martes 28 de mayo de 2024
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Exhausting Journey from Jenin to Ramallah

Palestina agresión Voces del Sur Global
The road from Jenin to Ramallah is no longer an ordinary journey. It is fraught with risks and hardships due to the Israeli military checkpoints erected on the main roads that Palestinian travelers cannot bypass.

By Osama Nazzal (*)

Additionally, there’s the violence of Israeli settlers who lurk to harm Palestinian citizens on the roads without cause.

At the beginning of the week, when the journey begins from Jenin to Ramallah to reach the workplace, the first thing on the Palestinian citizen’s mind is whether the occupation forces will allow passage or force a return to where they came from.

   If permitted to continue, how many hours will they spend at the checkpoint waiting for the Israeli soldiers to let them through? These grim thoughts occupy their minds before embarking on their journey to work in Ramallah, which has become the economic center of life for Palestinians in the West Bank.

   Citizens prefer traveling in public transportation instead of using their own vehicles due to the public service vehicles drivers’ ability to navigate alternative routes if the Israeli checkpoints are completely closed on that day.

   The citizen bids farewell to his family and heads to the public transportation station in the center of Jenin.

   The first question he poses to the drivers is, «How’s the road today?» The usual answer is, «God knows -they might allow us through, or we might have to take detours.»

   Taking detours comes with an increased fare amidst complex economic conditions, particularly as the Palestinian government hasn’t fully paid the salaries of public sector employees for over two years, exacerbated further by Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues, which form the basis of the Palestinian Authority’s budget.

   The journey begins from the station, with the driver calling his fellow drivers who went ahead to see if the road is clear or not.

   Muhammad Mousa, a journalist working for Palestinian television, says «We reached the first Israeli checkpoint known as Deir Sharaf, which separates Jenin Governorate from Nablus, only to find it closed to Palestinian movement, leading to the real suffering. We must take rugged and dangerous routes to reach Nablus instead of directly traveling from Jenin to Ramallah.»

   In the face of the closure of Deir Sharaf checkpoint, a convoy of Palestinian vehicles takes the long and rugged roads to reach Nablus, and then proceed from there to Ramallah.

   During the journey on the rugged road, travelers begin to express their frustration with the unbearable situation, wondering how long Palestinian suffering will continue, and what the reason behind the suffocating siege imposed by Israeli forces on the West Bank is, especially since armed Palestinian resistance is confined to Gaza.

   Some see these measures as evidence of Israel’s intention to ethnically cleanse all Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank alike, albeit through different means -sometimes through massacres as in Gaza, and sometimes through tightening the means of life as in the West Bank.

   Mousa says, «When we reach Nablus, we think that the problem is close to being solved and that the journey to Ramallah might seem easier, but another Israeli military checkpoint awaits us on the road after leaving Nablus through mountainous paths passing through several villages near the city -there is no main road we can take, all the roads we take are rugged and winding- we reach a checkpoint called ‘Al-Murabba’, which Israeli forces set up at the entrance of Tell village a few kilometers from Nablus, and here begins a new stage of suffering.»

   The Al-Murabba checkpoint is considered one of the most oppressive Israeli checkpoints for the residents of the northern West Bank, specifically Nablus, as no Palestinian citizen can enter or exit the city without passing through this checkpoint, especially since all the main roads are closed, and anyone attempting to evade this checkpoint faces a number of gates set up by Israeli occupation forces at the entrances of villages near Nablus, thus finding no alternative but to return to pass through that checkpoint.

   Mousa says «We wait at the Al-Murabba checkpoint for long hours at the mercy of the occupation soldiers who delight in looking at the helpless citizens waiting in their vehicles for a signal from an Israeli soldier to allow them to pass, and the waiting process sometimes continues for three hours or more.»

   After hours of waiting and humiliation, the vehicle sets off again towards Ramallah, but the journey halts once again at a new Israeli military checkpoint, known in Palestine as the «flying checkpoint» -one that Israeli forces suddenly establish for a specified period of time.

   Mousa says «The Israeli soldiers at the flying checkpoint asked the driver to stop, and a masked soldier came pointing his weapon towards the car and asked to open the doors. Then he asked, ‘How long did you spend at the Al-Murabba checkpoint?’ and the driver replied, ‘three hours.’ The Israeli soldier shook his head and said, ‘Then go,’ after making sure that his fellow soldiers had completed the task of tormenting the travelers.»

   The journey continues, and travelers begin to think about where they will spend their night to complete the tasks they came to Ramallah for, as they cannot accomplish them today since the institutions and companies have already ended their working hours.

   Mousa says «I arrived at my workplace in Palestine Television after a tough and long journey that took me five hours instead of an hour and a half in normal circumstances. But how can I start my work when I’ve been exhausted by the hours of waiting at the checkpoints and navigating rugged roads? I must find some time to rest before starting my work the next day.»


(*) Palestinian journalist of Jenin in occupied West Bank, working for Palestine TV.

Identificador Sitio web Ecos del Sur
Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation

Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation

The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), also known as Palestine TV, was established on 1 July 1994 and is within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. PBC has a subsidiary radio station known as the Voice of Palestine and a satellite channel known as Palestinian Satellite Channel. Palestine TV first began broadcasting in 1996 in Gaza.
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