Article Index

 

 

Important:

this page is not about the blockade but about a view on the blockade.

 

 

BLOCKADE OR OCCUPATION?

 

Let us begin with a summary on the modern history about Gaza.

At the end of 1948, Arab neighbors invaded Palestine to try to make an end on the invention of an Israeli state by European Zionists and the United States under Harry Truman who was the first to recognize that state. The Arab attempt failed. Up to 750,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from the land that was invaded by the European Zionists, and were never allowed back. Years of political tension and military conflict between the European Zionist migrants, later becoming Israelis,  and Palestine's neighbors followed, which resulted in the Six-Days war in June 1967.

Before the Israelis started to "control" Gaza it was under Egypt until that war when the Israelis seized the strip along with several other important areas of land. The Israelis then began to expand their territory beyond the internationally recognized borders of their territory. 

There were 21 settlements in Gaza under the occupier's administration of the Hof Aza Regional Council. The land was allocated in such a way that each Israeli settler disposed of 400 times the land available to the Palestinian refugees, and 20 times the volume of water allowed to the peasant farmers of Gaza. The first settlement was Kfar Darom, which was originally established in 1947, and reformed in 1970.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon proposed the withdrawal from Gaza in the wake of a peace agreement between the Israelis and Egypt. That agreement have led to the dismantling of settlements in the Sinai.. Sharon's proposal came into effect in 2005 with the dismantling of the 21 settlements. The dismantling didn't take place without resistance by settlers.

  

In 1987, several Palestinians were killed by an Israeli driver. The car attack, not an accident as altered by CAMERA in WIkipedia, triggered the First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli West Bank and Gaza occupation. led Yassin and six other Palestinians to found Hamas.

In 2006, Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and assumed administrative control of Gaza Strip and West Bank. In response, Egypt and the Israelis blockade Gaza by closing the land borders, preventing air traffic from and to Gaza and by stopping all maritime traffic into the territorial waters of Gaza.

The real very first terrorists in, what is now today's Palestine, were the Zealots from the 1st-century of the Hebrew religion, an offshoot from the Jebusite tribal religion. They assassinated collaborators with Roman rule in the province of Judea.

In modern history, the first terrorists were European Zionists from Poland and Belarus who formed the Stern group to attack the British. The group is also responsible for the ambush and murder of the UN diplomat, the Swedish count Folke Bernadotte. The terror attack is the roots of the rush invention of "Israelis" in 1948.

The definition of 'terror' is extreme fear. 'ism' at the end of the word 'terror' is a suffix to indicate that 'terror' represents acts and activities related to causing extreme fear, while 'terrorizing' is the act with the aim to cause extreme fear. The word 'terrorism' refers to methodologies on which the use of terror is based. Anyone who resort in acts and activities with the intention to cause extreme fear, that person is a terrorist. But, when two or more people form, or people join the forming of a group with the intention to cause extreme fear, they are members of a terror group, not a terrorist group as that is a political popularized term.

Political popularization of "terrorism" have led to misuse, even to exploit since US President George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 introduced 'war on terror' during his speech to the Congress.

Canada, the European Union, Israelis, Japan and the United States have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization. Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay and the United Kingdom have designated only its military wing as a terrorist organization. It is not considered a terrorist organization by Brazil, China, Egypt, Iran, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Syria and Turkey. In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a U.S. resolution condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The question rises when is it legitimate to label an entity as an terror organization?

  • The entity must reside inside the territory to operate as such organization.
  • It's targets must be those owned, administered, run and managed by a government or an political operating entity to whom the terror organization is oppose to.
  • It's targets must be public areas of strategic importance
  • The territory were the terror organization is operating must live in time of peace.

Well, Hamas is not residing in the Israeli territory nor is that territory in a time of peace as the Israelis never lifted the stage of war since 1967. That is why the United Nations still consider the Israelis as war belligerent. So, labeling Hamas as a "terrorist organization" is purely based on policies which hallmark support to Zionist politics against Hamas, not with criteria as written above. Israelis are simply known for their chronic lack of distinction as distinction is a threat to their policies in how to engage public relation (hasbara) .

Now let's go back to the question: is it a blockade or an occupation?

Blockade is an act, normally carried out in times of war whereby one party blocks entry to or departure from a defined part of an enemy's territory, most often its coasts.

However, we have seen that there can be a blockade in time of peace like Qatar had to face by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE who started it all by launching a smear campaign that was mastermind by its ambassador to the US, Youself al-Otaiba. The issue? Qatar's regional policies which aren't those of the other GCC member states.

Blockades are regulated by international law and custom and require advance warning to neutral states and impartial application. In international legal language:

"a belligerent operation to prevent vessels and/or aircraft of all nations, enemy and neutral (Neutrality in Naval Warfare), from entering or exiting specified ports, airports, or coastal areas belonging to, occupied by, or under the control of an enemy nation."

Well, Gaza does no longer have an operational airport since the radar station and control tower were destroyed on December 4, 2001 and the runway was cut by Israeli bulldozers on January 10, 2002. Then, there is no Israeli presence at any port entrance of Gaza's harbors. So, what is it? A blockade?

Compare it with preventing everyone from entering and leaving a house (means Gaza) as you do that by positioning yourself outside the house and in front of the garden (means Gaza waters) of the house in order to allow some free movement of those who are (still) inside. But that is not what the Israelis do. Just watch this example filmed by the Italian activist Rosa Schiano on September 3, 2012. She wrote:

"Last night me and an other international were accompanying some fishermen on a trawler. Suddenly, while we were at 2 miles offshore in Gaza waters, a vessel of the Israeli navy came near us and started shooting in the water.

The fishing zone was supposed to be 20 nautical miles, according to the Jericho agreements from 1994 (under the Oslo accords), then it was reduced to 12 miles, to 6 miles and now to 3 miles since January 2009. The marine 'buffer zone' restricts Gazan fishermen from accessing 85% of Gaza's fishing waters agreed to by Oslo.
Israel has been regularly attacking Palestinian fishermen within the purported 3 nautical mile fishing limit.
The livelihood of many Gazans relies on fishing and Israel has been using live ammunition and water cannons to prevent fishermen from doing their work."

Her writing reveals that the Israelis were not outside the garden and blocking the entrance to the house. They're in the garden (means Gaza waters) with the fence (means Gaza's maritime border) behind them. That what she mentioned as "Jericho Agreements" is a set of paperwork of something that is just a simple line drawn across the garden to limit the movement of people who live in the house (means Gaza). That is not blockading while you're in the garden. You just do two things: occupying the garden (means Gaza waters) while limiting the movement in the garden. On the map it is actually this:

In fact, the created situation, even with agreements and accords, is similar to the occupation in the West Bank but without annexation. So, in our view it is maritime occupation. The motive to falsely name it a blockade is to prevent Hamas from exploring a gas field that is in their waters but behind the Jericho Agreement Line.


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