How to best remove? (the settler’s predicament): Noura Erakat, ‘”A thorn in their throat”: planning for settler colonial removal in Hizma’, Human Geography, 2023


Abstract: Hizma is a Palestinian village historically located within the Jerusalem Governate that Israel has arbitrarily severed from it in its quest to expand and entrench a Greater Jerusalem. To eliminate the village and its natives, the settler state has incrementally deployed a series of urban planning policies that together constitute an eliminatory infrastructure. These have included overlapping and tenuous jurisdictional areas; movement restrictions imposed through closures, checkpoints, and surveillance regimes; transformation of common lands into a state-run nature preserve; and the construction of the Apartheid Wall through the village. These measures have concentrated Hizma’s residents into an urban area and severely isolated them from their agricultural lands, places of worship, education, families, and health facilities. Based on field work conducted between 3 August and 18 August 2019, this essay sets out to explore two phenomena. First, it seeks to understand how Palestinians navigate and resist Israel’s eliminatory infrastructure. Second, it explores what this infrastructure revealed about the relationship between the violence of settler colonialism and the banal administration of urban planning. Using autoethnography, this essay documents the journey of Palestinians in Hizma across three eliminatory terrains erected by planning policies: through the Apartheid Wall, within the suffocating physical and juridical bounds of entrapment, and into the community’s expropriated spring.

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