Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and Post-Occupation Duties
Israel Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 528-563, 2010
37 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 31, 2010
Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip has created a situation in which this territory is dependent on the supply of various necessities by Israel, in particular the supply of electricity. In 2008 Israel decided to withhold 5% of the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip, prompting several Gaza residents as well as human rights organizations to petition the Supreme Court of Israel against this decision. In Jaber Al-Bassiouni Ahmed v. The Prime Minister the Court assumed that the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip had ended with the disengagement and treated this issue on the basis of general humanitarian law. The basic questions of whether the occupation had ended, and whether certain duties remained with Israel, even assuming that Gaza is no longer occupied, have not been explored. This Article addresses these two questions.
It is the conclusion of this Article that regardless of the terms imposed by Israel after disengagement and other reservations that have been raised in this regard, occupation ended following the complete withdrawal of any Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s disengagement raised difficulties that are not only unique to the Gaza Strip; these difficulties emerge in most cases when occupation is replaced by a process of self-determination rather than the return of the former sovereign. The contention presented herein is that Israel continues to have certain post-occupation duties even after the occupation of Gaza. These duties correspond to the occupant’s duties to care for order and civil life in the territory during the occupation. These obligations will end once the new regime in the area is able to perform the duties that fell upon the shoulders of the occupant during the occupation, or until the non-performance of the new regime is attributable to its own failures and not to the ending of the occupation. In light of these contentions, Israel is still under certain obligations regarding the Gaza Strip, among them the regular supply of electricity to that area.
Keywords: Gaza, Gaza Strip, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Dispute, Disengagement, Dependent Territory, Occupation, Electricity, Civil Life, Dispute
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