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Text testimonies Strips of Control
catalog number: 81728
Area: West bank
period: 2016
25  views    0  comments
Strips of Control
Area: West bank
period: 2016

People often say that the [Palestinian] Authority is dependent on Israel, etc., and people don’t always understand how it’s dependent on Israel. The question is whether there are elements you can point to, you can highlight, that demonstrate the Authority’s complete dependence on Israel.So listen, anything, however boring, stuff we don’t even think about as something our government does because the government simply does it – if the government wants to build a road – it builds a road. If the government decides a certain place needs more electricity, it builds an auxiliary power station, and there’s electricity. So, the Palestinians don’t have much capacity to build big things without Israel noticing and saying something about it. If they don’t like the project, and if they don’t want a big Palestinian population increase in Hebron, it can stop these things. But even at the most basic level, the Palestinian Authority doesn’t control its own borders. In the whole West Bank, nothing goes in or out without approval from Israel. So, if it (the Palestinian Authority) wants to build a power plant, it can’t do it without Israel knowing where it’s going to be and approving the entry of the materials, and the entry of the contracting company too, if it’s not a Palestinian company, which presumably, there aren’t too many Palestinian companies that know how to build stuff on the scale of a power plant, right? So they need Israel to approve this thing, even if it’s inside Area A or Area B. And the fact that every bloc of Area A and B is separated by Area C (see glossary) – that means Israel is deliberately keeping strips of control between each area. It means that Israel has to approve the most essential, basic things. And the Palestinian Authority understands this, and also, because of that, it doesn’t do anything without letting Israel know it’s doing it. Sometimes, it makes a big deal about it if it wants to do something that isn’t within Israel’s interests. It can go talk to the international media, try to play that card to scare Israel into agreeing, but at the end of the day, Israel has to agree, and doesn’t have to if it doesn’t want to.

Even if the Authority succeeds with one project, in the next one...Right, it’ll give them trouble.

Exactly.Every Palestinian minister understands this too. And every Palestinian minister also enjoys lots of very simple things, like being able to send his kid to university abroad and [getting] all the personal permits he wants. And if he doesn’t work with Israel, he really really doesn’t [get to] enjoy the projects he’s supposed to implement in his job, in his portfolio in the government, and also in his personal life.