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The Impact of the Conflict
on Daily Life

All Articles | Firsthand Reports

The Wall | Checkpoints | Curfews | Discrimination Vs. Coexistence
Collective Punishment/Terrorism | Invasions | Family Life | Water

While the American media often concentrate on the political level – leadership and negotiations – the reality of this conflict is played out in the day-to-day experience of average Palestinians and Israelis. For this reason, this section will focus on the effect of the conflict on Palestinian and Israeli life, and particularly how it affects their basic rights to food, life, property, safety, and freedom.

Although we hear a great deal about Israeli ‘security’ concerns, Israeli daily life is far less impacted by this conflict than that of Palestinians. The basic power dynamic is responsible for the vastly different experiences of these two populations. Israel, with the fourth strongest military in the world, and empowered by US support, has occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip (or ‘Palestinian Territories’) since 1967. The Palestinians have no military, few weapons, and no powerful allies.

Israel’s occupation controls almost all aspects of Palestinian life. Children have difficult getting to school, parents to work, the sick and injured to hospitals, because Israel has erected hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks obstructing Palestinian movement around their own country.

In addition to the daily difficulty posed by roadblocks, Israel has the ability – which it uses with disturbing frequency – to completely shut down parts or all of the West Bank and Gaza. Sometimes Israel imposes, by force of arms, a ‘curfew’ for an entire city or village. Heavily-armed Israeli troops enter civilian cities in tanks and armored vehicles, to prevent all inhabitants from leaving their houses for weeks or months at a time (only broken up by occasional hour-long respites, to allow residents to obtain food).

In 2002, Israel began constructing a barrier through the Palestinian West Bank, confiscating huge tracts of land, demolishing many homes and crops, cutting off many Palestinians from their means of survival, and making travel even more difficult for the entire population.

Every so often Israel ‘re-invades’, a section of the West Bank or Gaza strip, wreaking havoc above and beyond the ‘normal’ obstructions to movement described above. In the course of these invasions, much of the infrastructure for a future Palestinian state has been destroyed, many people have been killed, and much personal property – cars, homes, etc. – has been stolen or obliterated.

All of these policies are the result of the underlying ideology of Israel: Zionism. Palestinians, whether citizens of Israel or subjects of the occupation, face policies of discrimination at every level of Israeli beaurocracy.

All Articles | First-Hand Reports

The Wall | Checkpoints | Curfews | Discrimination Vs. Coexistence
Collective Punishment/Terrorism | Invasions | Family Life | Water

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Videos & Multimedia

Dispatches: The Killing Zone

Mother Kept from Children for 5 Years

The Wall
Israel's wall and towers snakes through Palestinian land.

Israel is building a separation barrier through Palestinian towns, villages, and farmland. Fact Sheet | Articles

Checkpoints
Palestinians wait at a checkpoint.

Israel has constructed hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks on Palestinian land, which restrict all movement, even to school, work, and hospitals. Fact Sheet | Articles

Curfews
A small girl peers out from begind a wire fence.

The Israeli military often puts entire towns under ‘curfew.’ This means that no one may leave there home until the curfew is lifted. Fact Sheet | Articles

Discrimination Vs. Coexistence
Detained Palestinians face the wall.

Evidence indicates that coexistence is possible if the current imbalance of power and policies of discrimination are overturned. Fact Sheet | Articles

Collective Punishment/Terrorism
An old woman cries into her hand.

Americans almost never hear about many of the disturbing tactics that make this conflict so bloody and seemingly intractable. moreFact Sheet | Articles

Invasions
Tanks kick up dust as they enter Gaza.

Every so often there is a full-scale invasion into a Palestinian town, city, or entire region. Fact Sheet | Articles

Family Life
A family smiles for the camera.

This conflict has a deeply devastating impact on family life. Fact Sheet | Articles

Water
Water is an extremely limited resource in the Middle East.

Limited water exacerbates the conflict. Israelis receive five times as much water per person as Palestinians. Fact Sheet | Articles


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