Tom Feakins

With the ISM in Balata refugee camp

The Huwwara checkpoint is closed to internationals. The entire Nablus region is completely off-limits. Our destination is the Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of the city, where Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation is said to be the strongest in the West Bank. One British journalist told me that Israeli military strategy is to keep foreigners from entering, flood the area with troops, then “turn the lights out”. We are met by a van and driver who takes us around the checkpoint then leaves us at the side of a nearby mountain road. He tells us to hurry up the trail, then drives off quickly in order to avoid being seen by Israeli forces.