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Accepted Paper:

The Israeli-Palestinian wall goes to court: the legal case of land expropriation in the Cremisan valley  
Elisa Farinacci (University of Bologna)

Paper short abstract:

Through an analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Wall as an assemblage, we explore its impact on the Christians of the Cremisan Valley. The Wall severs owners from their field, its route is debated in court, and it erases the memories and lived experiences of the Palestinians with the landscape.

Paper long abstract:

The Cremisan Valley, located at the border between Israel and the West Bank's municipality of Beit Jala, for a decade has been the subject of legal battles debate at the Israeli Supreme Court due to the 1.5-kilometer long route proposed for the security barrier. As designed by the IDF, the route, while intending to provide security for the Jewish settlement of Har Gilo and Gilo, at the same time, it would sever fifty-eight Christian families from their lands, as well as separating the Salesian men's monastery and vineyards from the nun's convent and elementary school. The issue of the Cremisan Valley, allows us to analyze the conjuncture between the Israeli's legal system concerning the annexation of Palestinian land through the construction of the Wall; the effects that this segment of the Wall's route will have on local communities based on the results of the legal battle, and the loss of the Palestinian's memory and knowledge of their landscape. The adoption of an assemblage framework, which recognizes the Wall as a nonhuman actant, enables us to discuss how its material presence reveals the role of the Israeli legal system in debates concerning the annexation of West Bank lands, how communities are deprived of their source of income due to the inability to harvest the fields, and how it precludes the Palestinians' experience of sarha, that is to roam freely through the land due to the restrictions of movement caused by the ever-shrinking territory.

Panel P039
The Promise of Land: intersections of property, personhood and power in rural life
  Session 1