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Visa precarity in Palestine

Authors: Mark Griffiths*, Newcastle University
Topics: Middle East, Political Geography
Keywords: Palestine, precarity, bureaucracy, Israel
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Israel controls all border entry points into Palestine and thus determines the legal status of the international citizens who live and work there. Many of them work in sectors for which recent Israeli administrations have restricted visitor and residency visas, including: NGOs, human rights organisations, academia, journalism and development agencies. The tightening of visa restrictions has increased the threat of deportation and anxieties around denied (re)entry and has quite profound effects for people’s roles at both home and work. This means also that the personal and political lives of Palestinians connected to those roles are affected by the prospect of losing family, collaborators and colleagues. In this paper I discuss visa precarity as a politically induced condition that is produced through bureaucratic procedures that obfuscate, delay and silence. I argue that this effects slow but definite processes that (re)produce gendered and racial divisions and contribute to the demographic objective of emptying out the Palestinian West Bank.

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