit junction) to Palestinians who were on their way from Huwwara to worship at Al Aqsa, afraid the settlers would riot.

He also said the Palestinian attacker had spent ten years in an Israeli prison, nine of them in solitary, and said he wasn’t afraid to die.

While we sat in his shop, military vehicles passed on the road in both directions.

Later on our journey we saw many more military vehicles than usual in the direction of Za’tara and on the hills along the road to the Jordan Valley.

 

16:00  Jurish

We’d made an appointment to meet A., the coordinator, and her colleague at the women’s center to plan the continuation of activities after a 3-week break because the 17-year-olds had exams.  We arranged that next week we’ll resume English and yoga classes.

 

The coordinators also asked us to resume teaching English to adults.

They explained they’d stopped the classes we’d begun during the summer because they’d had to work more than usual in order to cover the debt for renting the building which houses the kindergartens they operate in the center of the village, more than NIS 26,000.  That’s apparently in addition to the nutrition project for pupils.

 

We asked whether they’d like to meet a group of Machsom Watch members – they said they’d be happy to do so.

They’ll be glad to report on their activities, particularly about the kindergartens and the nutrition project, and suggested that after the meeting we go to see, and perhaps buy, the handicrafts village women create to sell.

At their request we arranged to meet in the morning, immediately after the women distribute the food they’ve prepared in the morning to the schools.

The date of the visit to the village’s women’ s club:  Tuesday, 25.11.14, 11 AM.  Members of Machsom Watch are invited.

 

17:00  Back to Kafr Qassem.