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Episode Info: Welcome to Part One of Palestinian Gandhi on Trial, THR’s special series exploring the life, work, and ongoing legal predicament of Palestinian activist, Issa Amro. Issa has been called the Gandhi of Palestine for his work to promote and organize strategic non-violence among Palestinians and Israelis. Issa has also been identified increasingly over the years as a targeted activist, as he is frequently detained, arrested, and harassed for his work in the occupied territories. As of the recording of this episode in September 2019, Issa is facing trial before an Israeli military court and simultaneously before a Palestinian Authority court for his activities as a non-violent activist. We will discuss the cases at length in this series, but first: This episode, Part One, explores the context necessary to understand Issa’s case, namely, the context of the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. Beginning at absolute square one, this episode seeks to paint a picture for you of what the occupation is, how it works, and its daily impacts on those living within the West Bank. We invite you to follow along in our visual guide below. Resources The Occupation of the West Bank — A Visual Guide The Watchtowers Traveling in the West Bank, you will see numerous watchtowers, a constant reminder that Palestinians are under military occupation and that they are under constant surveillance. You will see watchtowers as you are traveling from town to town…   You will see watchtowers overlooking refugee camps…   You will see watchtowers overlooking the countryside…   In the city of Hebron, you will see watchtowers built on top of people’s houses…     You will see watchtowers in the middle of pedestrian zones… (We will discuss the graffiti on this watchtower in Part Two…) The Checkpoints Traveling around in the West Bank, you will frequently encounter military checkpoints where you must stop,  present your papers, and sometimes face questioning about where you are going and why. You may pass through a checkpoint like this one at Beit Jala when you are traveling between the West Bank and Israel…   Or you may pass through this checkpoint, which divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem…   If you are a passenger in a car, you may be told to get out and cross the checkpoint on foot…   You can spend hours waiting at a checkpoint, waiting in the cages…     You will also come upon checkpoints as you are traveling from town to town within the West Bank…   In the city of Hebron, which features heavily in this podcast series, you will find checkpoints within a city…   The schoolchildren of Hebron must pass through checkpoints daily on their way to and from school.  A checkpoint in Hebron could take many forms. It could simply be a metal detector attached to a gate that only opens when military vehicles need to pass. On some days, there are soldiers monitoring this checkpoints. On other days, there are ...
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