The mythical post-2005 Israeli occupation of the Gaza strip

Avi Bell, Dov Shefi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Consistent with the resolution of the government of Israel and the proclamation of the Military Commander, in 2005 Israel withdrew all Israeli military forces from Gaza, forcibly removed all Israeli civilians, and dismantled its military administration in the entirety of the Gaza Strip. In addition, Israel abandoned its presence in the 'Philadelphi Corridor' - the border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Notwithstanding this complete withdrawal from Gaza, a number of legal advocacy groups, UN organs and other observers have continued to opine that Gaza is under Israeli occupation. This article examines the validity of claims that Israel still 'occupies' Gaza under the laws of war and occupied territory. The article concludes that such claims are without any basis in international law. It should be emphasized that this article assumes, arguendo, that prior to 2005, Gaza was territory belligerently occupied by Israel; it does not enter into the disputes about whether Gaza should have been considered occupied territory from 1967 to 2005.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-296
Number of pages29
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Belligerent occupation
  • Effective control
  • Gaza
  • Hamas
  • International humanitarian law
  • International law
  • Israel
  • Palestine


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