Snapshots of occupation; So close yet so far

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 11:23

The majority of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza cannot go to Jerusalem, a city of extreme spiritual, cultural, hitorical and political significance for them and one that shapes their identity.   

Movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli military occupation - now in its 50th year - mean they are forced to request a special permit from the Israeli authorities to visit the city.  Securing a permit is a frustrating process.   For a young, unmarried man - considered the highest "security risk" - it is near impossible. 

Palestinians traveling across the West Bank are unable to use Route 60, the road which goes straight through Jerusalem but which is designated for the exclusive use of Israelis and Israeli settlers.  

Palestinians must circumvent the city, using a long road whose many twists and turns add danger to their journeys and which wastes unnecessary hours.  As they travel they may get a tantalizing glimpse of Jerusalem - a place so close but which many will never be able to set foot in.  

Restrictions on Palestinians' movements mean many families are forced to live separate lives across the fragmented areas that constitute occupied Palestinian territory.  

"If there was no occupation, I could visit my friends in Gaza and my family in Jerusalem," laments 23 year old Muna Abu Meizar from the West Bank.