09 August, 2008

Newsline Neopolis

Since local news from here rarely shows up on the evening news in other countries, I wanted to share a few news stories out of my town and the West Bank in the last few days, courtesy of Ma'an News Service and others.

The very troubling, but not unusual, news in the West Bank these days seems to concern the escalating aggressive actions of some Israeli settlers. Settlers attacked a caravan with two British diplomats in Hebron this week. An armed group of about 50 tried to storm the Ibrahimi mosque (the site of the Goldstein massacre of 29 Muslims in 1994), also in Hebron. In our own city, Israeli forces arrested a small group of settlers who entered the city illegally in an attempt to visit the shrine of Joseph. These follow the horrible incident of August 2, in which settlers stormed a home and threw a 14-year-old boy from the roof of the home. He survived the 60 foot/20m fall, but suffered serious injuries. The same group later attacked a nearby wedding party. Living in a city surrounded by settlements, this escalation in the violence concerns everyone.

However, in the midst of all the bad news, sometimes good things do happen here:

Turkey to donate 15 Ambulances, PA asks for support for An Najah University hospital

International spinal surgeon trains Palestinian doctors in Nablus

Israeli authorities release Nablus mayor and businessman

Early Friday morning I went for a run up my mountain and ended up, after running up to one of the checkpoints, at a bend in the road overlooking a hilltop settlement in the west, likely illegal even under Israeli law. The morning light was just breaking red and gold and the white trailers, lined up in a tight formation that seemed to mock the original tract homes in the U.S., appeared only a shade lighter than the reddish brown earth they occupied, but still marred the landscape, even in sleep.


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