Habla, Huwwara, Jit Junction
Habla, Jit Junction, Huwwara,
09:40 Departure from Rosh Ha'Ayin train station.The Hebrew classes have not resumed since Ramadan, so we went on a tour instead. Two things strike the eye throughout: A hightened presence of the IDF, and a near total absence of the settlers, who usually crowd the junctions and bus stops.
10:00 Habla We converse with A, an astute political observer. He is under no illusions, and says the West Bank is smoldering under the surface, and without a solution, will erupt. So the next Intifada is inevitable. People want revenge.
10:50 We drive through Eliyahu Crossing to Nabi Elias. The shops are open, many people in the streets, vehicles load and unload merchandise. At the village exit on route 55 there is hightened military presence. Two armor-protected vehicles are heading towads ‘Azzun. Jit Junction is empty, but at the entrance to Havat Gilead another military vehicle is driving very slowly on the road margin. Another means of protection for the settlers there. The pillbox at the entrance to Nablus is marked by soot -- a souvenir from the demonstration during which tires were burnt. Soldiers signal us to get lost. The hitchhikers station is empty. Not far away, 2 soldiers detain a Palestinian car for checking. Several military vehicles approach from Huwwara.
11:15 Huwwara. Hightened military presence here, too. The sooty road which had been closed for traffic in response to the demonstration that took place here after 2 locals were killed at Huwwara CP, is now open.
In the town center we run into M., with whom we have often spoken. He sounds excited and enraged as never before, about the awful devastation and killings in Gaza. He says the Gazean people will never surrender. They will live in tents on the ruins of their homes, and when they catch their breath, they will rebuild. "They are like us. None of them will move away!".
Why is nothing heard about the West Bank demonstrations in solidarity with the suffering in Gaza during the war? He says such demonstrations take place. They are mostly in the town centers: Nablus, Ramalla, Qalqiliya, and under full control of the Palestinian Authority; Since the Palestinian Authority is not interested in a third Intifada, it prevents the demonstrations from reaching the CP. The aid to Gaza takes the form of contributions of money, clothing, and food products, in the hope this will be transferred to Gaza.
And what next? M believes Abu Mazen is strengthened by the war, and is coordinated with Hammas. Israel holds the key: It is up to Israel whether there will be another Intifada.
We hear from M that the relative quiet has been violated: 35 people were detained in the West Bank the previous evening.
12:30 We leave Huwwara. At the entrance to Beita there is a military jeep, and on the other side of the road, 2 armored vehicles.