“Conquer and Divide” — B’Tselem launches interactive map to mark 52 years since the Israeli occupation began

Conquer and Divide, screenshot from project
Conquer and Divide Screenshot from Project. (photo: B’Tselem)
This interactive map follows a timeline illustrating the implementation of the various measures Israel has implemented to achieve this reality.

By B’Tselem | Jun 5, 2019

‘Israel has doggedly chipped away at Palestinian space, breaking it up into conveniently exploitable pieces, the easier to control and oppress.’
— B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad

Today — 52 years to the day since Israel began occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and against the backdrop of measures undertaken by the Trump administration to promote its “deal of the century” — B’Tselem launched a new interactive project illustrating Israel’s encroachment upon Palestinian space over the decades, shattering the land into small, isolated units, and keeping Palestinians apart from one another and from Israelis.

A collaboration with independent research agency Forensic Architecture, the Conquer and Divide project traces how government resolutions, military orders and state planning have created ever-expanding Israeli settlements and infrastructure, promoting Israeli interests at the expense of Palestinians’ rights. The map throws into stark relief the current situation of Palestinian communities, which have been intentionally cut off from one another and exist as islands in a vast sea of Israeli control.

This visualization of the occupation shows how a combination of measures — annexation; establishment of settlements; declaration of “state land,” firing zones, nature reserves and national parks; construction of the Separation Barrier; division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C with varying forms of control; and severing the Gaza Strip from the West Bank — has broken up Palestinian space into separate units that are easier to control in isolation. While Israel imposes restrictions on Palestinian movement as a major means of control, Israelis enjoy freedom of movement within the West Bank, within Israel, and between the two areas.

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