This article examines the Israeli policy of closure from its introduction in 1991 through its consolidation under Oslo, when its devastating potential was heightened by an intermeshing with Oslo II's division of the occupied territories into zones of Israeli and Palestinian control. The author argues that closure, first applied as a military-bureaucratic preemptive security measure, crystallized with Oslo into a conscious political goal: demographic separation without meaningful political separation. Despite the absence of an organized Palestinian resistance to closure, the reasons for which are explored here, a spirit of resilience and defiance has enabled the population to bear up under closure's intensification during the present uprising, when virtually all movement is banned and the territories are under siege.

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