Population Control

Since its 1967 occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land, Israel has developed an intricate system of oppression, combining military force, technology, infrastructure, and regulations to exert control over Palestinian and Syrian populations and further entrench its control over land and resources. Populations living under Israel’s military rule are denied basic civil liberties and are subject to arbitrary repressive violence by the Israeli military, police force, and private security personnel.

In the occupied West Bank, around 3 million Palestinians live within a complex mosaic of administrative areas carved out through the 1993 Oslo Accords. Under the Accords the West Bank was divided into three administrative areas (A, B, and C). Area A comprises approximately 18% of the West Bank and is nominally under full Palestinian control. Area B, comprising approximately 22% of the West Bank, is under the full administrative control of the Palestinian Authority but under the military control of Israel. Area C, which comprises 61% of the West Bank, is under the full control of Israel through the Civil (Military) Administration in the West Bank. 

These areas are separated and surrounded by a system of roadblocks, fences, walls, barriers, and checkpoints, as well as Israeli settlements and roads designated for the exclusive use of Israelis. The movement of Palestinians between the separate areas is controlled by an elaborate permit regime. Further, Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza require special permits to enter into areas annexed to Jerusalem, and Jerusalem itself. Permits are allocated by the Israeli authorities according to secret security and economic considerations. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are blacklisted and cannot pass through any of the checkpoints, not even to travel inside their own enclave to the next town or the surrounding area.

In Gaza, around two million people have been living under an Israeli-imposed land, air, and sea siege since 2007. The movement of people, goods, and services in or out of Gaza is almost completely blocked, and ongoing military attacks cause mounting casualties and infrastructure destruction.

Population control and arbitrary movement restrictions separate families, severely limit access to health care, education, and employment, and hinder economic development. Israel also utilizes its force and technologies to surveil and intimidate populations, as well as to quell any form of political activity and resistance, including the routine use of lethal crowd control weapons and live fire on civilian demonstrators.

Collective punishments in the form of military assaults, house demolitions, curfews, closures, and mass arrests are common. Presently, there are approximately 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli incarceration centers. About 1,000 are being held under administrative detention, i.e., without having been charged, tried, or sentenced.

Who Profits has identified three sub-categories of corporate involvement in Israel’s Population Control. Private Security and Surveillance Technology refers to corporate involvement in Israel’s growing Private Security and Surveillance Technology Industries. The Wall and Checkpoints refers to Israel’s intricate mechanisms of control, physical segregation, and restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the oPt. Specialized Equipment and Services, refers to corporate involvement in the provision of services and equipment to the Israeli military and security apparatus.