The daily, mundane nature of Israeli occupation

Amira Hass in Haaretz on the kind of behaviour that rarely receives media coverage. It isn’t sexy, just the reality for Palestinians:

It is not for us to be burdened by the considerations of foreign news editors, and so for the second week in a row, we return to Live Fire Zone 918, this time to tell the story of Mahmoud Jabarin’s tractor, expropriated by the soldiers. And of the law-breaking driver detained by the soldiers, Hamza Jabarin. And of the distress that pervaded the village of Jinba on the night between Wednesday and Thursday when first a flock of goats disappeared (they were found at dawn alive and well ), and afterward of the tractor driver who set out to look for them did not return.

At the beginning of last week, Civil Adinistration employees impounded two vehicles traveling near the village of Mufaqara with the same claim – that they violated orders concerning live fire zones. In May there were several other confiscations, including a vehicle carrying teachers to the school in Jinba. All signs point to this happening again and again from now on. It is no longer a war to keep our Indians on their land via demolition orders for water cisterns and tents, but also the confiscation of vehicles. This move is especially effective when the vehicles are transporting water, because as is well known, Israel has meticulously refused to allow pipes carrying water to its newest settlements to be extended to nearby, generations-old Palestinian villages. This is what we may define as long-term planning.

Three weeks ago soldiers were busy registering the names of the names of people who were found in the villages of Mufaqara, Tuba and Jinba. The registration and the cars’ confiscation reiterate the state’s announcement to the High Court of Justice whereby Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the evacuation of eight villages in the sacred name of Live Fire Zone No. 918.

The impoundment of the tractor, the arrest of the driver and the declaration of villages as live fire zones, marginal as they may seem, are links in a continuum of space and time. This continuum must interest us, more than any stories about particular individuals. After all, in the south Hebron Hills, as in the Jordan Valley, the Negev and the Galilee, laws are legislated, military orders are issued and master plans for Jews are drawn up to cleanse as many Palestinians as possible from these areas. The continuum of time is also erasing the pre-1967 border: What was once carried out in the Galilee (Live Fire Zone 9 included the lands of Palestinian citizens of Israel that later became the Jewish city of Carmiel ) is being planned today for the entrance to Arad (seven new communities for Jews in an area where the state refuses to recognize Bedouin communities ), and regularly applied since 1967 in the West Bank. Let’s not be surprised if in five years, Live Fire Zone 918 turns into a thriving Jewish town.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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