***image1***Earlier this week, Occupation authorities announced their intentions to computerize the permit system that controls West Bank Palestiniansâ access to â48 Palestine. This move increases the control exercised over the Palestinian population, adding to the hardships faced by workers and further sealing off Jerusalem. These high-tech additions also create space for the growth of particular sectors of Israeli industry, in turn increasing their strength in the international defense and homeland security markets.
Beginning May 1, 2009, a computer system will be installed at checkpoints along the Wall, including the checkpoints that separate villages from their agricultural land. Palestinians will have to register in the new system, or else face the loss of their permits for up to a month.
The computerized system will serve as yet another method of controlling Palestinian movement, making it more difficult for people to access their land and tightening the siege on Jerusalem. Moreover, the computer system is also expected to be used for punitive purposes, ensuring that those who act or speak out against the occupation can be easily identified and denied permission to cross into areas on the western side of the Wall.
The implementation of the computerized system is another step in the solidification of total control over the Palestinian population, who already face a myriad of other obstacles including the establishment of inadequate and unreliable opening hours, the constructed distinctions between commercial terminals, workersâ terminals, and regular checkpoints, and the outsourcing control of the terminals to private security companies.
It is also important to note that the participation of Israeli high-tech firms. Companies such as Elbit and Magal reap extensive benefits when their products are installed at checkpoints and along the Wall, as they serve as testing grounds where the firms can evaluate their productsâ effectiveness at controlling the Palestinian population. They are then able to modify and enhance their products accordingly, selling them worldwide as âleadersâ in the homeland security and defense industries.