Wed 12 Jun 2024 6:23 pm - Jerusalem Time

New York Times: The conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank have reached rock bottom

Although the war in the Gaza Strip has entered its ninth month, the Palestinians in the West Bank, who are suffering under the yoke of the Israeli occupation, are still facing heavy restrictions, severe economic difficulties, and an increasing military presence, and some fear that these developments will become a normal situation.

This came in a report published by the American newspaper The New York Times, which said that daily life throughout the West Bank, which was already shackled before the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) attack on Israel on October 7, has become more complicated due to countless factors. Counted.

The audacity of the settlers

She adds that among these factors are the regular raids and arrests carried out by Israeli forces, the increasing audacity of settlers, and the restrictions that have hampered the economy, such as the cancellation of work permits in Israel, and the increase in internal checkpoints and roadblocks, which has complicated movement in all Palestinian areas.

The report stated that the newspaper’s correspondent, Sarah Kerr, met two Palestinians in the West Bank to find out the extent to which residents were affected by these developments. One of them is Laith Abdel Muti (29 years old), a local tour guide and taxi driver, who spends most of his days waiting at the main checkpoint from Jerusalem. To Bethlehem, hoping to attract passengers.

The economy of the city of Bethlehem depends - to a large extent - on tourism, as tourists arrive there to visit sites such as the Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him.

7 months without income

Abdel Muti and other drivers said that they no longer receive the same amount of wages that they earned before the outbreak of the war on the Gaza Strip.

Abdul Muti does not know how long people will tolerate this situation, adding that he may sometimes earn 20 or 40 shekels (about 5 to 11 US dollars) working in his taxi, but some people have not earned a single shekel for 7 months, according to his description.

In Tel Rumeida, west of the Old City of Hebron, Wijdan Ziadeh (56 years old), a widow with her children, lives in terror.

Tel Rumeida is located within the “H2” area, which is controlled by the Israeli army and surrounded by checkpoints. It is the site of an Israeli settlement inhabited by “violent and aggressive” people, and has been witnessing escalating tensions for decades.

Ziada said that her son Faris (20 years old) almost lost one of his eyes after an attack by a settler in 2022, but the family did not file a criminal complaint with the Israeli authorities, because they do not have much confidence in the justice of the Israeli judiciary.

However, the New York Times says that Ziada is determined, for the time being, to stay and preserve her home from being seized by settlers. She was quoted as saying, "We will not leave. This is our land and we will remain here. We will live and die in suffering."


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New York Times: The conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank have reached rock bottom