Standing in Solidarity with Huwara

9 March 2023

Credit: Mati Milstein

“Now in Huwara I held in my hand, the remains of stun grenades and gas cannisters that the IDF threw into a house that rioters had burned,” wrote NIF Associate Director Resources Development Shira Ben-Sasson Furstenberg on Wednesday, as she reflected on a solidarity visit she went on together with NIF grantee Tag Meir. Thirty Israelis took part to pay respects to Huwara’s residents and stand in solidarity with them. 

Two days later, there was another solidarity visit. This time with hundreds of participants. It was led by NIF grantee Omdim Beyachad-Naqef Ma’an (Standing Together) and the organization Looking the Occupation in the Eye. 

But the Israeli army blocked the activists’ buses from entering the village. The visitors were not deterred and continued on foot, determined to embrace the affected families. The army attacked the activists on the solidarity visit, beating people and launching stun grenades at them.

In one incident caught on camera, a 20-year-old soldier pelted Avram Burg, former Speaker of the Knesset and Shira Ben-Sasson Furstenberg’s uncle, with rocks and aggressively pushed him. 

The violent settler pogrom, enabled by the soldiers who stood by and watched, and the military’s attacks on activists paying a solidarity visit, and the police’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters are all connected and must be a wakeup call for Israelis.