chapter  6
23 Pages

Punishing populations and resisting punishment

In this chapter I examine elements of the occupation that are directed at punishing the Palestinian population or portions of the Palestinian population, and elements of resistance aimed at resisting punishment. Framing imprisonment and punishment and prison hunger strikes as resisting punishment needs little explanation, but some of the other elements may seem less clearly linked to punishment. Curfew, used extensively throughout the West Bank during the Second Intifada, represents collective punishment of a population who was directly or indirectly supporting the intifada. This represents collective punishment because everyone in an area was targeted, regardless of their political activities. The perception of the Palestinian civilian population, especially during the Second Intifada, was that they represented an existential and terrorist threat to the Israeli state. The first section of this chapter explains these discourses, and they support further sections by demonstrating how these discourses explain and justify the punishment of Palestinian civilians. House demolitions represent punishment as well, insomuch as they represent a direct and tangible punishment for building a house without a permit, building in Area C, or, in more rare cases, as collective punishment of a family for the actions of one of the house’s residents. House rebuilding after demolition thereby clearly represents resistance to punishment, just as hunger strikes resist the punishment of imprisonment.