Checkpoint Watch: Testimonies from Occupied Palestine by Judith Keshet

By Judith Keshet

It is a severe exploration of Israel's curfew-closure coverage within the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the course of the eyes of CheckpointWatch, a company of Israeli girls tracking human rights abuses. It combines observers' reviews from checkpoints and alongside the Separation Wall, with info and research of the forms aiding the continuing profession. It seriously stories CheckpointWatch's transformation from a feminist, radical protest circulation and analyzes Israeli media illustration of the association and of human rights activism in most cases.

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1991–93 In the wake of a series of stabbings of Israelis by individual Palestinians, the checkpoint-closure system is tightened. 4 Paradoxically, the Oslo Accords5 signed in September 1993 result in further ramifications to the system. Israeli commitment to a safe passage route between Gaza and the West Bank is never fully implemented. • 1996 Prime Minister Nethanyahu opens the controversial Hashmonean Tunnel under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Armed clashes break out between Palestinian policemen and Israeli troops.

One of the claims of this book is that Israeli interests, political, economic and strategic, are so bound up with possession of the territories as to make any viable, just solution to the conflict unlikely. A solution would imply recognition of legitimate Palestinian claims as equal to those of Israel. That recognition is sadly lacking at all levels of Israeli policy and discourse. This chapter focuses on Israel’s restrictions of Palestinian mobility as a primary tool for perpetuating the Occupation, for creating territorial facts on the ground, and for asserting Israeli supremacy and control.

The very concept of the permit system is a priori iniquitous, turning a basic human right into a grudgingly granted, by no means universal, privilege (Hass 2002a, 2002b; PHR 2004). The process of acquiring a permit may be likened to a game of snakes and ladders. The applicant scores one success, only to be plunged back to the beginning of the process by refusal at the next. Several accessories are required for this game, a game whose outcome is never assured, one that can become a matter of life or death.

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