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One Year after the ‘Disengagement’: Gaza still Occupied and under Attack

One year after Israel's "Disengagement", the Gaza Strip is still occupied territory under international law.

The Disengagement Plan and Israel’s Status as Occupying Power On 6 June 2004, the Israeli government approved a “Disengagement Plan,” which provided for the complete unilateral withdrawal of Israeli settlers and ground troops from the Gaza Strip, as well as a limited unilateral withdrawal from a small part of the northern West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, the plan was implemented from 15 August 2005, when Israel began removing settlers, until 12 September 2005, when the last troops withdrew.

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Operation Cast Lead and the Distortion of International Law

A Legal Analysis of Israel’s Claim to Self-Defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter On the morning of 27 December 2008, the Israeli occupying forces launched ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ a wide-ranging military operation against the Gaza Strip. After 22 days of unrelenting aerial attacks coupled with intensive ground incursions, the death toll exceeded 1,400 Palestinians, a majority of them civilians including women and children, with over 5,000 more wounded. The excessive civilian casualties were compounded by the unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip including hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes and United Nations (UN) compounds. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon described the extent of death and destruction across the Gaza Strip as “shocking and alarming”1 and condemned Israel’s “excessive use of force”2 against the Gaza Strip.


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