Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
The Husan underpass

Update: Some residents of Beitar claim the letter below is real, while others claim it was a pre-Purim joke.

Residents of the Arab village of Husan — situated close to Beitar Illit in Gush Etzion — apologized in a letter sent to the Jewish community for the stoning attacks that have been aimed at the Jewish residents and others traveling on the bypass road near their towns.

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The letter included a lament about the loss of income to the Arab village, which residents of the Jewish town have boycotted since the attacks perpetrated by some of its members. Jews traveling on the Husan bypass road have become the targets of stoning, firebombing (with Molotov cocktails), oil slicks on the road and lit fireworks.

The signatories on the letter, written in Arabic and Hebrew, maintained that “idle” children and teens who were out of school were to blame for the attacks. They said they had no control over them.

Also included was a vow to “compensate those who are injured” by the attacks, and the hope that “we can continue to work together as we have in the past…” For at least 20 years the residents of Husan have worked in the Jewish community of Beitar Illit, together with their Jewish neighbors.

Those who signed the letter wrote, “If you know of a specific person injured by stones thrown by our young people, contact us and we will try to compensate for this with all the options available to us. We wish you a happy Purim.”

Last month, the IDF closed the entrances to the village of Husan after an escalation in stoning attacks on the bypass road. No Jews were allowed to enter or buy goods in the village, as they are accustomed to do; this caused heavy economic damage to business owners in the village.

The entrances to Husan were reopened this past week after a relatively quiet week on the road.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.