Photographs by Jennifer Lemire and Daniel Moss for Grassroots International
At first glance, there is strong justification for closures in the OPT (
Closures and checkpoints were instituted and the security wall was built in order to prevent terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Since these measures were implemented, suicide attacks and other terrorist activities against Israelis within the green line have dropped drastically. Despite the frustrations and suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, nothing can justify the use of terror against innocent people on both sides.
The motivation of Palestinian extremist terrorist groups to carry out a deadly terrorist act remains high. In return, targeted assassination of terrorist leaders only increases hate and motivation to carry out more terrorist attacks. It is a matter of time before a terrorist act will occur. The situation in
The conundrum is where to draw the line. On the one hand it is imperative that there be total cessation of Qassam rocket fire while on the other hand, the innocent Palestinians in Gaza not be punished collectively.
Simultaneously, the situation in the
There was a case of parents, who left their infant with its grandparents in another village. The infant was not allowed to join his parents because of the closure. Another incident is that of a bridegroom who could not marry his bride because he was stuck at the check point on his wedding day. Even more serious are the delays of very sick Palestinians who are in urgent need of medical attention. These restrictions led to the death of 59-year-old Fawzia Abd El-Fattah El-Darak. Her husband tried to bring her to the hospital in the West Bank city of
There are no signs that any of the checkpoints within the territories have been removed despite Israeli statements to that effect. The daily lives of Palestinians are so disrupted that many become despondent and cannot find work. All these disruptions in Palestinian daily lives must be blamed on the Hamas and company terrorist groups. They are the cause! Had they not been so motivated in carrying out terrorist activity against innocent Israelis, Palestinians would be able to get on with their lives. If anything, “ethnic cleansing and genocide” is very much a part of the Hamas lexicon and their adopted godfather Mahmoud Ahmadinajad of
The occupation is dehumanizing Israeli society. A question that one must ask is:
What is more dehumanizing – the occupation or the senseless killing of innocent people on both sides? Can one be more dehumanized than someone who straps himself or herself with bombs and goes seeking victims? It is difficult to be human when acts perpetrated against Israeli citizens are indiscriminate and inhuman.
“Palestinian life in the
Very special thanks to Dr. Robert Ben David, who contributed to the writing of this article.