Amnesty: Gaza is Still Under Israeli Occupation



By: JONATHAN DAHOAH HALEVI, TRANSLATION ELAD BENARI  
Published: June 2nd 2010
in News » Israel

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I don’t want to give you incorrect statistics, since I don’t have the numbers in front of me. I can check and get back to you with precise statistics. It’s important to remember in this matter that Israel does not have full disclosure of data and we have to receive it from different sources, both Israeli and other ones. I can check the data and get back to you. I don’t remember them by heart and I don’t want to say something inaccurate.

 

You used the word few. According to Hamas’ data, in 2009 more than 5,000 patients left Gaza and only 150 were refused. Does this meet the definition of few?

 

I’m not aware of these statistics and don’t know how to treat them.

 

Those are official statistics by the Hamas government.

 

I’m not aware of this.

 

What is required of Israel to stop it from being an occupying force under Amnesty’s definition?

 

That there will be another sovereign power and that the border crossings to Gaza not be under Israeli control. That’s the meaning of occupation, there’s no other sovereign power there, there’s no control over the border crossings for free movement of people and goods and that’s why Gaza is under occupation.

 

Is an exit by the Navy from Gaza’s waters an end to the occupation?

 

No.

 

Is opening the border crossings with Israel ending the occupation?

 

That’s a step towards ending the occupation.

 

Can Israel not ever close the border crossings to Gaza?

 

Assuming that another sovereign power will be there, there can be international border crossings. That’s not the situation as of today.

 

Hamas is defined as a sovereign power by the Goldstone committee which treated it as “the authority of Gaza” and is internationally recognized by a large number of countries.

 

It receives recognition as a de facto regime. The question of the Israeli occupation is not related to Hamas. It’s connected with Israel’s actions.

 

So what actions must Israel take? You say that the occupation ends if Israel opens the crossings, so if the occupation ends, Israel needs to close the borders since Gaza is defined as an enemy state. There’s a logical contradiction here.

 

I don’t understand where the contradiction is.

 

The border between Israel and Lebanon is closed since Lebanon is an enemy state. You’re claiming that Israel needs to open the borders to Gaza and then the occupation will end. And then Israel will have to close the crossings.

 

I’ll ask you another question. Can Lebanon control the transfer of goods and people to Lebanon not opposite Israel but opposite other countries?

 

So the problem is with the control by sea and air. If the seas are open there is no occupation?

 

Of course, had it been possible to enter Gaza freely through the air, by sea and land, that would certainly be one component of the occupation ending.

 

What are all the components to end the occupation? Amnesty does not present a plan in which Israel stops the occupation. It says that Israel needs to stop the occupation and deepen the occupation by opening the borders. I don’t comprehend that.


Related articles: (amnesty international, occupation, siege, Itai Epstein)
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