The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

The Army Has a New Strategy

by Awdah Hathaleen


The occupation army has a new strategy: closing the roads that connect all of the villages and cities in Masafer Yatta.

For several months, the residents of Masafer Yatta have suffered from continuous attacks from the occupation, its soldiers, and the settlements, including, land confiscations, night raids on homes, car confiscations, violent settler attacks on residents, and frequent arrests.

While all of these methods of attack and control are already insufferable, two days ago the situation became even worse: all of the roads linking the villages of Masafer Yatta to the city of Yatta were completely closed. This is a strategy of collective punishment for all Palestinians in the region, as none of them can reach the city to retrieve medicine, food, or any other essential goods.

There are ordinarily several entrances to the city of Yatta from the surrounding villages. At the beginning of the war, the army closed all but one of those entrances, which just so happened to be the most difficult and inconvenient entrance. 

These days, when we get to that entrance, sometimes our cars are sent back, sometimes cars are confiscated, and sometimes everyone inside is searched and cross-examined.

But now, there is no road at all linking the neighboring villages of Masafer Yatta. If any emergency occurs, there is no road for us to reach the city, or for an ambulance to reach us. There is no means of access between us and others, isolating us all from one another. We cannot bring medicine or food. We cannot go to the doctor, to the hospital, to the clinic, or even to the pharmacy.

We have faced countless attacks and constant harassment since the start of the war, and these problems are ongoing and increasing, with no intervention to protect us.

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