creative modes of resistance

I thought it might be useful to post a couple of maps here for those who are unfamiliar with where I am. The first map is of the West Bank. It shows the Apartheid Wall’s route, very clearly delineated solid line, as opposed to the dotted line, which is the Green Line or the pre-1949 armistice border. You can see Nablus located in the northern section. There are more maps from Passia for those who wish to see historical and current maps of Palestine.

The illegal Israeli settlement that I have been writing about of late is Yizhar or Yizhar. You can see it is about 10 minutes from the city center of Nablus. The entire area on this map is considered the district of Nalbus. The Huwara checkpoint is located a bit to the south of Yizhar.

This morning when I went to my first class at 8 am I found a much smaller class than usual. I learned immediately that Huwwara checkpoint had been closed, but the details were still sketchy. The students who were in class were the lucky ones who were able to cross before it was closed. After class, I learned why.

Following a second acid attack on Israeli soldiers at Huwwarah checkpoint south of Nablus, three Palestinians including one woman sustained bullet wounds from Israeli fire, and a soldier was lightly injured by the acid, along with a man standing nearby.

Sources say a woman, later identified as 19-year-old Sanabil Break, a student at An-Najah University in Nablus, splashed acid on Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint. Palestinian Red Crescent workers confirmed that soldiers responded by shooting one woman in her right leg, and two men nearby were shot one in the lower back and one in the leg. All three were evacuated to the Rafedia Hospital in Nablus

Sanabil’s father, owner of a local TV station was shocked at the news, and told Ma’an, “She left home as usual at 7am on her way to An-Najah University, and I am still surprised to hear what she did.”

She is a good student, he added, “she got a high average of 98.5in the general secondary exam [before starting university.]” Sanabil is the eldest daughter in the Break family.

According to Israeli media sources the army is saying Sanabil was responsible for the incident where acid was thrown on a soldier at the same checkpoint 12 days ago. During that incident a Palestinian woman poured acid on an Israeli soldier, and escaped into the crowd undetected.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an’s reporter that Israeli soldiers closed the checkpoint in both directions after they detained a 25-year-old woman who wore a long Islamic gown and head scarf.

New, creative forms of resistance are being cultivated here out of necessity. Some may wonder why such resistance is necessary. Here is one such answer, also in relation to Nablus:

Over the past year, settlers from Yitzhar and the surrounding area have sharply stepped up violent acts in nearby Palestinian villages. The attacks include throwing stones at passing cars, physically attacking farmers, burning down crops, and stealing livestock. On 14 Sept., after a Palestinian stabbed a Jewish boy and burnt down a caravan in the Shalhevet Yam settlement near Yitzhar, dozens of settlers raided the village of Asira al-Qibliya. They threw stones, fired into the air, broke windows, drew Stars of David on walls of homes and widely damaged property. Testimonies given to B’Tselem indicate that soldiers were present at the time, yet did nothing to prevent the settlers’ actions, and fired at the Palestinians.

The attack above on the village of Asira in Nablus is not unusual. It just happened to be partially caught on tape. Indeed, it is not only a usual occurrence, it is one that is increasing in frequency:

In August, “37 people were injured as a result of attacks carried out by Israeli settlers, the largest number recorded since January 2005”, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories said.

“The lack of adequate law enforcement by the Israeli authorities seems to be a key factor contributing to the persistence of the settler violence phenomenon over years,” the agency wrote in its recent Humanitarian Monitor, released on 12 September.

“There is Yitzhar, there is Brakha and there is Itamar,” Hani Darawshe, a resident said, pointing at the surrounding hilltops, each with an Israeli settlement, established on what Palestinians say was their land.

Near to each settlement lay several “outposts”, satellites of the main colony, taking up more Palestinian land.

“We have been living here for hundreds of years,” said Darawshe, added that structures in the village dated back to Roman rule.

The land they have left is largely off limits to them.

This is what apartheid looks like. This is what occupation looks like. This is what Zionism embodies.

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