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While the Israeli-constructed wall in the occupied West Bank seemingly signifies a shift to a policy of separation, every year thousands of West Bank Palestinians legally and illegally cross its bounds into Israel for work. In this article, I explore the varying regimes of (il)legality and (im)mobility that have accompanied the construction of the Israel–West Bank separation wall, which decisively impact the lives of Palestinians who work in Israel. The peculiar separation legislated by the wall, which is often treated as a de facto ‘border’, obscures the ways in which it facilitates continued Israeli territorial expansion and deepens the subjugation of the Palestinian population. As a border, the separation wall functions more as a colonial frontier, theasymmetry of which has powerful implications for the border crossings of documented and undocumented workers, as well as their respective experiences of illegality inside the West Bank and in Israel. It is in the context of West Banker Palestinians who work in Israel, I argue, that the doctrine of separation embodied in the wall is exposed as not only deceptive, but also obfuscating of the relation of asymmetrical dependence between the two entities.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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