Date of Award

7-1-1988

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Professor Robert Holmes

Abstract

This dissertation centers on the impact of Israeli policies in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 1967 and 1986. The focus of the study is to determine the effects of Israeli laws and practices on four major aspects of life in the occupied areas: political, economical, educational and demographical.

The methodology employed in this research comprised a descriptive and comparative analysis of Jordanian rule over the territories with that of Israeli occupational policies. To substantiate our thesis, we examined a number of indicators under each area of discussion using statistical data, governmental documents, newspaper accounts, and personal interviews whenever that was possible. The data collected from Palestinian, Israeli, and independent sources confirmed the research hypothesis which contended that Israeli policies were largely responsible for the underdevelopment of the West Bank and Gaza in several areas of life besides economics.

The significance of the study lies in the fact that it demonstrated unequivocally that Israel's occupational policies were systematic, coherent, and had aims far beyond the routine goals of political domination and economic exploitation which are salient features of colonialism. According to the collected data, the ultimate Israeli objective in the occupied territories was not merely to benefit economically from its underdevelopmental policies but rather to use them as an instrument to tear down the fabric of Palestinian society and subsequently de-Palestianize the West Bank and Gaza.

Our findings indicated, however, that the debilitating effects of the Israeli policies on the occupied territories were bound to radicalize the captive Palestinian population and bring about further resistance to the occupation. In the meantime, underdevelopment of the West Bank and Gaza will continue until the occupation itself is terminated.

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