picture: Ma’ale Adummim (East Jerusalem’s region)
ـJewish settlements within the West Bank are violating the article 49 of the Geneva Convention (see previous article
). However, thinking that they simply occupy a land they do not own would be observing them in a very superficial way. In fact, they constitute a very important weapon in the Israeli strategy of oppression towards the Palestinian. All the scales and categories of building engineering are involved in this strategy; nothing is left to chance by Israeli planners, engineers and militaries.
The geographical dimension, to begin with, is studied to disturb as much as possible Palestinian life. In fact, several settlements by their location and their occupation are splitting villages from their fields or blocking exchange between the villages.
The topographical aspect of settlements are probably the most essential dimension: They occupy the top of the hills in order to maintain a constant supervision of their surroundings, benefit of the best view on what they consider to be their land by right and constitute a very visible provocation for whoever see them.
Each settlement owns a mirador that increases this hyper-vision or at least maintain the external appearance of it.
The master plan, then, imposes a strict density of settlers’ houses thus allowing a defensible space to be constituted. For the same purpose, those houses are built in a quasi-fortified scheme including strong opaque walls and small windows.
The settlements finally own independent infrastructures from the Palestinian ones including roads, antennas, water and power supplies.
Settlements at night, illustrate perfectly the way they operate. The landscape around is all lighted up. You are on the road, you don’t really see them but they definitely see you. The environment is entirely domesticated and controlled via a militarizated vocabulary of the land.
To go further, read Eyal Weizman and Rafi Segal‘s A Civilian Occupation (see previous post)
Rimmonim (Ramallah’s region)
Geva Binyamin (East Jerusalem’s region)
Shilo & Eli (Nablus’ region)
Ma’ale Levona (Nablus’ region)
Pesagot (in Ramallah)
Har Homa (in Bethlehem)
Kochav Ya’akov (Jerusalem’s region near Ramallah)
Pisgat Ze’ev (East Jerusalem’s region)
Ma’ale Adummim (East Jerusalem’s region)