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Israel: too soon for celebration? « Previous | |Next »
August 19, 2005

Palestinians can, and should, celebrate victory of the Gaza Strip. They are justified in seeing the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip as their victory, and as the second Israeli withdrawal after the earlier one from southern Lebanon.


Israel has ceded territory of the Gaza Strip and it has effectively extricated itself from an onerous occupation in which farmland and water had been plundered from the 1.5 million Palestinians.

The disengagement should have happened a decades ago.

Me thinks those who celebrate have forgotten about the deepening Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the cementing of control of occupied East Jerusalem. There would be deep settler resistance to any Israeli disengagement from that part of the occupied territories.

What will happen about the governance of the Gaza Strip post-disengagement? Ze'ev Schiff asks:

Will it be the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas, or the "people's army" (murabitoun) of Hamas, which is better trained?...part. Abbas has proposed to Hamas that it maintain the "truce agreement" until January 2006, when Palestinian Legislative Council elections will be held. Hamas is deeply opposed to the elections, and plans to renew terrorist activity in the West Bank, including firing rockets at Israeli cities.

The deep conflict within the Palestinaian political institutions is overlaid with Israeli control of Gaza strip. As Raji Sourani says:
Israel remains in control of the land borders (including the only access point from Gaza to the outside world), the sea (preventing fishing, pleasure boating or travel for work or holidays) and the air (ensuring that the airport runway remains bombed-out and inoperable).

The Israeli occupation of Palestine continues in its legal and physical form.

Israeli disengagement does not mean Palestinian self-determination.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:47 PM | | Comments (0)