Hebron resident writes to Jews

Posted: May 20, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in IDF, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism, West Bank
3186_1128641409306_1025335216_30389642_7940013_n

Israeli child in Jewish neighborhood of Hebron

ISSA AMRO, PALESTINIAN resident of Hebron, writes on Ynet to express his feelings on recent decision by Israeli officials to open the Zion Route – a road, connecting Jewish quarter of Hebron to the settlement of Qirya Arba and – eventually – Jerusalem and settler block of Gush Etzion. Amro is clearly enraged on the impossible conditions imposed on Palestinian residents of the Route, who cannot use their vehicles to get home and are usually obstructed in many ways to freely travel their city:

This draconian ban has many implications: Basic urban needs are difficult to access, while sick individuals are forced to move elsewhere if they wish to be granted medical treatment. Heavy equipment is carried on one’s back in difficult mountainous conditions. The elderly are unable at all to leave or enter the area.

The residents requiring protection are in fact the Palestinians, who on a daily basis become targets for settler attacks. After the evacuation of the disputed home in Hebron, for example, the settlers rioted in the city and on the street, burned cars, and destroyed plenty of property. And what did your army do in response? Removed the Palestinians from their homes completely. Instead of protecting the victim of attack (and this is your responsibility,) you are protecting the attacker.

Yet as the date for opening the street approaches, we are again seeing the farce behind the decision. First, the street will not be completely open. Only few vehicles (belonging to street residents) can get a permit for it. The permit, of course, does not constitute a promise for freedom of movement. The permit is difficult to secure, even for residents who are not politically active or affiliated.

These games of rewards are not new in Hebron. We realize that Israeli governments use them in order to demonstrate how “kind” you are to us, yet ultimately the rewards disappear. For example, residents of the Shuhada Street received permits to travel on the road several years ago, yet not all families were given the permit. After the permits were renewed twice, the situation reverted to the previous state, and the permits were frozen. Today, no Palestinian is allowed to drive there.

I believe I could understand Amro’s anger. Palestinian residents often have to talk long walks from other neighborhoods – as long as 15 minutes – to get to their home. Many roads were paved on hills, where the road abruptly turns sharply upwards and would be very difficult for elderly to walk.

10-months-old Shalhevet Pass

10-months-old Shalhevet Pass

It is imperative, however, to remind my readers, that IDF’s heavy restrictions of Palestinian population started with Yasser Arafat setting the second intifada in motion. Hundreds of cases of attacks by rocks and Molotov cocktails were reported since 2000, as well as several horrific terror attacks, the most perplexing of which was the murder of 10-months-old Shalhevet Pass by Palestinian sniper, in which the baby was shot in the head by a sniper. Other attacks included the murder of a husband and his pregnant wife in May 2003, and the murder of 12 Israelis (with 15 wounded) walking back from a prayer, on November 15th, 2002 (the list can be found here).

While Palestinians have the right to grieve their position, it is just as crucial to stop blaming Israelis for all flaws of life. It is certainly true that Israeli officials should – and must – do everything in their power to provide the best quality of life possibly under circumstances; however, until Palestinians will not rise against their terrorist brethren, they will not return to the way of life of ordinary people.

There is no other way but to renounce the violence and the will to murder the Jews – particularly high among Hamas activists. Palestinians have to take to the streets and demand responsible negotiations from their government  – which would also require concessions, albeit small, on their part.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s