July 3, 2015
- Does Israel Actually Occupy Gaza? – Ruth Eglash
The UN calls Gaza occupied territory, saying it does not matter that Israeli soldiers are not based inside the strip; they have “effective control.” Israelis, however, argue that their withdrawal from Gaza 10 years ago means that the enclave is not occupied. In 2005, Israel dismantled 21 Jewish settlements, pulled troops out, and handed the area over to the Palestinian Authority. Hamas took over Gaza by ousting its rivals by force in 2007. Israel says that tight border control with Gaza is essential because of threats from Hamas, which is seen as a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S. and the EU. Egypt also tightly controls its border with Gaza.
Israel Ziv, who headed the Israel Defense Forces’ Operations Directorate, says Israel does not occupy Gaza any more than the Egyptians are occupying Gaza. “Israel does not have any involvement at all in the day-to-day running of Gaza.” “Although there is no formal arrangement, Israel opens the border every day, allowing the flow of raw materials, humanitarian aid, food and anything that cannot be used for military purposes.” (Washington Post)