Palestine: The name of an open-air prison

 


Israel has been occupying Gaza for more than 50 years and has imposed blockades for more than a decade with the aim of weakening it. More than 2.1 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. About 5,000 people live per square kilometer. It is an area smaller than the city of Oslo, but has three times much than the population of Oslo.



According to a 2012 UN report, Gaza will lose its habitation in 2020. In fact, that is the situation there now. In order to escape from this extreme situation, they have continued to protest at the risk of their lives.

 The teenagers there are living their daily lives with fear in their heads. They do not have the necessary food, the right to move freely. 7 out of 10 refugees live there: half of them wounded in war, 70% of schools are running in double shift: Unemployment rate is 42%, 84% of Palestinians need humanitarian aid, 41% people are surviving without food, 98% of groundwater is unsafe to drink, electricity is available there oprison'  2-4 hours. There is no right to move freely even in such a horrible situation. In this context, many call the "Gaza Strip" is the world's largest 'open-air prison' today.



There is another such ‘open-air-prison’ in Palestine. Many do not know that. Because, there is a different kind of blockade going on. Every Palestinian living there has Palestinian identity documents. Palestinians are imprisoned in their own homes. Israel has imposed various sanctions on them. They do not have the right to move freely.

 Every country and statesman in the world is well aware of this situation. Many countries continue to provide active financial and military assistance to Israel. They also provide the bad advices. However, in the face of strong criticism, world leaders are doing the job of giving a lip service to Palestine. 

They did it to protect their face value. The rest of the world avoids Palestine. As a result, it has been possible for Israel to occupy Palestine for decades and continue the process of arbitrary rule, exploitation, torture and annihilation of Palestine.



The movement of Palestinians in the West Bank is controlled at the whim of Israeli security forces. The security forces used hundreds of checkpoints, gates, artificial barriers, forbidden and isolated roads. There is the so-called 'Separation Wall' of the 700 km long Israelis, which is known to the people of the world as the 'Apartheid Wall'. 



Therefore, it is easy to imagine how difficult it is for a Palestinian who is willing to move as he pleases in the West Bank. A Palestinian shepherd complains about a barbed wire fence established by the Israeli authorities: He feeds his sheep on a hill near the Palestinian city of Hijma. 

Israeli authorities have erected a barbed wire fence along the middle of the mountain. This barbed wire often hurts his sheep. What does he have to do here? Apart from this, there is no other place to graze sheep.


According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, as of January 2017, there were 59 permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and 39 more in the vicinity. They control the flow of Palestinians in and out of Gaza. 

There were also many more 'flying checkpoints'. These are sometimes placed on the road by the Israeli military. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (USOCHA), there were 4,924 checkpoints on West Coast roads from January 2017 to January 2018.

 In addition to these, other obstacles such as: garbage dumps, concrete blocks and gates have been installed at the entrances of almost all the villages in the West Bank.



Apart from these, Palestinians are barred from entering their land in the so-called Area C, even though they own the land. This territory is identified in the Oslo Accords. It is here that most Israelis have built and still build illegal ghettos. 


It covers 61 percent of the area on the West Bank. For example, 291 hectares of land near Bethlehem belonged to the Palestinian village of Wadifukin. Of these, 260 hectares have been identified as 'Area C'. These Palestinians lived mainly on agriculture. They are now struggling for daily access to that place. In fact, they now need an Israeli permit to go to work on their land.



Palestinians have to get a permit to leave the West Bank. These permits are mainly given to important position holders (big businessmen and politicians) who have a good financial record or have political acquaintances. The permit is given to the poorest Palestinians, who provide the Israelis with much-needed cheap labor, especially in construction.

 The rest of the Palestinian people can leave the West Bank only with a medical permit or for family needs. However, such permits are very rare. Applications for these permits are easily rejected. In 2016, 600,000 Palestinians (including Palestinian Palestinian workers in Israel) applied to leave the West Bank. Of these, 5 lakh 60 thousand were given permits. The rest of the applications were rejected.

From the information available so far, it is easy to guess what kind of destructive effects these restrictions imposed on the Palestinians have on their economy. A checkpoint a minute's drive from the town reduced a Palestinian's employability by 0.5 percent and his hourly wage by 5.2 percent, according to a World Bank estimate.



According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, as of January 2017, there were 59 permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and 39 more in the vicinity. They control the flow of Palestinians in and out of Gaza. There were also many more 'flying checkpoints'. These are sometimes placed on the road by the Israeli military. 

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (USOCHA), there were 4,924 checkpoints on West Coast roads from January 2016 to January 2017. In addition to these, other obstacles such as: garbage dumps, concrete blocks and gates have been installed at the entrances of almost all the villages in the West Bank.

Apart from these, Palestinians are barred from entering their land in the so-called Area C, even though they own the land. This territory is identified in the Oslo Accords. It is here that most Israelis have built and still build illegal ghettos. It covers 61 percent of the area on the West Bank. 

For example, 291 hectares of land near Bethlehem belonged to the Palestinian village of Wadifukin. Of these, 270 hectares have been identified as 'Area C'. These Palestinians lived mainly on agriculture. They are now struggling for daily access to that place. In fact, they now need an Israeli permit to go to work on their land.



