10 Years after Its “Disengagement,” Israel Still Controls Gaza Strip

Ten years ago this summer, Israel completed its “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip. On September 11, 2005, with the settlements already vacated, Israel’s last troops exited the territory. The rhetoric that ensued purported that 38 years of occupation had come to an end. But In fact, till today Israel maintains control, albeit remotely, over Gaza: through control of the movement of both people and goods into and out of the territory (including food, fuel, electricity and water); over its airspace, territorial waters and vast tracts of agricultural land; as well as by means of other measures which impact the lives of all of the Gaza Strip’s 1.8 million residents. Israel faces serious security threats, but its policy choices have not been based only on achieving security, and unfortunately in many cases, can be said to have achieved quite the opposite.


In 2005 Gisha, an Israeli non-profit organization whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents by promoting rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law, took its first steps. Clients – mostly Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip who required travel permits – sought out our services in numbers. This month, Gisha marks both 10 years since the disengagement as well as a decade of work as Israel’s foremost human rights organization promoting the right to freedom of movement. As an organization struggling to oppose the occupation and help residents cope with rights violations, “marking 10 years of operation is not necessarily a cause for celebration.” Nevertheless, to commemorate a decade of activity, Gisha has issued a new publication, Ten Years Later, which includes a timeline and the top 10 myths and facts about Israel’s supposed disengagement from Gaza.


Gisha’s publication Ten Years Later