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 throughout the eyes of CheckpointWatch, a firm of Israeli girls tracking human rights abuses. It combines observers' stories from checkpoints and alongside the Separation Wall, with info and research of the paperwork assisting the continuing profession. It significantly stories CheckpointWatch's transformation from a feminist, radical protest flow and analyzes Israeli media illustration of the association and of human rights activism commonly.

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Much of it was mystifying, even patently absurd. Why were people standing around with their backs against a wall? Who passed and who returned from whence they came? Most surprising was the sight of large numbers of people bypassing the checkpoint and soldiers by going through the valley to the east or the orchards to the west. Except for periodic onslaughts to drive the offenders away, the soldiers ignored them. At their approach the ‘by-passers’ would stop in their tracks, scramble to hide behind a rock or tree until their pursuers moved away, at which point they simply continued their passage.

In addition, it operates a mobile clinic in the Occupied Territories, and an open clinic in Tel Aviv providing services for those with no legal status and therefore no health insurance. 11 The alleged potential of the individual to commit a terrorist act is sufficient to deny him clearance. Security offences range from illegal entry into Israel to contacts with organizations such as Hamas or the left-wing PFLP, having family ties to a known terrorist/militant to actually organizing or carrying out terror attacks.

A first internal closure is imposed on the territories: restrictions on movement between Palestinian towns, villages and areas are accompanied by severe limitations on entry into Israel. The system is implemented by an ever more elaborate checkpoint system. One • 2000–01 With the outbreak of the El Aqsa intifada (2000–04) the closure–checkpoint policy is intensified and systematized by means of reinforcing all the measures outlined below: general closure, internal closure, curfew and, of course, proliferating and expanding checkpoints.

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