Joined: 24 Feb 2003
|Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:28 am Post subject: Hamas Says Gaza Not "Occupied"; U.N. Disagrees
|Hamas Says Gaza Not “Occupied”; U.N. Disagrees
World Body Out of Step with Palestinians
January 3, 2012
GENEVA, Jan. 3 - The UN’s continued labeling of the Gaza Strip as “occupied” was directly contradicted today by a top leader of Hamas, the vehemently anti-Israel Palestinian terror group that controls the territory.
Noting the Hamas statement reflects the reality since Israel's full withdrawal in 2005, the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch called on the UN to encourage Palestinians to take responsibility for areas they control, and to cease referring to Gaza, in reports and through officials and spokespeople, as “occupied territory.”
“The UN's traditional practice of absolving Palestinians of responsibility hasn't helped them one iota," said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director. "On the contrary, Palestinian citizens are the main losers when those that directly govern and police them are never seriously held accountable for their actions."
"Now that the Palestinians running Gaza publicly regognize that it's not occupied -- which has been the reality since Israel's disengagement removed every solider, civilian and setttlement in 2005 -- the UN's refusal to do the same will only hinder Palestinians from developing a healthy culture of self-rule," said Neuer.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar confirmed there was no Israeli occupation of the territory in comments reported today by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.
Zahhar was casting doubt on whether Hamas would organize anti-Israel marches in Gaza in conjunction with similar protests that the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority would organize in the West Bank. . . . [More]
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