Ramadan begins under high tension in Huwara, a Palestinian town at the heart of the violence

Israeli soldiers in Huwara, occupied West Bank, March 19, 2023. REUTERS - MOHAMAD TOROKMAN

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Palestinian attacks on Jewish settlers, punitive expeditions described as "pogroms" against innocent civilians... On the eve of Ramadan, RFI visited Huwara, a village in the occupied West Bank, the scene of violence in recent weeks. As is often the case, during this holy month for Muslims, the situation is tense between Israelis and Palestinians.


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In the middle of the morning, Latifa finishes shopping. The mother already has her menu for the first day of Ramadan. "I took tomatoes and zucchini and I will also buy meat to make stuffed vegetables. But honestly, with all these tensions, we have no taste for anything. It lowers morale, she testifies at the microphone of our special envoy, Sami Boukhelifa. The Israeli army is stationed at the entrance of my house. How do you want my children to live normally?


The main street of Huwara, at the heart of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians that have left a hundred dead since the beginning of the year, is crisscrossed by Israeli soldiers. Behind concrete blocks, their assault rifles point at passers-by.

Standing at the entrance of his butcher shop, Nidhal is impatiently waiting for his customers. "Four days ago, I slaughtered animals in anticipation of Ramadan. But look at the meat carcasses are still hanging there, I didn't sell anything," he says. Due to recent events, the situation is tense. As soon as a customer parks in front of my butcher shop, the military asks him to leave for security reasons. Yesterday I had to close for security reasons. A few days ago, they forced us to close for a whole week. I'm going to go out of business eventually.


« Escalation »

Forced lockdowns, imposed by the Israeli army to keep Palestinians and Jewish settlers at bay. "It is the settlers who occupy our land illegally, and it is we who are being punished," Huwara residents said.

On Sunday, as Egypt hosted talks to try to ease tensions, an Israeli man was shot and seriously wounded in the northern occupied West Bank. And the talks resulted in a statement expressing a commitment by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to "de-escalation."

Like February 26 in Aqaba, Jordan. During this first round of negotiations, two Israeli settlers were shot dead in an attack on their car by a Palestinian gunman, a member of the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas. In retaliation, settlers attacked, setting dozens of buildings and cars on fire.

► READ ALSO: Israel: new controversial remarks of Minister Smotrich passing through France

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  • Israel
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Criminality
  • Religion

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