The Practice of Waiting under Closure in Palestine



Land and space in Palestine, engineered as they were through occupation, have fundamentally shaped experiences of mobility, households, work, and support systems of urban and rural dwellers. Within the various spaces of the Occupied Territories, Palestinians encounter the problems of intensified closure, deteriorating economic conditions but also opportunities for countering their marginalization. Based on the oral histories of midwives, nurses and new mothers in the Central West Bank, this article focuses on the practices of waiting everyday under the changing regime of the closure and mounting poverty. Complementing the literature dealing with structures of control I show how, amidst their disillusionment with politics and the collapse of networks of community-based solidarity, some women are able to make do amidst an increasingly difficult system of restrictions on mobility by forming shifting alliances and identities as workers, mothers and women.