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The West Bank district under Israeli lockdown since Hamas’s attack

By Moses Muli

In a dense and fortified district of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, about 750 families have been under lockdown since the Hamas attack on Israel six weeks ago.

They are residents of the tensest part of H2, an area of Hebron that is home to 39,000 Palestinians and around 900 Israeli settlers – considered some of the most extreme settlers in the West Bank.

Despite being overwhelmingly populated by Palestinians, H2 is under the total control of the Israeli military.

“This is the closed place inside the closed place,” said Muhammad Mohtaseb, a 30-year-old hospital security guard, smoking a cigarette on his roof and looking out over empty streets. “We are completely surrounded by checkpoints.”

For the past six weeks, Palestinian residents here have had difficulty accessing food and water. The schools are closed, so children are at home. Many residents have been unable to reach their jobs and are running out of money.

“In these jobs, if you work you eat,” said Fawaz Qafisha, a falafel cook. “And if you don’t work you don’t eat.”

The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem has accused the military of collective punishment of the H2 residents. The military told the BBC it operates in the West Bank “in order to provide security to all residents of the area”.

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