Transactions, space and Otherness: borders and boundaries in Palestine-Israel

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In the context of conflict narratives, boundaries, borders and borderlanders serve as facilitators or inhibitors of peace. In Palestine–Israel, demarcation is enacted through the separation wall, the Green Line and the smart fence along the Gaza Strip. To the established boundaries, informal demarcations are added, running through the land and communities physically, in the case of Firing Zone 918, and ideologically through Othering and transactions in the zones of transition. This article considers Othering and the negotiation of space in the context of (un)official boundaries in the West Bank and deconstructs the intersection of culture, politics and place, as well as the boundary practices enacted by the state, community and the individual. First, the article distinguishes between the types of borders and boundaries in the West Bank, before considering the manner in which Otherness is practiced in the context of movement and the separation wall, as residents negotiate the transition through and around the barrier. From Othering in the transition zone, the study questions how far the experiences of Palestinians and Israelis correlate with the broader border/boundary discourse, the extent to which negative reciprocity is practiced at the checkpoints, and whether subliminal boundaries and (re)naming influences stability in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-274
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Cultural Geography
Issue number3
Early online date26 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • borders
  • otherness
  • conflict
  • politics
  • culture
  • Palestine-Israel


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