Internal Displacement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Politics and the Loss of Livelihood

Maher Anawati Bitar

in Dispossession and Displacement

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264591
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734397 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

Internal Displacement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Politics and the Loss of Livelihood

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Between December 2008 to January 2009, the Israel militaries assaulted the Gaza Strip displacing over 50,000 people. This assault accentuated the already long history of Palestinian forced migration. It created ‘internally stuck persons’ (ISPs) who were no longer able to flee conflict areas to safer grounds. For the ISPs, the Gaza Strip has become a prison which is controlled by outside force. Within the context of open-air prison, the ISPs have become ‘internally displaced persons’ because they are compelled to remain within this circumscribed boundary. IDPs receive less assistance and protection than refugees. This chapter discusses the scope, extent and repercussions of the involuntary migratory movements within the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It focuses on the physical barrier created by the Government of Israel (GoI) within the oPt. Although the displacement in Gaza, the East Jerusalem, and the West Bank is often triggered by similar and indirect factors, the latter two areas face a distinct set of triggers. A review of the preliminary displacement patterns have shown that forced displacement is both a result of and a means by which the GoI has expanded its hold of East Jerusalem and the prime areas of the West Bank. This review thus asserts that displacement cannot be simply viewed as a humanitarian crisis or a consequence of conflict or Israel’s security needs.

Keywords: Israel militaries; Gaza Strip; Palestinian forced migration; internally stuck persons; IDPs; involuntary migratory movements; occupied Palestinian territories; West Bank; East Jerusalem

Chapter.  9992 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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