Not so disengaged in Burqa

There will be no celebrations in Burqa. This small northern West Bank town of 4,000 should have every reason to revel in the demographic shift imposed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “Disengagement Plan”: the neighboring Israeli settlement of Homesh was cleared of its residents on August 23. But the reality for Burqa, as well as other Palestinian villages in the areas of the West Bank recently evacuated by Israel, is that little will change. There is no plan to return the land. According to its municipality, Burqa once boasted a population of over 30,000, but numerous pressures induced people to emigrate to Nablus, which lies about 10 km to the south.