Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562817
Title Checkpoint Knowledge: Navigating the Tunnels and Al Walaja Checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Author(s) Rijke, A.M.
Source Geopolitics (2020). - ISSN 1465-0045
Department(s) Cultural Geography
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Abstract When Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, restrictions on Palestinian movement were gradually put in place. Today an intricate ‘architecture of occupation’ has been established – made up of numerous material barriers, the continuous expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and the establishment of an elaborate checkpoint system. For most inhabitants of the West Bank, passing through an Israeli checkpoint is a daily ritual they cannot avoid. In this article, I analyse two car checkpoints in the Bethlehem area: The Tunnels and Al Walaja, and the experiences of the Palestinian and Jewish Israeli commuters subjected to them. I argue that these checkpoints are spaces where two different, but inherently connected, mobility regimes meet: providing Jewish settlers swift and seamless passage, while controlling and hindering Palestinian commuters. I indicate how the existence of these two mobility regimes is only possible due to the low-tech design of the checkpoints, as well as the implementation of numerous biopolitical categories by the checkpoints managers. The implementation of these biopolitical categories was experienced by my interviewees as highly arbitrary as it allows the Israeli soldiers to act ‘biopolitically on the spot’, reinstating over and over again the asymmetrical relationship between the occupier and occupied. Moreover, I analyse how Palestinian commuters employ their ‘checkpoint knowledge’ in response to this arbitrariness to try to positively influence their passages: incorporating the rules and regulations as much as possible or trying to manipulate and twist the checkpoints’ practices and biopolitical categories.
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