Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights University of Ottawa (SPHR) is a student run, non-profit organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.

July 16, 2007

What is Occupation?

Occupation is a term used to refer to a situation in which a foreign army ceases territory not falling under its jurisdiction and then places its authority upon that territory. Within International Law, there are rules that govern how an occupation is to be undertaken regardless of whether the occupation itself was justifiable to begin with. These laws are meant to ensure the safety of civilians first and foremost. All member states of the United Nations must abide by those rules including Israel which has been a signatory member since 1949.

In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem imposing its military rule on the Palestinian residents of these territories. By doing so, Israel took control of the remaining 22% of historical Palestine. (map illustration)

This military occupation is currently the most persistent military occupation in the world having so far lasted more than 38 years.

Terms that come up frequently when describing the Occupation

Restriction on movement
Denial of religious rights
Control of resources
Land confiscation
House demolitions
Daily humiliation
Collective punishment
Population transfer
Torture in prisons and in detention
Restricted access to education
Denying medical services
Targeting First Aid volunteers for harassment and assassination
No freedom of expression
No freedom of assembly or political association
I.D. confiscation
Judeazation of Jerusalem


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