On Thursday, a full-blown closure was imposed on all Palestinians in the entire West bank and Gaza Strip. Closure will stay in effect until the end of the Israeli Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yom KippurÃ¢â‚¬Â holiday.
A full-blown closure, named by the army Ã¢â‚¬Å“a non-breathing closureÃ¢â‚¬Â does not only means banning Palestinians from entering Israel-this is in effect, around the clock, 365 days a year- but also means closing all the main West Bank and Gaza Strip military check posts, therefore isolating Palestinian areas away from each other.
A non-breathing closure is in effect a clear manifestation to how through signing an order, the entire Palestinian areas are sliced into isolated cantons. A horrendous example on how effective the barriers, including the separation wall and the huge network of check posts and road blocks, are.
It is a reminder that the apartheid system had already been completed, and that different military orders can define its different levels.
This time, there were no Ã¢â‚¬Å“hot alertsÃ¢â‚¬Â reported. The reason is an Israeli holiday. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yom KippurÃ¢â‚¬Â marks the start of endless Jewish holidays up to the end of the year, therefore an endless period of extended suffering for Palestinians.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When they [Israelis] are in joy, we suffer. When they mourn, we suffer. When they walk, we have to stand, and when they drive we have to walkÃ¢â‚¬Â Ahmed Issa, resident of Bethlehem described the situation as he crossed the Ã¢â‚¬Å“containerÃ¢â‚¬Â military check post back to Bethlehem .
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The coming two months will be the most hard to my family. The little window through which I can pass through to my work in Ramallah is sealed. While working, I am barely able to feed them, I don’t know what to doÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
Israel is a leading country in the field of how to control the entire life of civilians. All others who believe in offense as a defense policy have much to learn.
To gain ultimate control, you firstly need to minimize to the lowest possible level the mobility of the entire population. Then, you need to turn movement between different regions into a serious hardship so that only the ones who are in bad need for it will be welling to do it.
Israel first banned private cars from passing through main military check posts and from using much of the main roads that links the different parts of the Palestinian territories. Therefore, public transportation is the only available choice.
Second, a traveler from Bethlehem to Ramallah (a distance of 35 kilometer) have to stop and be checked at 3 different stages, and is forced to walk and change vehicles at least once. Delays at check posts range from 10 minutes to several hours each.
As you randomly ask residents of Bethlehem when was the last time he visited Ramallah? The answers average to two years.
Confinement is turned into the norm of living and with time less people are even thinking of moving outside their walled small cantons; goal achieved.
One very effective measure in reducing population mobility is through turning the process of checking people into a tedious and humiliating one.
For example, If the armed Israeli teenager in uniform who mans the check post is talking to his girlfriend using his mobile, a few kilometers long queue of cars develops and all have to wait extra hours until he ends Ã¢â‚¬Å“love talkÃ¢â‚¬Â and waves hand to the first car to approach.
Fear as well works. The hundreds of incidents in which residents were shot dead or wounded, were detained for hours, or physically beaten, work well to deter residents from traveling through check posts. Only recently, the army started investigating hundreds of complains over maltreatment at dozens of check posts.
Off course, if all Palestinians are confined to their homes, Israelis will enjoy a better security level. Why not impose an endless total curfew on all Palestinians all over the west bank and the Gaza strip. It might not be for long until the idea hits the minds of Israeli security chiefs.
It is difficult to find a term to describe such procedures. When army operations against resistance groups inside populated areas results in high numbers of civilian casualties and an extended level of destruction, Israel is criticized for the Ã¢â‚¬Å“excessive usage of forceÃ¢â‚¬Â. Could such level of control be described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“an excessive strangulation of a civilian population?Ã¢â‚¬Â