Last year, I experienced at first hand Israel’s new-look occupation. Intending to cross into Israel from the northern West Bank, I arrived at the Jalama checkpoint expecting the usual token passport check. Instead, I was told that it was forbidden for me to use this particular crossing point. For six hours I sat under the watchful eye of two soldiers, making calls to the British consulate, which, in turn, called various Israeli military officials.
During my extended visit, I had plenty of time to observe my surroundings. One of the new “terminals” that Israel has built, Jalama is on the “Green Line”, but there are others that lie well inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These new checkpoints are built like international borders, with metal detectors, turnstiles, winding passages and the disembodied voices of security personnel. Read more