Global National Tacitly Accuses Israel of Occupying Gaza & Repressing Israeli Arabs & Palestinians

July 27, 2023

In recent months, widespread disagreements over the Israeli government’s planned judicial overhaul have led to ongoing, large-scale protests across Israel.

The first stage of the reform passed on Monday, July 24, when Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a core part of the legislation, which was followed by even more protests in multiple Israeli cities.

Unsurprisingly, the judicial overhaul news has received significant attention outside of Israel, including in Canadian news media outlets.

One recent report included a July 25 broadcast on Global National, filed by Crystal Goomansingh, Global News’ Europe Bureau Chief.

In the broadcast, Goomansingh shared the latest updates from the controversy in Israel, but finished the report with a highly inaccurate conclusion.

Goomansingh completed her broadcast by telling viewers that “With Israel’s far right government, that means Palestinians could suffer even more. Nearly seven million are repressed living under Israeli military occupation in Palestinian territories, including the West Bank.”

This statement, in addition to being an unfounded non-sequitur following coverage of Israel’s judicial overhaul controversy, is blatantly false.

There are an estimated three million Arabs living in Judea & Samaria (called the “West Bank” by news media outlets), including in Arab-majority eastern Jerusalem, in addition to roughly two million Arabs in the Gaza Strip, and another two million inside pre-1967 Israel, for a total of roughly seven million.

And while a small number of Arabs who live in Israel identify as Palestinians – according to a 2020 survey, most define themselves merely as Israelis –  they are in no way repressed by Israel. They enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of Israeli citizens, including being able to vote, be elected to public office, live where they want, and pursue any career that they wish.

As for the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, Israel has not occupied the coastal enclave, militarily or otherwise, for nearly 20 years. In the summer of 2005, Israel carried out its long-awaited Disengagement, where it forcibly removed thousands of Israeli citizens who lived in Gaza, along with its military personnel in the area.

Therefore, the only territory which Goomansingh could conceivably be referring to with any claim of accuracy is Judea and Samaria, but still the reality on the ground does not support her contention that the Palestinians there are “repressed living under Israeli military occupation.”

Under a 1993 agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the government overseeing the area’s Palestinians, the region is split into three regions: Area A, Area B, and Area C.

Areas A and B, where virtually all Palestinians in Judea & Samaria live, are administered not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Authority, which controls virtually all aspects of Palestinians’ daily lives.

In Area A, the Palestinian leadership is responsible for security, including public order and internal security, as well as all domestic civil affairs. In Area B, while Israel retains some oversight of security issues, it does so in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, not under anything resembling an “Israeli military occupation.”

Additionally, to the degree that Israel’s military is present at all in Judea & Samaria, it is due to the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to meaningfully take responsibility for Palestinian terrorism under its nose.

In early July, Israeli forces entered the Palestinian town of Jenin, long a hotbed of radical Islamist terrorism, in an attempt to denigrate terrorist infrastructure.

It represented only the latest example of how Israel has been repeatedly forced into combat inside Palestinian areas in an attempt to seize weaponry and arrest terrorist leaders. With its inaction, the Palestinian leadership has forced Israel’s military to be present in Judea & Samaria.

The Palestinian leadership has also accomplished this by refusing to accept Israel’s peace offers, most notably the 2000 proposal by Ehud Barak, Israel’s prime minister at the time, who offered the Palestinians virtually all of Judea & Samaria, only to be rebuffed and met with violence. Had Israel’s offer been accepted, a Palestinian state would exist instead of any Israeli soldiers.

Goomansingh’s report, by authoritatively stating that Israel militarily occupies seven million Palestinians, is not only factually incorrect, but also failed to acknowledge why Israel’s military exists at all in Judea & Samaria.

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