Palestinians have to get a permit to leave the West Bank. These permits are mainly given to important position holders (big businessmen and politicians) who have a good financial record or have political acquaintances. Besides, the permit is given to the poorest Palestinians, who provide the Israelis with much-needed cheap labor, especially in construction. 



The rest of the Palestinian people can leave the West Bank only with a medical permit or for family needs. However, such permits are very rare. Applications for these permits are easily rejected. In 2017, 700,000 Palestinians (including Palestinian Palestinian workers in Israel) applied to leave the West Bank. Of these, 560,000 were given permits. The rest of the applications were rejected.

From the information available so far, it is easy to guess what kind of destructive effects these restrictions imposed on the Palestinians have on their economy. A checkpoint of a minute's drive from the town reduced a Palestinian's employability by 0.5 percent and his hourly wage by 5.2 percent, according to a World Bank estimate.

In 2007, the combined West Bank checkpoints accounted for a loss of 229 million USD, or 6 percent of GDP that year. Another World Bank study found that in 2011 the sanctions cost the local economy of 3.4 billion USD, or 35 percent of that year's GDP.

 And one would be surprised - the combined destructive effects of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinians in 2014 amounted to 9.48 billion, or 74 percent of that year's GDP. All this was just an economic loss. The calculation of human loss is left out. That calculation is unlimited.

The West Bank is regularly visited by people who have never been to Jerusalem in their lives, even though they live an hour's drive from Jerusalem. In addition, there are many more Palestinians who have American or European passports. They can travel to most countries of the world without a visa. But he will not get a visa to go to Jaffa, just twenty kilometers from his area of ​​residence.



A Palestinian said he had three friends with foreign passports (France, the United States and Russia). But I could never invite them to my home in Jerusalem. None of the three of them need a paper visa to enter Israel or Palestine, just as hundreds of thousands of other French, Americans and Russians who visit the site each year. But if the Israelis know they have a Palestinian ID, the Israelis block them.

Not being able to go outside the West Bank, but walking inside- is a daydream for the Palestinians. Checkpoints are set up from time to time to control their movement. The government never mentions any reason for this. In most cases, this was done to facilitate the movement of Jewish settlers in the area. And it is done in exchange for the suffering of the Palestinians. Or for the purpose of inflicting a destructive collective punishment on the Palestinian people. 


Two major examples are the Beit-L checkpoint at the north of Ramallah and the Jaba checkpoint at the south. A palestinian named Manar lives in the village of Deir Dibwan, 4 km from Ramallah. He has to drive an average of one hour every day to get to work. But he has to spend a lot more time, when the Beit-EL checkpoint is closed to non-VIP cardholders. And this happens often. However, he can save 10 minutes if he turns to the alternative route. But those roads are only for Israelis.



The Christian city of Abud is 18 km northwest of Ramallah. Another resident named, David who travels there every day. He is often late for work because the gates are closed. There are no people at this gate just outside the town of Deir Ibzi. This gate is closed from time to time. In addition, there are more large checkpoints. Such as: Container and Jatara, which can make the West Bank completely unusable.

 When the Container were closed, one-third of the population in the southwest, including large cities such as Bethlehem and Hebron, were separated from Ramallah and the north. Similarly, coming and going from the entire northern part of the West Bank can be completely blocked by the Jatara checkpoint. Coming and going to big cities like Nablus, Tulkarm and Jenin was stopped.

Zababdeh, is a Greek Orthodox city near to Jenin. The Christian families in that city have had trouble getting to Bethlehem, some 85 miles [65 km] away, to attend the Christmas festivities because of the Container and the Jatara checkpoint.


 On the other hand, foreign pilgrims can reach Bethlehem by 8 separate roads. One of these is Jerusalem. Again on certain days they can come to Bethlehem from abroad by plane.

 They come to celebrate the Palestinian Christmas. But checkpoints and other obstacles are not enough for the Israelis to control the movement of Palestinians. That is why the Israelis have created an alternative road for the Palestinians. 


However, there are also the Al-Mu'a Rajat and Wadi Al-Nar highways, which connect the north and the Jordan Valley and the northern part of the West Bank, respectively. There is 'Route 4360' which was opened a couple of years ago.

It is commonly known as the 'Apartheid 
Road’, which connects the villages of Anata and Azzaim. The road has a concrete separating wall that separates Jewish drivers from the Palestinians. All of these roads have been built to keep Israeli roads away from the Palestinians.


These roads are immutable along with the process of closing, separating, isolating, imposing restrictions. This sometimes pushes the Palestinians in the West Bank into a kind of suffocating situation. 


Many are saying that since many Palestinians are unable to leave the country, they should be allowed to breathe a sigh of relief. But the question of the world's conscientious objectors: Why will the Palestinians remain under Israeli occupation for decades, for what reason? 


Why the United Nations and the world powers are creating various tactical obstacles instead of helping in the formation of an independent Palestinian state; Secretly and openly? 

Why is the Apartheid Wall  being built one after another in front of the eyes of the world? Why are Palestinian villages being occupied and built as illegal settlements for Israeli Jews, why are Palestinians being forced to live in isolated places, and are being subjected to inhumane racist persecution? Why are Palestinians not being allowed to return to their country?





Are they refugee? Why Palestine still does not get the status of an independent country? Why are world leaders openly and secretly cooperating with the Israelis in the genocide of the Palestinians? Why did the Israelis make Palestine a prison under the open sky? - These questions must be answered one day; Israel, as well as its patrons.

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