36. Route 60
Al Khadr, West Bank - Palestine
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
30 x 42 cm
5/5 edition (+ AP)
Israeli soldiers question a Palestinian man on horseback before turning him back on Route 60 near Al Khadr. Route 60, also referred to as the Biblical 'Way of the Patriarchs', is the primary North-South road in the West Bank. The roadway connects major Palestinian cities such as Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem with the Northern West Bank. It is also used as a main artery road for Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. Before 1993, Palestinians enjoyed freedom of movement along the route. Now, Israeli settlers enjoy freedom of movement, but Palestinians must often use longer alternative routes with bypass roads and tunnels as well as permanent and temporary (or 'flying') military checkpoints
The accessibility of the road system in the West Bank is dictated by which colour number plate your vehicle has. If one has a yellow Israeli number plate, then theoretically you are free to drive on all roads in the West Bank. However, if you have a green Palestinian number plate then you are banned from accessing 79km kms (in total) of the road network classified by Israeli authorities as 'Israeli only roads'. You also have restricted access on another 155 kms (in total) of the road network.
Major roadways often represent acute points of friction in the West Bank. During my time there, I heard stories of Israeli settlers shooting at passing Palestinian traffic as well as news reports of attempted ram attacks on Israeli soldiers by Palestinians.