Glossary of terms

Administrative detention

A practice carried out under Israeli military law, allowing the military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Administrative detention is predominantly used against Palestinians in the occupied territory. Israel has placed thousands of Palestinians under administrative detention over the years, many for prolonged periods of time. Administrative detention was first brought to Palestine by Britain during its colonial rule over the land.

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Annexation

Annexation is the forcible acquisition of sovereign control over one state's territory by another state. It is illegal under international law. In 1980, in a move which is not recognised by most of the international community, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, applying its sovereign control over the territory. Whilst Israel is yet to declare formal annexation of the West Bank, their steady appropriation of territory, through practices such as the demolition of Palestinian homes and the expansion of Israeli settlements, is described by some parts of the international community as 'de-facto annexation'.

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Areas A, B and C

In 1993 and 1995, the Oslo I and Oslo II Accords were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. The Accords set up a new autonomous Palestinian administration, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was to take control of certain areas of the West Bank. The West Bank was divided into Areas A, B and C. Area A was placed under the military and civil control of the PA, Area B was placed under joint PA and Israeli military control and Area C, comprising more than 60% of the West Bank, was placed under full Israeli military and civil control. This division was supposed to be an interim measure lasting no more than 5 years, after which point the PA was to gain jurisdiction over the entire West Bank in order to establish a Palestinian State. However, this process was not completed and the Areas A, B and C regime continues to this day.

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Checkpoints

Military crossing points which control the movement of Palestinian pedestrians, vehicles and goods between occupied Palestine and Israel, and in and around the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These include large crossing points such as Qalandia Checkpoint and Checkpoint 300 which control passage through the Separation Barrier, and smaller crossing points such as Beit Hadassah in Hebron which controls Palestinian movement within the city. The Israeli military also periodically set up 'pop-up' or 'flying checkpoints' throughout the West Bank. According to the UN, there are 140 checkpoints, 64 of which are guarded full time by the Israeli military. In addition to checkpoints, there are over 600 other obstacles including road gates, roadblocks, earth mounds and trenches which close off various roads, streets and travel routes to Palestinians. All of these severely restrict Palestinian freedom of movement.

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Demolition order

A notice given to Palestinians by the Israeli authorities, notifying them of an intent to demolish their residential property, school or other structure in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Demolitions usually follow in a timeframe that ranges from days to years.

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Firing Zone

Firing zones are areas of land in the occupied West Bank designated for Israeli military training and operations. Firing zones are often established on Palestinian-owned land, close to residences. As it is illegal under Israeli law to live on a firing zone, Palestinians residing there are often issued with demolition orders. Some firing zones are active, placing Palestinian residents in immediate danger from military training exercises nearby. Others are designated as firing zones, but seldom used.

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Forced displacement

Forced displacement is the involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region. The UN defines forced displacement as people displaced 'as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations'. Israeli practices such as home demolitions and settlement expansion are considered to be a trigger of forced displacement of Palestinians.

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Occupation

According to Article 42 of The Hague Regulations, 'territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of a hostile army.'

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Permits (travel)

Since 2003, Israel has operated a permit regime across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Under this regime, Palestinians are required to apply to the Israeli Civil Administration for permits in order to cross the Separation Barrier for work, worship, medicine, family unification or other travel needs. As the route of the barrier has separated many Palestinians from their land, a number of Palestinians also have to apply for permits in order to work their fields or harvest crops. There are over 100 types of permit and the regime has been described by Israeli human rights group Machsom Watch as a 'bureaucratic maze', which is complex and discriminatory, impacting many aspects of Palestinian daily lives.

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Permits (building)

In order to build structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, such as homes, schools, clinics and animal shelters, Palestinians must apply to the Israeli authorities for permission. These applications can cost thousands of pounds and take years to be processed, yet the chances of success are slim. In Area C of the West Bank (where most of the space for building is) only around 3% of building permit applications submitted by Palestinians are accepted. To meet the needs of a growing population, many Palestinians are forced to build without permission, placing their homes at risk of demolition.

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Separation Barrier

In 2002, Israel began construction of a barrier separating the occupied West Bank from Israel. Israel began building the barrier following the Second Intifada, a violent period in the conflict where around 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians lost their lives. This structure, consisting mostly of militarised fencing and an 8-metre-high concrete wall, is over 700km long. The route of the barrier was found to be illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. This is because 85% of the barrier does not run along the internationally recognised border between Israel and Palestine, known as the Green Line, but instead deviates up to 18km inside the West Bank, annexing Palestinian territory and many vital natural resources to Israel.

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Settlements

Housing units, ranging from villages to cities, built in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by the Israeli government and for use by Jewish-Israelis only. These homes are built on occupied Palestinian land and are therefore considered illegal under international law.

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Settlers

Jewish-Israeli residents living in settlements. Settlers choose to live in settlements for a variety of reasons. Some do so to benefit from economic incentives such as grants and subsidies provided by the Israeli government. Others do so for ideological and religious reasons, citing an historical Jewish connection to the land.

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Settler outposts

Jewish-Israeli residential structures built in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. They are usually established by ideological settlers. These structures are built without consent from even the Israeli authorities, but are increasingly given retroactive support and the legal authority to remain by the Israeli government. Usually beginning as a caravan or tent, settler outposts often develop over time into more permanent structures.

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