Gaza, West Bank: Settlements and Borders


The Crossing Borders Project by photojournalist Susan Brannon is part of a thesis project in the Israel/Palestine region. It features women’s organizations in Aida Refugee Camp, A’mir Refugge Camp, and Ramallah who take photographs of their lives around borders. Her blog was started in June of 2007 and the larger work is now about to be released as a book, along with traveling exhibitions of the photographs. Congratulations Susan!

Jinjirrie’s Beyond the Fringe has been busy without interruption in locating, sorting, sifting through, and critically examining a range of news sources on Gaza and the West Bank, while providing some excellent resources for those wishing further background. In particular, thanks to Jinjirrie’s post on The Iron Wall, I was finally able to see a documentary I had only heard/read about until today. I added the complete collection to my vodpod (the individual parts are of a much higher quality than the full length version), as well as the full length version below.

As Jinjirrie points out in one of her posts on the illegal Israel colonies, these settlements have only expanded, as they continued to expand by leaps and bounds even during the Oslo peace process, even while Israel claims to be interested in negotiating peace and recognizing an independent Palestinian state (Israeli spokespersons should learn to add the American “Not!” at the end of their sentences):

… there were 285,800 settlers living in the West Bank as of 2008, with 1,518 new structures built in the territories last year, including 261 outposts.

Sixty-one percent of the new structures were built west of the route of the separation fence and 39% were built east of it. A quarter of the new structures east of the fence were built in outposts.

At least 1,257 new structures were built in existing settlements, including 748 permanent buildings and 509 caravans compared to 800 structures in 2007 – a 60% rise. In addition the ground was prepared for the construction of 63 new structures.

Within the last 24 hours, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has spoken out against the expansion of Israeli settlements in his West Bank, which is not a welcome reward for his close collaboration with Israel:

“The pursuit of colonisation and expansion of settlements inside Palestinian territories shows that Israel has no desire for peace,” Abbas said at a joint news conference in Ramallah with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. (AFP)

If you have not seen the film yet, I recommend readers find 57 minutes that they can devote to viewing it. This is extremely pertinent to the continued colonization of Palestinian lands by Israelis, in direct violation of international law. It also provides us with a view of one of the purest forms of colonialism we have known, active in the present day.

For detailed resources concerning the political economy of occupation, please consult the very informative site, Who Profits from the Occupation.

But it’s not all glum and sad news because the Israeli side would now like to remove 47 children it orphaned during its latest war on Gaza,  for a “vacation” at a kibbutz. The misnamed “Israel Defense Forces” is astonished that Hamas is preventing the departure of the children, according to the Jerusalem Post. Genocide: if it can’t get any sicker, it seems it can still get weirder.