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  • 6 years ago
A Checkpoint Effect? Evidence from a Natural Experiment on Travel Restrictions in the West Bank

A Checkpoint Effect? Evidence from a Natural Experiment on Travel Restrictions in the West Bank

Checkpoints are a centerpiece of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, yet remain understudied. How do they affect Palestinian preferences towards violence? What role do they play in the Peace Process and regional security? Some analysts contend that checkpoints defend against violence, while others say they perpetuate it. Which is it, and how can we tell? In this paper we exploit a natural experiment, based on an Israeli decision in 2009 to remove several checkpoints. We randomly sampled within two population clusters before and after this intervention. These results are then compared with an independent panel survey conducted in three waves between 2007-2009. Both studies suggest that checkpoints make Palestinians more likely to support violence - suggesting a rethinking of Israeli security policy, as short-term concerns over Palestinian movement may be compromising Israel's long-terms security interests. This argument has policy implications for conflicts worldwide, most notably in cont

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