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War, Peace and Land Seizure in Palestine's Border Area

Ghazi-Walid Falah
Third World Quarterly
Vol. 25, No. 5 (2004), pp. 955-975
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3993704
Page Count: 21
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War, Peace and Land Seizure in Palestine's Border Area
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Abstract

This paper describes a key aspect of the Israeli seizure and incorporation of Palestinian Arab lands that has been little examined to date, namely the dynamics of the Judaisation of Palestinian land as a result of circumstances of war, peace and conjunct agreements. I argue that this process has capitalised on a dynamics of disorder concomitant with armed hostilities. And, during peace negotiations, a policy of land takeover was pursued grounded in the power disparity between the two partners. I further emphasise that this policy has been in keeping with an ethnocratic state ideology and the perceived need to control ever more area within the Land of Israel for settlement and absorption of immigrants. The Israeli political class has repeatedly expropriated borderland space when such a window of opportunity for implementing its ethnocratic territorial imperative has arisen. This ideological imperative predated the formation of the state and has been central to the broader political enterprise of which the Israeli state was and remains the expression. The paper examines cases of land 'expropriation' in the early years of the state and specifically after the immediate termination of military hostilities, focusing on case studies in the northern demilitarised area, the Latrun area and in East Jerusalem. This fundamental state policy continues down into the present, evident in the land being seized from Palestinian territory for the building of the Separation Wall, an instrument of a significant new 'grab' of land.

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