From the Small Zinzana to the Bigger Zinzana: Israeli Prisons, Palestinian Prisons
The Palestinian experience has been aptly characterized as carceralism, in both literal and metaphorical senses. It is arguable that ever since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the most consensual pillar of national Palestinian discourse has been the issue of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. After Hamas’s so-called takeover of Gaza in 2007, however, a new, intra- Palestinian carceralism emerged. This article traces the shifts in Palestinian representations and experiences of the carceral post-2007, their historical resonances in the late Oslo era, and their implications for Palestinian unity after nine years of division.
Thomas W. Hill holds a doctorate in history from Cambridge University. In a recent teaching stint at the University of California, Berkeley, he taught a course titled “Microcosm? Gaza since 1920.” He would like to thank the Kenyon Institute, Jerusalem, for a senior visiting research fellowship; audiences at Columbia University, New York University, and the American University of Beirut for comments; and Kamal Aljafari, Rob Blecher, Peter Lagerquist, and Dalia Taha for their help with this article.