The Palestinian Authority Acknowledges the End of the Occupation

A great deal of conventional wisdom—inside Israel and outside it—holds that the country’s most serious problems are due to its “occupation” of Palestinian territories. As Stephen Flatow points out, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has itself admitted that this term no longer applies:

The PA recently submitted a request to UNESCO to recognize the city of Jericho as a “Palestinian heritage site.” In its description of the history of the region, the PA’s request refers to “the time of Israeli Occupation (1967–1994).” Thus, the PA has acknowledged, in writing, that Israel’s occupation there ended in 1994.

The same phrase appears in another PA–UN document. . . . The [2008] report surveyed the history of tax collection in the area, so it was forced to acknowledge the changes between the years that Israel occupied Palestinian Arab cities and the years after the occupation ended. Thus, on page 49, we find Section 6.1, which is titled “Taxes in the occupied Palestinian territory–Israeli Occupation (1967–1994).”

Of course, anybody who visits any city in the PA-governed territories can see with his own eyes that there are no Israeli soldiers. No Israeli military governor. No Israeli military administration. Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin withdrew them all, three decades ago.

Thanks to Rabin’s solution, it is the Palestinian Authority, not Israel, that occupies 98 percent of the Palestinian Arabs. The streets of their cities are policed by the Palestinian security forces. Palestinian principals and teachers run the schools. The courts have Palestinian judges. . . . Pretty much the only thing the Palestinian Authority can’t do is import tanks, planes, Iranian “volunteers,” or North Korean missiles.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Palestinian Authority, United Nations, West Bank

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security