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Tag Archives: a-hard-time
Border control is one of the most contentious issues facing Israelis and Palestinians right now.
For good reason, Israelis want to ensure that terrorists don’t penetrate its borders, and don’t want to risk being attacked on the roads, as they were during the second intifada.
Meanwhile, most Palestinians want nothing more than to move about freelygo to work, visit their families, attend school, etc.
The problem is that the separation of Palestinian and Israeli space is not confined to the borders; it’s everywhere, and particularly within the West Bank.
According to Issa Khouriya, who served as my guide for many of my travels around the West Bank, the road that stretches from the left foreground to the center used to connect the town of Beitin with the city in the backgroundthe outskirts of the Palestinian financial capital of Ramallah. Khouriya said the distance between the two points used to be about 1 km (0.6 miles) via car.
However, Palestinians have only restricted access to settlement roads, like the one that runs through the center of the picture. Here, that access has been closed off, forcing residents of Beitin to drive 23-27 km (14.3-16.7 miles)to get to Palestine’s biggest city, where most were employed. When this access was first barred back in 2003, Khouriya said it created difficulties for workers and students in the town, accustomed to much more direct access to the city.
Since the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, the Israeli government has constructed numerous settler-only roads through the West Bank in order to give the Palestinian Authority control of certain Palestinian citiesa boon for Palestinian independence. In the process, however, it has forced inefficiencies like the one pictured below, which serves as a constant reminder of Palestinian immobility. The Palestinians liken this to apartheid.
While for many Palestinians such inconveniences are daily reminders of Israeli occupation and inequality, Israelis don’t often know that such construction causes any problems. When I explained to one Israeli soldier that I had seen such a roadblock and heard grievances about it, he alleged that he “didn’t know that [kind of thing] happened.”
The deliberate segregation of Israelis and Palestinians (Israelis can’t enter Palestinian cities, and Palestinians have a hard time entering Israel) may keep the peace, but it also prevents each side from hearing the other’s grievances and gives Palestinians the impression that they are being treated poorly. That leads to conflict. That discourages investment, leading to hardship. Rinse and repeat.
See the original post here:
This may be a new low in terms of abusing emergency services. Above: The Grateful Deli in East Hartford, Connecticut.