Three and a half million Palestinians in the occupied territories live under a severe military regime since 1967, devoid of basic civil liberties and subject to arbitrary repressive violence by the Israeli security forces.
In the West Bank, over two million Palestinians are divided into dozens of fragmented enclaves; eleven of them are the major, crowded population centers that make up Area A. The enclaves are separated and surrounded by a system of roadblocks, fences, walls and barriers, terminals, checkpoints, as well as Israeli settlements and roads designated for the exclusive use of Israelis. Palestinian movement between roadblocks and separate enclaves is controlled by an elaborate system of permits. Permits are allocated by the Israeli authorities according to secret security and economic considerations. Hundreds of thousands are blacklisted and cannot pass any checkpoints – including for travel inside their own enclave – to the next town or to the surrounding area.
Vast areas of the West Bank are either closed off to Palestinian movement altogether or require extremely rare permits: the Israeli-only roads, the Israeli settlements' jurisdiction areas, the “seam-line expanse” between the Apartheid Wall and the Green Line, the Jordan Valley, areas annexed to Jerusalem and Jerusalem itself. The arbitrary movement restrictions separate families, severely limit the Palestinians' access to health care, education and employment, and hinder the economic and geographic viability of Palestinian independence.
In the Gaza Strip, a million and a half people live in extremely crowded conditions, completely surrounded by fences and walls, constantly controlled by Israeli military forces from air, land and sea. Movement of people, goods and services in or out of Gaza is almost completely blocked; on-going military attacks cause mounting destruction and casualties; the trade, utilities and financial embargo of the Hamas regime has added to the economic collapse and the resulting humanitarian crisis.
In the Palestinian occupied territories, Israeli military presence is not restricted to any one area, and Palestinian towns and homes are raided by the Israeli military forces looking to intimidate, arrest or assassinate Palestinian activists and militants. Military regulations do not permit freedom of speech, organizing or protest by Palestinian civilian residents, and Israeli military courts sentence Palestinian civilians to long prison terms. All resistance is met with military violence, including the routine and officially-sanctioned use of live fire on non-violent demonstrators. Collective punishments in the form of house demolitions, curfews, closures and mass arrests are common. Presently, about 10,000 Palestinian residents of the occupied territories are held in Israeli military and civilian prisons as political prisoners. Hundreds are held under “administrative detention”, i.e., without having been charged, tried or sentenced.
|Private Security in the Occupation|||
|The Wall and Checkpoints|||
|Specialized Equipment and Services|||