Gone, not forgotten: The Palestinian Authority claims the Gaza Strip will continue to be under Israeli occupation even after Israel pulls out of the area next week.
In a report presented to the United Nations, several foreign governments and international organizations, the PA foreign ministry calls on the international community to reject Israel’s claim that by withdrawing from Gaza, it would relinquish the legal responsibilities of being an occupying power.
They claim Israel will continue to bear legal and moral responsibility for the Strip, and that international treaties will still apply.
“The Fourth Geneva Convention and Hague Regulations will continue to apply (to Israel),” they said.
No full sovereignty
Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa said, “Israel will continue to rule over Palestinian airspace and territorial waters, and will maintain partial control over border crossings.”
“Therefore, individual movement and our connections with the outside world will continue to be subject to Israeli authority,” he said.
Al-Kidwa also called the IDF withdrawal a “blow for Israeli colonialism,” but said the move left the Palestinians short of full sovereignty.
“Israel will continue to rule over significant parts of Palestinian life in Gaza,” he said.
Europe chips in
In preparation for the Israeli pullout, Palestinian officials are busy bolstering security forces.
Monday, PA police chief Ala Husseini announced the European Union has donated USD 20 million to the PA to facilitate the project.
Husseini said the Palestinian police have started wide-ranging reforms and said support and the reform program are crucial to facilitate the rebuilding of a security establishment that will be able to impose order and security throughout Palestinian society.
“The rule of law will bring about ‘one gun,’ centralized in Authority hands. Cultural pluralism will be established by elections, rather than force.”