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West Bank on full strike

Jerusalem24 – The West Bank including East Jerusalem has woken up to a full strike this morning. All governmental, public, private, and commercial institutions are closed, and public transport between cities has also been suspended.

Photos have been emerging this morning on social media of schools, universities, and courts remaining closed; of local shops with their metal shutters drawn. Banks are the only institution that is to remain open throughout the day.

A lock sits on a shuttered shop’s doors, 20 October 2022. [Source: Al-Quds News]
Last night, Fatah and the National and Islamic Forces called for a full strike after 22-year-old Oday Tamimi, the suspect wanted by Israel for a shooting attack in Shuafat on 8 October which killed an Israeli soldier, was shot dead during a second shooting attack at the checkpoint of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adummim in the occupied West Bank. An Israeli security guard was lightly wounded by shrapnel during the attack.

Israeli media and pundits are calling the failure to capture Tamimi after an 11-day military siege on Shuafat, as well as his carrying out a second shooting attack near Jerusalem, “a failure of the Israeli security system”.

Rallying call reaches Gaza

After news of Tamimi’s death spread around midnight last, confrontations between local youth and Israeli forces broke out simultaneously in villages and cities across the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Protestors took to the streets, including in several locations in the Gaza Strip, both on foot and in cars, rallying in town centers and in front of checkpoints manned by Israeli soldiers.

According to local reports, armed Palestinian fighters targeted Israeli soldiers stationed at Al-Jalameh checkpoint north of Jenin shortly before midnight last night, as well as near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El just north of Ramallah.

Armed group the Lions’ Den also claimed three shooting attacks targeting the Israeli military surrounding Nablus this morning before dawn.

An expression of frustration

While the strike today – the most comprehensive and widely observed strike yet this year – was called in mourning for Tamimi, it is also an expression of frustration at the sheer number of Palestinians killed this year, over a quarter of which are children, and of solidarity with residents of East Jerusalem and Nablus who have been facing protracted military sieges, while the rest of the West Bank has been dealing with suffocating road closures and restrictions.

While Shuafat may now reasonably expect some measure of alleviation of the current restrictions, Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank continues to endure a near-total lockdown on the city, with military checkpoints closed, additional checkpoints installed, and the roads leading to its surrounding villages sealed with dirt mounds.

Israeli forces also continue to maintain intensively restrictive closures across the West Bank, with morning commuters facing hours-long waits in traffic, and many residents foregoing leaving the city centers altogether.

In scenes strongly reminiscent of the Second Intifada, video footage and photographs have begun emerging on social media over the past several days of vehicles being pushed through dusty, mountainous paths by their passengers in order to bypass the closures.

Palestinians remain stranded for hours in traffic around Nablus due to Israel-imposed road closures, October 2022. [Credit: AFP]
Palestinians remain stranded for hours in traffic around Nablus due to Israel-imposed road closures, October 2022. [Credit: AFP]
Palestinians carry construction material over a dirt mound used by the Israeli military to seal roads in the villages surrounding Nablus, October 2022. [Credit: AFP]

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