The car lurched from side to side as it ascended the rough dirt road, the wind swirling and howling around it. Israel Defense Forces bulldozers have already started to block this road, but it’s still navigable. When we stopped at the top of the hill, the car was rocking and the doors could barely be opened against the powerful blustery wind. Indeed, this week’s winter storm, dubbed Carmel, also pounded the remote hill the Palestinians call Huti, a rise of olive trees that is across from Mount Sabih, which, to their outrage, is the site of the settler outpost Evyatar. A few hundred meters separate the two hills – between the torn Israeli flag hoisted as a provocation on what the locals call “Jabal al-Sabih” amid the settlers’ buildings, and the flag of Palestine that residents of the village of Beita also hoisted as a provocation, across the way. Two flags tattered by the wind, one opposite the other. The outsize Hanukkah menorah planted by the encroaching settlers is still in place, along with the row of trailer homes and watchtowers.
Paid by IFCJ