From occupation to blockade: Gaza's reality after Israeli occupation's 2005 withdrawal

September 12, 2023

Al-Qassam Website - On this day in 2005, Israeli occupation authorities completed their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, marking the end of a nearly four-decade-long occupation. 

The withdrawal was accompanied by a prominent role played by Palestinian resistance factions, further underscoring their determination and influence in shaping the region's future.

Before the withdrawal, the Gaza Strip had been home to approximately 40 square kilometres of colonial settlements established on land taken from Palestinians. 

The Israeli occupation's withdrawal in 2005 was not a gesture of goodwill as the occupation's then-Prime Minister claimed, but a result of Palestinian determination and the sacrifices made by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, occupied West Bank, and Jerusalem.

The end of the occupation was met with celebrations among Palestinians, with streets filled with people waving flags, singing songs, and expressing hope for a brighter future.

However, despite 18 years passing since the withdrawal, the Gaza Strip remains under Israeli occupation control over its border fence, sea access, and airspace. The +2 million citizens of Gaza continue to endure a harsh siege, which has had a devastating impact on the local economy and Palestinian livelihoods.

Since its withdrawal from Gaza, the occupation entity has subjected the besieged Gaza Strip to a series of military offensives and a 17-year-long blockade, pushing various sectors to the brink of collapse. This sustained aggression has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians and left tens of thousands injured.

Gaza's population has faced multiple crises, including severe power shortages and a lack of clean drinking water, with water contamination reaching alarming levels of 97 per cent. The Israeli-imposed restrictions on imports and exports have caused a drastic decline in Gaza's economy.

In response to this ongoing oppression, Palestinian resistance in Gaza has evolved significantly, developing from "rocks to rockets" to defend its people. 

This resistance has improved high-trajectory surface-to-surface missiles, known for their technical simplicity, affordability, and ability to reach deep into the Israeli occupation entity. This strategy creates a constant state of attrition and deterrence against the settler colonial occupation.

If it were not for the stiffness of the resistance, the Israeli occupation military would have remained in Palestinian cities and refugee camps in the Strip.