Israeli-Gaza Conflict Confounded by Questions Regarding Gaza’s Legal Status

On November 29, 2012, the United Nations voted overwhelming to accord Palestine non-member observer state status.  The vote was 138-9.  Among the dissenters: Israel, the United States and Canada. Israel occupied Gaza from 1967-1994. As part of the Oslo Accords, a phased transfer of government authority to the Palestinian Authority took place.  In 2005, Israel formally declared an end to Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip.  At the same time, all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip were dismantled and 9,000 Israelis exiled, many forcibly. However, pursuant to the same Oslo Accords, Israel continues to maintain exclusive control over Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters.  The latter has been relevant and newsworthy as naval blockades have prevented arms and, allegedly, humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza. Human Rights Watch has advised the United Nations that it considers Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip to be continuing, because Israel controls the movement…