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24. Checkpoint entrance

Bethlehem, West Bank - Palestine


Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper

30 x 42 cm


5/5 edition (+ AP)

A Palestinian man scales the fence divide of Checkpoint 300 to fast track his passage through the checkpoint. This behaviour is reluctantly tolerated by those queuing. Everyone understands that any lateness in getting to their low wage construction jobs with Israeli construction companies in Israel and Jerusalem risks the loss of work permits and being banned from future permits.

In 2003, the Israel Defence Force initiated a programme called 'Another Life'. The programme sought ways to "minimize damage to the Palestinian life fabric". The aim of this strategy was to avoid a humanitarian crisis which would require direct IDF humanitarian intervention in the Palestinian territories (such as taking over food provision for the Palestinian population). 'Another Life' turned humanitarianism into a tool of control.

One of the early focuses of the programme was an overhaul of checkpoint system to improve the efficiency and 'Palestinian experience' in the territories. In early 2004, The IDF's Director of Civilian and Humanitarian Issues, Baruch Spiegel, commissioned a study of border structures and checkpoints around the world (including the US/Mexican and Finnish/Russian borders as well as the pre-WW2 Maginot Line constructed by France). The resulting Spiegel Report and Plan recommended major checkpoints between the Palestinian territories and Israel to be constructed into terminal buildings much like international border crossings. Instead of Israeli soldiers directly controlling the flow of Palestinians through checkpoints, architecture and design would. Spiegel intended to "take the army out of the checkpoint."


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