First, let's remember the background. Israel withdrew all of its military and Jewish civilian population in 2005, in an act of what might be considered self-ethnic cleansing:
"The Israeli disengagement from Gaza (Hebrew: תָּכְנִית הַהִתְנַתְּקוּת, Tokhnit HaHitnatkut; in the Disengagement Plan Implementation Law), also known as "Gaza expulsion" and "Hitnatkut", was the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Four small settlements in the northern West Bank were also evacuated...The Gaza Strip contained 21 civilian Israeli settlements...
The disengagement was proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005. Those Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005..."
Well, on with the story: The Washington Post interviewed two Palestinian spokesmen for their views on this issue, Raji Sourani, human rights lawyer for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza and Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian lecturer of political science at Birzeit University in Ramallah, West Bank, and a former Palestinian minister. Here is some of what they have to say, punctuated predictably by a few squawks from Green Eagle.
"Q: Does Israel still occupy Gaza?
A: Gaza is definitely still occupied, and Israel is still the belligerent occupying force, and they have no right to enforce this illegal, inhuman collective punishment. It is entirely against the Geneva Convention."
The first incident in the entire history of the human race of Occupying From Another Country. Those tricky Jews.
"Q: Israel says it withdrew from Gaza, so how can you say it's still occupied?
A: This is a very well-known trick. Whenever they want to, they can occupy Gaza again...This claim is ridiculous."
Note that by this standard, the United States occupies Canada, since we could occupy them any time we want. By the way, doesn't the statement "they can occupy Gaza again" pretty much admit that they are not occupying Gaza now? Those tricky Jews again- they can occupy a country even when they are not occupying it. Could there be a greater example of patent absurdity? And yet, most of the nations of the world seem to accept this nonsense as a legitimate argument.
"Gaza has not been rebuilt since the [Israel-Gaza war] of 2008/09, and it is not rebuilt after three wars because Israel does not want to do that."
Well, how about if someone else does it; say the Palestinians themselves? They get plenty of foreign aid money, and they can bring the supplies in via their border with Egypt, but of course they have other uses for that money- namely to enrich their leaders, who cannot, of course, be changed because Hamas did away with elections after it took control. This is, predictably, Israel's fault
"Israel can decide to kill anyone anywhere in Gaza. They can do what they want in Gaza they are the secret power."
The "secret power." I see. You know what? Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and a whole bunch of other countries can do whatever they want in Gaza too. So I guess they are all occupying Gaza. In fact, any country with an air force could do the same. Gaza-occupied by about eighty countries at once. No wonder things are so bad for them.
"If there is no occupation power, then why is there a siege on Gaza?"
Maybe because otherwise, Gaza would be flooded with weapons for another attack on Israel? Oh no, who could think a religious leadership like Hamas would do that?
Q": Does Israel still occupy Gaza?
A: Yes, it does, and this is not only the view held by Palestinians. It is also seen this way by experts in international law, who confirm the Palestinian understanding that Israel did not withdraw from Gaza but merely redeployed from inside Gaza to around it."
This is one of my favorite comments in a long time. Israel did not "withdraw" from Gaza, but merely "redeployed" by removing all troops from Gaza. In fact, since there are no Israelis in Gaza, there is no way that they could satisfy demands to cease "occupying" Gaza except by committing mass suicide.
This sort of thinking, by the way, is the result of humoring the Palestinians about their endless distortions of their history. They are at the point where (sort of like Republicans) they no longer feel a second of shame at uttering the most preposterous, malicious falsehoods.
"The presence of the Israeli army inside Gaza was removed, but the Israeli military still controls the borders of Gaza, meaning the Gazans do not have control over their borders and, consequently, their movement and movement of goods going into and out of Gaza.
I am not a legal expert, but I would say that Israel’s control over the borders is a continuity of the occupation."
Well, I am not an expert either, but as far as I can remember, when you pull all your people out of a country, you are no longer occupying it. So, now they insist that Israel abandon control of its own borders with a country whose government is at war with it. I'd like to know of the last time that was ever considered a fair demand. During World War II, for example, was it a war crime for England to not allow free entry to German troops? That is the standard of non-occupation the Palestinians are demanding of Israel, and it serves as a perfect example of how irrational their position is.
"Q: Israel says it has relaxed restrictions on goods and people going in and out of Gaza, and figures from international organizations show the numbers of both are up in 2015.
A: Israel increasing its restrictions or relaxing its constrictions confirms the idea that Israel is controlling the border. When it is in Israel’s interest, they relax restrictions. This means that Gaza is under Israeli control."
Even relaxing restrictions is a sign of evil intent. Because, Jews. And because the Palestinians know that no matter how vicious their claims are, a large part of the world will just swallow them whole.
"Q: Israel says it controls the crossings because of Hamas rocket fire.
A: The Israeli restrictions, Hamas rockets and all other aspects of the conflict all take place within the framework of an illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. We have resistance and rockets; sometimes it's legitimate and sometimes it's an illegitimate means of resistance, but it's all because of the occupation."
Translation: Anything we want to do- aggressive war, terrorism, sabotage, it's all fine because we say that we are the good guys.
"Evacuating part of Palestinian territory, changing the form of control from inside to outside, does not mean the Palestinians should give up on their efforts to get complete freedom."
And in case you don't get what the guy just said, according to him, evacuating part of "Palestinian territory" is not enough. Nothing is enough until all Jews in Israel are slaughtered and the country is obliterated, so this currently vibrant, economically strong state whose two million strong Arab community enjoys a standard of living about ten times that in the surrounding countries, can join its neighbors as a war torn hellhole of ethnic slaughter.
And don't forget- a large part of the world's supposedly sentient residents will buy into all of it.