Deterritorializing Cyber Security and Warfare in Palestine: Hackers, Sovereignty, and the National Cyberspace as Normative

Author(s) Fabio Cristiano
Contact Fabio Cristiano, Lund University, Lund University Box 192, 221 00 Lund, Sweden. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 13, Iss. 1, 2019, pp. 28-42
Published December 20, 2019
Type Article
Abstract Cybersecurity strategies operate on the normative assumption that national cyberspace mirrors a country’s territorial sovereignty. Its protection commonly entails practices of bordering through infrastructural control and service delivery, as well as the policing of data circulation and user mobility. In a context characterized by profound territorial fragmentation, such as the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),1 equating national cyberspace with national territory proves to be reductive. This article explores how different cybersecurity strategies – implemented by the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas – intersect and produce a cyberspace characterized by territorial annexation, occupation, and blockade. Drawing on this analysis, it then employs the conceptual prism of (de-)–(re-) territorialization to reflect on how these strategies, as well as those of Palestinian hackers, articulate territoriality beyond the normativity of national cyberspace.
Keywords Palestine, cybersecurity, national cyberspace, cyber warfare, securitization