Why Gaza Is Not Remotely Occupied – Eugene Kontorovich (Washington Post)
(dailyalert.org, Nov. 14, 2014)
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court last week found no jurisdiction over Israel’s naval interdiction of vessels seeking to break the Gaza blockade. But she did issue a long, non-binding pronouncement that it would be “reasonable” to conclude Israel occupies Gaza.
But even with all the qualifications, the prosecutor’s argument is not reasonable. It is absurd and unprecedented. It embodies principles that have never and can never be applied to other situations.
There has never been a finding of such a “remote” occupation, lasting nine years after the end of physical occupation and in the presence of a distinct and hostile local government.
The basic condition of occupation is the substitution of the authority of the occupying power for that of the local authority. But there is no suggestion that Gazan authorities have been “substituted.” They maintain daily authority on the ground.
The International Court of Justice in 2005 considered the extent of Uganda’s occupation of the Congo. The Court concluded that in a certain province, without the soldiers actually there, it did not amount to an occupation.
See also By the ICC Prosecutor’s Logic, Gaza Occupies Israel – Eugene Kontorovich
By the ICC Prosecutor’s logic, Gaza occupies Israel. First, it reserves the right to enter Israel when militarily necessary, and exercises this right. Indeed, it digs tunnels directly into Israel: a direct physical occupation of territory.
Moreover, it controls parts of life in Israel. It decides, for example, when schools will be open in the south, and when they will be closed due to rocket fire. Indeed, Gazan authorities boast that they can shut down Israel’s airport whenever they want. (Washington Post)
See also The ICC Prosecutor Did Not Decide Gaza Is Occupied– Eugene Kontorovich
It seems odd that the Prosecutor spent 40 pages of a 60-page report on a long and detailed discussion of whether Gaza is occupied. The entire issue was determined before any factual investigation or the participation of Israel. The frolic seems, at best, like a rhetorical sop to those who would otherwise be angered by the ultimate result. (Washington Post)
The writer is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, and an expert on constitutional and international law.
(Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed.)