Israel’s military checkpoints: ‘We live a life of injustice’
Every morning, before dawn, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers cross Israeli military checkpoints on their way to their workplaces, in Israeli and Palestinian cities beyond the Green Line.
Hailing from across the occupied West Bank, labourers queue before the checkpoints open, in order to reach their workplaces on time. For many, this means getting up and leaving home at the dead of night.
About 70,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits make this daily commute. They work beyond the Green Line due to the high unemployment rate in the Palestinian territories – a byproduct of the 50-year Israeli occupation.
Between 4am and 6am every day, the checkpoints begin to fill up as thousands of people squeeze into cage-like lanes. Many arrive at 3am or earlier to secure their place in line, more than an hour prior to the opening of the checkpoint.
Restricted by a time limit on their Israeli permits, they must make their journey back home after the day’s end. Some, however, decide to take the risk of sleeping at their workplaces due to the conditions at the checkpoints. In turn, they only see their families on the weekend.
There are some 11 checkpoints through which Palestinians with Israeli work permits can cross into Israel. They are overcrowded and humiliating, lacking infrastructure and sanitation. Due to their extreme confinement in such small places, some Palestinian labourers have been crushed to death.
Activestills visited five checkpoints and documented the daily degradation that the labourers face.
Many have requested to remain anonymous.