Less than two months after the December 1995 Israeli redeployment from Ramallah, a previously rare manifestation of the Israeli occupation (first observed in Jericho and Jenin in 1994) took permanent root - the closure of routes between the Palestinian towns of the West Bank. Certainly, closure itself was not a new measure - Jerusalem has been inaccessible to Palestinians since March 1993 and the Gaza Strip sealed off even before that - and one can see the roots of closure policy in the Israeli practice of curfew, but never before had the Palestinian residents of the West Bank been subjected to such a severe restriction on their internal freedom of movement. To understand a bigger picture, it is always helpful to look at one part of it. Closure Diary* focuses on the experience of the Palestinian residents of Ramallah and the university community of Birzeit, offering reports of day-to-day life under closure, one of the biggest cited frustrations of post-Oslo life.
HOW OSLO PROVIDED A FRAMEWORK FOR CLOSURE POLICY:
KEY CLOSURES IN THE RAMALLAH AREA, 12 FEBRUARY 1996 - 9 AUGUST 1997:
* This section does not represent the total number of closures since the implementation of Oslo 2 in December 1995 for two reasons: (i) Maintained by an individual who was working full time, the diary could not be a complete record of all events, even in the local area, and (ii) sometimes the closure itself was not the main focus of the story, as in the 28 March 1996 entry, "One-tenth of our university is missing", which involved a half-day closure of the northern side of Ramallah in order that Israeli troops could conduct an arrest campaign in Birzeit.