Huwara shop owner recalls attack: The soldiers stood and looked

Ode Kaid al-Deeik said that he saw soldiers standing there doing nothing to halt the violence, while settlers vandalized his car, demolishing it.

A store in Huwara in the West Bank is seen vandalized after an attack by Jewish extremist settlers, on January 24, 2022. (photo credit: HUWARA REGIONAL COUNCIL)
A store in Huwara in the West Bank is seen vandalized after an attack by Jewish extremist settlers, on January 24, 2022.
(photo credit: HUWARA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

Israeli customers came in the morning to Ode Kaid al-Deeik and purchased bathroom fixtures from his store and in the evening, settlers stoned his glass storefront, shattering it into small shards.

“There is glass everywhere,” Deeik said as he stood Tuesday afternoon on the stoop of his store that abuts Route 60, a main thoroughfare through the West Bank Palestinian town of Huwara.

Both Israeli and Palestinians use the road and shop at Huwara’s commercial center, which includes restaurants, car mechanics and stores for clothing, toys and home fixtures. Some of the signs are even in Hebrew.

That section of Huwara has also been the site of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. On Monday night, a convoy of Israeli cars celebrating the release of a friend from jail, went on a rampage in Huwara, while they were en route to the nearby Yitzhar settlement.

They threw rocks at cars and stores, damaging at least 25 vehicles and lightly injuring three residents, including a three-year-old who was in a vehicle that was stoned.

Scenes from the vandalism caused by Israeli settlers on Palestinians cars and shops in the town of Huwara near Nablus, January 24, 2021.  (credit: HUWARA REGIONAL COUNCIL)Scenes from the vandalism caused by Israeli settlers on Palestinians cars and shops in the town of Huwara near Nablus, January 24, 2021. (credit: HUWARA REGIONAL COUNCIL)

At time of the attack, Ode was in the back of his store, which is filled with modern, colorful bathroom fixtures such as sinks, faucets, toilets and cabinets.

Suddenly he heard and saw a volley of stones slam against the glass storefront.

The glass wall on one side simply crashed down, while the other one withstood the barrage.

He pushed his 13-year-old nephew who was with him into a small protected space in the back of the store and walked forward to the front.

Ode said that he saw soldiers standing there doing nothing to halt the violence, while settlers vandalized his car, demolishing it.

“One had stones, another had a stick,” Ode said.

He has video taken from outside the store, in which one can see both soldiers and stone-throwers.

“There was also gunfire,” Ode said. “The soldiers stood and looked.”

His father, Amer, said the soldiers protect the settlers and not the Palestinians.

Glass shards still littered the stoop of Ode’s store, in a broken toilet and on the ground outside.

Without the glass wall, one could hear the constant stream of traffic past his shop.

Ode, who is the father of three small children ages six, eight and 10, opened his store four years ago.

He has customers who are both Palestinian and Israeli, he said, so it is hard for him to understand why his shop was one of the ones that were hardest hit by the violence.

“In the morning they took goods, at night they broke my window,” he said, amazed at the illogic of it all.

“How can this be?” he asked.

The store is brightly lit at night and must have seemed like an attractive target, Ode speculated.

His car that was totaled was new, Ode said, adding that he had just spent NIS 18,000 on it. Together with the damage to his goods and his shop, he estimated that he is out some NIS 55,000-60,000. There is no way to recoup that loss, he added.

Amer, who had worked in construction within sovereign Israel for 35 years, was bitter about the senseless violence.

“How can we make peace with people like this?” Amer asked.