Residents of Huwara reflect on a night of violence that rocked the Palestinian town | world news

I’ve been to Huwara many times, but never seen it like this. Driving is like approaching the front line of a war.

The streets, normally packed with customers and cars parked bumper to bumper, are now quiet. The stores are all closed, metal shutters down.

There are Israeli soldiers everywhere.

The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) has sent more units to the West Bank in recent days to ease the tension. As a tactic that might work, but they’re not welcome here.

The city is located on a main road between the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus. It’s surrounded by a number of Jewish settlements, so it’s often the focus of violence, but nothing like that. what happened Sunday night.

Hundreds of settlers marched on the town to protest the killing of two young Jews earlier in the day.

They were shot in their car by a Palestinian gunman. He escaped and is still being chased by the IDF.

I counted 79 burned-out car wrecks in a yard on the outskirts of town. The owner, Sultan Farouq, lives next to the courtyard – traces of black smoke cover the walls of his house.

“Look at those flash bangs and smoke grenades,” he tells me, pointing to the Hebrew writing on them.

“They were pulled towards our house by the soldiers. Why? We had children inside, and we were the ones who were attacked.”

Sultan Farouq showing the grenades thrown towards his property

CCTV footage shows masked settlers stacking wooden pallets in a doorway and setting them alight. They continue for four minutes, IDF apparently nearby, but no one stops them.

Nawal was alone inside. She is 75 years old. She tried to put out the fire by pouring water on the balcony, but tear gas was fired at her.

Because the fire knocked out the internet and electricity, her phone ran out of battery and she couldn’t call for help. She was stuck inside before her son, Firaz, came back from Dubai to get her out.

“She was left here alone for 24 hours with nothing, because without electricity, everything in the fridge was lost. She was left alone,” he told me.

“We are heading towards the third intifada. This is the last intifada,” he predicted. This Intifada, maybe we’ll stay here, or maybe Israel will stay here.”

The rampage sparked outrage around the world, but on Wednesday one of Israel’s top government ministers – Bezalel Smotrich, the far-right finance minister – said Huwara should be ‘annihilated’.

Bunkall in Palestine

Israel’s closest ally, the United States, did not mince words.

“I want to be very clear about this. Those comments were irresponsible. They were disgusting. They were disgusting,” a State Department spokesperson said.

The attacks were also criticized by many Israelis. A crowdfunding effort has been launched and has now raised over £400,000.

“99% of them (the donors) are Jewish, because the Jewish people, the majority of them are moderate, and they don’t want racism, they don’t want nationalism, they don’t want hatred “said Yaya Fink. , who launched the campaign.

“This may be one of the most successful crowdfunding projects ever in Israel, and when we finish raising the money, we will transfer it to small businesses and innocent families who have been attacked in Huwara three days ago.”


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