29 June '10
Elder of Zion has been all over this, both in regards to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.When it comes to anyone else, "Occupation" is defined as physically occupying an area. However, when dealing with Israel, which has withdrawn completely from Gaza, both Amnesty International and HRW apply new definitions of the term.
Take HRW, for example. In examining the Russian invasion of Georgia, HRW writes:
Russia is bound by the law of occupation wherever it exercises effective control within the territory of Georgia without the consent of the Georgian state. Anywhere Georgian authorities are prevented from their full and free exercise of sovereignty - such as denying access for Georgian authorities including law enforcement and military forces - because of Russian presence, Russia is assuming the role of an occupying power for the purposes of international humanitarian law, and all its obligations towards the civilian population remain.
If Russia exercises effective control of access to an area, such as a so-called buffer zone, even if it grants access to some authorities, for example, Georgian police, it is still bound by its obligations to the civilian population to ensure public safety and welfare and permit humanitarian access.[emphasis added]
In the first paragraph, dealing with straight occupation, Human Rights Watch clearly defines occupation in terms of physical presence that denies "free exercise of sovereignty".
According to that definition, Israel--which has no presence in Gaza and does not deny Hamas sovereign control over the area--is not an occupying area. The second paragraph, while vague, is apparently talking about controlling from within the country, which again is not applicable here--besides which, Israel allows tons of aid into Gaza each day, and will now be allowing even more.
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