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As most readers will remember, Israel completely pulled out of the Gaza Strip ten years ago. Long-standing Jewish communities were uprooted in heart-wrenching scenes and every last Israeli was removed.

For that formerly well-respected human rights organization Amnesty International (and other similarly deluded organizations) however, Israel somehow still “occupies” Gaza.
So, as reported on the online publication “Elder of Ziyon” (and other sources), Amnesty has released a report critical of Hamas for carrying out “a brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians accused of ‘collaborating’ with Israel and others during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza in July and August 2014”.
The website quotes one Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, as saying that “it is absolutely appalling that, while Israeli forces were inflicting massive death and destruction” (entirely unprovoked, it would seem) “upon the people in Gaza, Hamas forces took the opportunity to ruthlessly settle scores, carrying out a series of unlawful killings and other grave abuses”.
Now this is where the report takes a side trip into Alice in Wonderland land.
The Amnesty report points out that “the legal situation in Gaza is complex due to the applicability of several distinct and overlapping bodies of international law, which provide the framework for examining the duties and obligations of various authorities with regard to the abuses described in this report. Those parties include Israel as the overall occupying power, the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza, the Palestinian authorities based in Ramallah in the West Bank, and the unity administration agreed between all Palestinian factions to which president Abbas appointed ministers in June 2014. ...In legal terms, Gaza has remained under Israeli occupation since June 1967 and Israel’s actions as the occupying power are regulated by the law of occupation, notably the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
I have to presume that the authors of the report must have missed the part about Israel withdrawing from Gaza and the Palestinians electing their own government in a relatively free election, after which Hamas attacked supporters of the rival Fatah party and threw Fatah out of Gaza.
So which is it? Is Israel still occupying Gaza somehow despite all evidence to the contrary (to any sane observer)? Or does Hamas “govern”, i.e. the de facto administration, Gaza? Or does Mahmud Abbas, the duly-elected president (now in the 11th year of a four-year term) of the Palestinian Authority bear ultimate responsibility for Gaza?
Then there is the question of the “Unity Government” (which is in fact strictly a mirage). If Israel is “occupying” Gaza, how is it possible for Hamas and the PA to form a “unity government”?
If Israel were truly “occupying” Gaza, how is it possible that Hamas and other groups were able to amass tens of thousands of missiles to fire constantly at Israeli citizens for years? Are Israelis that incompetent as “occupiers”.
And this is rich. One of the most pressing tasks faced by any military government is “the maintenance of law and order,” the report authors state.
So Israel is now being condemned not only for defending itself from Hamas missiles but also for not “maintaining law and order” in Gaza? This is a matter here of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”.
And nonsensically, Amnesty’s report condemning Gaza concludes with a list of demands on Israel. (What does Israel have to do with Hamas murdering Palestinians?)
These “demands’ include calls for Israel to co-operate with “any independent and impartial international investigation, judicial or non-judicial, including the work of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2014” (as if any of these investigations are ever “impartial”); co-operate with any investigation of the International Criminal Court, or national courts undertaking investigations under domestic universal jurisdiction laws; rescind any punitive measures taken following Palestine’s signature of the Rome Statute and refrain from imposing any additional punitive measures if the Palestinian authorities take further steps to pursue international justice for crimes under international law; completely lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip, including by permitting the unrestricted transfer of construction materials into the Gaza Strip and the transfer of goods from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank, subject only to necessary and proportionate security checks (which Israel already does anyway); and accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and issue a declaration accepting the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction.
The Elder of Ziyon website notes that “Amnesty is demanding that Israel open itself up to biased prosecutions, for example under the Rome Statute that includes text written specifically to damn Israel and no other country”.
What do any of these demands have to do with Hamas killing its own? How do any of these demands prevent future Hamas’ killing of its own?
It is just one more farce among many where condemnation of Israel is concerned.

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