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Removing Settlements Does not End Occupation

Reader comment on item: "Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem"

Submitted by Peter (Palestinian Territory, Occupied), Aug 10, 2005 at 10:46

Apparently, Ariel Sharon is too much of a "peacenik" ...

The unilaterally planned removal of Gaza settlements is unlikely to diminish clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. The occupation of Gaza is not ending, the settlements are merely being removed. It is unclear whether Israel will allow Gaza residents the things they actually need to lead normal lives, like freedom of movement, freedom of trade and freedom from fear (currently, they live in an area where they can get shot at for staring at an Israeli military tower for too long).

Even under ideal circumstances, it would take decades for Gaza to recover from the damage done by the Occupation. The removal of illegal settlements from Palestinian Territory is not a "gift" from the Israelis any more than it would be a "gift" for a car their to return the car to its owner. Israel is obligated to withdraw, just as it is obligated to withdraw from settlements in the West Bank.

I have not heard any critics of Israel's settlement policies claim that a Gaza withdrawal will lead to an immediate ceasation of attacks (either from Israelis or Palestinians). .. The fact is, Israel's security is not the only issue. The safety, self-determination, human rights and well-being of Palestinian civilians is also something we must seek to ensure.
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