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UN: We still consider Gaza "occupied"

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Published on Jan 24, 2012

http://www.unwatch.org At Jan. 19, 2012 daily press briefing, Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, responded to UN Watch's earlier challenge as to why the UN persists in calling Gaza "occupied" when Hamas last week said it's not. Transcript follows below.

Question: Yesterday at the stakeout, Valerie Amos referred to, answering to a question about whether Gaza was occupied or not, she referred to a Palestinian occupied territory, meaning the West Bank and Gaza, implying that Gaza is not occupied. So I wanted to know, where does the UN stand on this question? Is Gaza occupied or not, according to the UN?

Spokesperson: Well, under resolutions adopted by both the Security Council and the General Assembly on the Middle East peace process, the Gaza Strip continues to be regarded as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The United Nations will accordingly continue to refer to the Gaza Strip as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory until such time as either the General Assembly or the Security Council take a different view.

Question: Can I follow up on that? It is the legal definition of occupation and why is Gaza considered occupied?

Spokesperson: Well, as I have just said, there are Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that cover this. For example, there was a Security Council resolution adopted on 8 January 2009 — 1860 — and that stressed that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967. And as you know, Security Council resolutions do have force in international law. Furthermore, there is a resolution from the General Assembly from 20 December 2010, and while it noted the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank, it also stressed, in quotes, "the need for respect and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem". So just to repeat that the United Nations will continue to refer to the Gaza Strip as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory until either the General Assembly or the Security Council take a different view on the matter.

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