Huwwara, Kifl Harith, Za'tara (Tapuah)
Summary: Roadblocks at junctions to Za’tara, Huwwara and Awarta. The Palestinians are forced to take side roads and travel through the villages to reach their destination.
M., a Yesh Din fieldworker from Burin, recommends coordinating by phone with the head of the village before meeting additional individuals there. Our presence in the village without his knowledge might be of concern to him, as someone appointed by the Palestinian Authority and responsible for what goes on in the village.
Kifl Harith – meeting with A., a resident of Haris, a social activist and a member of ISM
A. is an “IDF disabled person.” He was shot in his village by soldiers in 2001. He went out to the street to get his children, so they wouldn’t be injured, and was himself wounded in the leg. Since then he’s been in a wheelchair.
He told us he’s in contact with mothers of jailed children, whose situation is particularly worrying because of the conditions in jail and the character of their cellmates. He says there are about 200 young people imprisoned, some 12 years old. Most are from the Jerusalem and Hebron area. The soldiers inspect their pockets and bags and then arrest them when they find knives.
He described the difficulties with transportation in the area from Za’tara junction to Huwwara checkpoint. Two months ago new traffic arrangements were instituted, overseen by the army and the police. At different times of the day, often from 07:30 to 22:00, the main roads are blocked to Palestinians while settlers can travel on them freely. Many drivers aren’t aware of this, arrive at Za’tara junction and are told to turn back. They must go through the villages of Jama’in and Einabus. It’s a very long detour on a narrow, poor road. At first there were roadworks, but they’re almost completed and there’s no more congestion. Someone who wants to travel from Nablus toward Huwwara will also discover the road is blocked. A yellow bar blocks the lane from Nablus in the direction of Huwwara. They must take alternate routes, which waste time and gasoline. To reach Nablus the Palestinians must drive through Wadi Qana to Sara and then on winding roads to their destinations. The situation is similar at Awarta. The main road is inaccessible. A long detour through the villages is necessary to exit from Beita.
He told us the holy tomb in Kifl Harith is visited a few times a year by settlers and organized Jewish tour groups from abroad. Large military forces are brought, ostensibly to provide security, but a closure is imposed 12 hours in advance on three villages: Kifl Harith, Haris and Qira. The military presence doesn’t prevent settlers from rioting and vandalizing cars and homes.
Huwwara: A meeting with M., a resident of Burin, a Yesh Din fieldworker
M., like A., reported problems because of roadblocks in the Za’tara-Huwwara-Nablus region.
We consulted with M. regarding the most appropriate and effective way for us to work in the village after we had difficulty contacting and coordinating a formal meeting with the head of Burin village.
To our question, “Is it all right to arrive without advance notice?” he answered a definite “No!”
He recommended we insist on making arrangements by phone and start with the head of the village. Our presence without his knowledge may be a matter of concern to him in his capacity as the appointee of the Palestinian Authority and responsible for what goes on in the village.
Roadblock at Za’tara junction:
Map of the route from Za’tara junction to Huwwara, via Jama’in: