Al Jazeera Correspondent

In Pictures: The one-state inevitability

Matthew Cassel returns to Ramallah to see how Palestinians try to live a 'normal' life under occupation.

Last updated: 15 Dec 2013 10:47
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A lot has changed since my last visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank more than seven years ago. The intensity of the intifada, the Palestinian uprising against Israel’s occupation, has simmered down. The Ramallah street corners where I used to watch Palestinian youth throw stones at Israeli soldiers, have transformed into glittery cafes that charge $5 for a latte. Palestinians walk the streets with a sense of ease that I had never witnessed during previous visits. The situation feels almost normal.

Identity and Exile - Extra

But normalcy is difficult to achieve under military occupation. Israel’s impromptu checkpoints and random raids into towns and villages that have made life close to impossible for Palestinians, have decreased, but they can and do still happen at any moment. And that means life under occupation is always unpredictable, and Palestinians are constantly reminded that freedom is something they are yet to achieve.

However, the most striking change from 2006 is the dramatic increase in Israeli settlements. Whether it is new ones being built or old ones growing in size, Jewish-only settlements are scattered all over the West Bank. And with the increasing number of settlements, along with Israeli roads, nature reserves and other sites, driving around the occupied West Bank does not feel any different from driving around Israel.

After this trip back to the West Bank and seeing the increasing pervasiveness of Israel’s occupation, it is blatantly obvious that the one-state solution in Israel and Palestine is inevitable. The ongoing theft of Palestinian land has rendered the two-state option impossible. However, the big question that remains is by the time everyone admits that one state is the only solution, what will Palestinians have left?

Follow Matthew Cassel on Twitter: @justimage

Al Jazeera Correspondent can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1130; Wednesday: 0100; Thursday: 0600.

Watch more Al Jazeera Correspondent 


Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.
join our mailing list