Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Morris, Eric

Committee Member

Morris , Eric

Committee Member

Sperry , Stephen

Committee Member

Cunningham , Miller

Abstract

With the recent failure of another highly publicized peace talks, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a polarizing and contentious geopolitical crisis. Following the Israeli victory in the Six Day War of 1967, the West Bank and its substantial Palestinian population have lived under Israeli occupation. In response to the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising), lasting from1987 to 1993, the Israeli military imposed varying degrees of regulations to limit Palestinian mobility within the West Bank. The mobility constraints, most notably in the form of checkpoints, roadblocks, and physical obstructions, dramatically increased in volume and scale during the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005. With the completion of the Israeli-West Bank security barrier in 2006, the mobility restrictions within the West Bank remain severely impaired, contributing to economic stagnation. This study aims at assessing how the current policies resulting from the political response to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict impact the mobility and access of both the Palestinian and Israeli populations in the West Bank. The concept of accessibility was introduced as a mechanism from which to measure, evaluate and compare the effects of these mobility constraints implemented by the Israeli military. The Network Analyst extension of ArcMap 10.1 was utilized to simplify accessibility into a workable framework, enabling it to be interpreted and analyzed. Using spatial data collected from a variety of human rights organizations and international bodies, two separate network datasets were generated to simulate the transportation networks for the Palestinian and Israeli populations within the West Bank. The security barrier, roadblocks and roadgates were integrated into the network as barriers inhibiting access, as the crossing of a checkpoint represented an impedance of 15 minutes. Once constructed, Service Area Analysis and Closest Facility Analysis were conducted for each network using the mobility conditions that represented a worst case scenario, the current situation and a best case scenario. The results concluded that the Israeli mobility restrictions are responsible for increasing inter-city travel between major Palestinian cities by nearly 65%. Despite being able to bypass the vast majority of Israeli imposed mobility constraints, the degree of accessibility afforded to Jewish settlers is comparable to that of the Palestinian population. However, this is primarily due to geographic isolation away from major activity centers within Israel.

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