“Hajez” is the Arabic word for checkpoint. The parliament of Israel has erected hundreds of checkpoints throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli army and border patrols manage these checkpoints and most have become a waiting area. Streets and entire villages are often entirely cut-off.
There are various gates which hinder the free movement of the Palestinian people.
These are guarded by the Israeli army and border patrol. The gates are the key to access for various regions of the West Bank.
These gates are only opened during the harvest period. At these times Palestinians involved in agriculture are given the opportunity to use these gates.
These gates are used mainly by Israeli settlers. Many Palestinians avoid them, due to the harassment they often receive from the nearby settlements.
Palestinian teachers and students are given permission to pass here twice a day. However, during holidays these gates are closed.
These are used mostly by the Israeli military. Palestinians are not permitted to pass.
These gates may only be passed by farmers with a green identity card, who work on the fields beyond the blockades.
Only Palestinians with a green identity card are permitted to pass here.
Start of construction: 16 June 2002
Price per kilometer: up to one million dollars.
75% of the wall is located on Palestinian soil.
The Wall cuts through olive groves, fields and villages.
At some points the wall cuts 20 kilometers into Palestinian territory.
In Israel it is compulsory for everybody to join the army. The military service is 21 months for women and 3 years for men. Only orthodox Jews are exempt.
The Army is the strongest in the Middle East region and Israel is the sixth biggest exporter of weapons. The US pays 3.15 billion USD to the Israeli defence budget annually.
Due to the weakened economy and low tax revenue the Palestinian police and military are greatly outmatched.
According to official figures, 5,848 people have been killed during the second intifada (uprising of the Palestinians), taking place from September 2000 until July 2007.
4,228 Palestinians | 1,024 Israelis | 63 foreigners
Within this 971 children
88% Palestinians | 12% Israelis
Palestine looks to be heading toward the third Intifada. This time driven by young Palestinians frustrated by their lack of opportunity and limited options for their future. Their frustration and helplessness has left them feeling lost and violent assaults on both sides are becoming more frequent.
“The settlers have clean streets, green meadows and big houses. They have space and even pools for their children. What is left for us? They have robbed us of our best land and their settlements are growing each day.” Palestinian, 45, Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Israeli settlers have been living and building within Palestinian territory for a long time. These settlements are illegal and criticized harshly by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
The ongoing housing development within the settlements is one of the key factors many Palestinians believe makes peace here unachievable. New buildings are going up rapidly and continuously with the inhabitants often coming from all over the world, moving to Israel and finding themselves, like the Palestinians, in this outdoor prison surrounded by soldiers.
In Hebron 5,000 soldiers protect 500 settlers. The Palestinians are left with less housing which is one of their main problems. Young people, especially newly weds are faced with a growing challenge to find their own apartment. At present there is no halt to the Israeli construction. The urgent question for the Palestinian people is, what space will be left for them to live within in the near future.