Sunday, March 12, 2006
Does Israel still have obligations in Gaza?
Another 'human rights organisation' Gisha, the Center for the Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement has petitioned the Israeli High Court to allow 10 occupational therapy students from Gaza to study in the West Bank.
This case is more than about the 10 students, it goes to the heart of how Israel now relates to Gaza after the disengagement. The state argued in response to the petition that, after Israel removed its troops from Gaza, it did not have any obligation to allow the students "to cross over from the Gaza Strip, an area which is no longer under [Israeli] military control, to Judea and Samaria."
The state's representative, Haran Reichman, claimed that although there was "some degree of linkage" between Gaza and the West Bank, each had been declared a separate closed area after the Six Day War. That status no longer applied to Gaza, as the IDF was no longer located there; Israel, therefore, did not owe the residents of Gaza anything any more, and the state was under no special obligation to allow anybody to leave Gaza or to enter the West Bank.
Israel is effectively at war with organisations in the Gaza Strip, some of which are about to become part of the governing power there. Would any other nation allow nationals of a country they were at war with to travel over their territory?
However, Israel is seeking to build a road that will serve as a means for getting from Gaza to the West Bank. This will not be ready for a while and Israel is looking for more peaceful situation to build it.
Israel has disengaged from the Gaza Strip and has even left certain entry points into the strip for the Palestinians to monitor themselves. We have no more obligations to the Gaza Strip. It is not Israel's fault or responsibility that the absurdity of Palestinian nationalism seeks two non-contiguous tracts of land as a 'homeland'. One day when there will be peace the situation can be more similar to the US, Canada and Alaska; but until then there can be no comparison.