Settler Colonialism and Digital Tools of Elimination in Palestinian Jerusalem
settler colonialism
digital tools

This article examines various ways in which the Israeli security apparatus utilizes digital tools to surveil and control Palestinians in East Jerusalem and beyond. Authors Shahd Qannam and Jamal Abu Eisheh argue that such digital tools are part of the Israeli settler-colonial goal of eliminating the Indigenous Palestinians. They identify three ways in which digital tools contribute to the elimination of Palestinians and Palestinianness in Jerusalem: first, tools that allow the tracking of the movement of Palestinians, such as CCTV cameras, biometric information, and electronic ankle monitors, enable the Israeli regime to digitally track Palestinians and criminalize their movement, in order to subsequently physically remove them from the city. Second, the authors detail how Israel produces digital maps that deliberately erase the Palestinian identity of the city, promoting instead an exclusionary Zionist narrative. Third, they explain how social media serve both as tools of censorship that further erase the Palestinian narrative, and as tools of surveillance that push Palestinians to self-censorship, thereby eliminating expressions of Palestinianness.

Author biography: 

Shahd Qannam is a PhD candidate in law at the City, University of London. Her research explores Palestinian statelessness and the Palestinian right to nationality.

Jamal Abu Eisheh is a PhD candidate in Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. His research explores family reunification processes in Palestine.