Israel’s control over the lives of six million Palestinians is not a political issue that should be solved in a political settlement. It cannot also be reduced in the ongoing violence practised by both Israeli soldiers and settlers.
However, it affects almost all aspects of the Palestinian daily life in the occupied territories as it became a part of the daily routine.
Israel’s control over Palestinians, whether it is a visible or non-visible violence, is definitely a systematic, active, and continuous state-backed policy.
There is a direct relationship between the state-organised violence and this permanent control over Palestinians’ lives – via military, civil, legal, and administrative means. Controlling the lives of millions of people for decades is violence in itself, as you cannot impose full control over a civilian population living under foreign occupation without resorting to violence.
The absence of political representation for Palestinians in the Israeli apparatus that control their lives will subsequently lead to violence, whether were physical or administrative.
In both cases, the result will be the same: further control on Palestinians’ lives under flimsy security pretexts.
Therefore, all Palestinians became under the full control of these Israeli apparatus, including Civil Administration employees, judges, politicians, Shin Bet officers, jailers, soldiers, and Border Police officers.
Under such circumstances, Palestinians have spent their entire lives in full-controlled territory, with no hope for a better future.
Since 1967, Israel has changed and formalised its control mechanisms over the years. Accordingly, the Israeli control over Palestinians’ lives differs from one region to another: Israel’s external control over the Gaza Strip differs from its direct control over the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In the Gaza Strip, Israel maintains direct external control over the enclave and indirect control over life within Gaza. It controls Gaza’s air and maritime space, as well as six of Gaza’s seven land crossings. It reserves the right to enter Gaza at will with its military and maintains a no-go buffer zone within the Gaza territory. Gaza is dependent on Israel for water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.
Due to the Israeli control system, the population is not free to leave or enter the Gaza Strip, nor is it allowed to freely import or export goods, and Gaza’s medical resources are extremely limited.
Gaza’s two million people are living under prison-like conditions, in violation of international law and with no end in sight.
In the West Bank, Israel’s control system has another direct form due to the daily and direct contact between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.
Israel imposes a full control over the Palestinian movement in the West Bank. Israeli forces usually close Palestinian streets, restricting locals’ movement without any prior notice. Palestinians are daily stopped and searched at military checkpoints. Daily raid and arrest campaigns are carried out throughout the occupied territory.
The Israeli Civil Administration also controls the border crossings, restricting the Palestinians’ freedom of movement and travel.
As a matter of fact, three million West Bankers found themselves fully controlled by the Israeli administration.
In East Jerusalem, which Israel illegally annexed, Palestinians experienced different levels of discrimination in comparison with the western part of the city. Even their presence in the occupied city became threatened.
Severe Israeli restrictions are imposed on Palestinians’ freedom of movement in East Jerusalem. 140,000 Jerusalemites are forced to pass through dozens of military checkpoints on a daily basis in occupied Jerusalem.
Palestinian home construction is also controlled by Israel. Dozens of Palestinian-owned homes were demolished or threatened with demolition for allegedly being built without an Israeli permit.
370,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem are living under full Israeli control.
This Israeli control system, implemented by voters, politicians, judges, civil servants, and soldiers, only aims to maintain the Israeli occupation over the occupied territories and Palestinians’ lives.
This situation requires an urgent intervention from the international community as it dealt firmly with the Ukrainian-Russian war. Otherwise, the international community will be turned into an organised international apartheid.