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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
28 May 2008


Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

        Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL


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** Gaza

On Gaza, an independent high-level fact-finding mission by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Christine Chinkin is currently in Gaza as part of its mission to Beit Hanoun.  The mission was established by the UN Human Rights Council in November 2006 after an Israeli attack in Beit Hanoun resulted in the deaths of 19 people, including seven children.  Archbishop Tutu and Professor Chinkin entered Gaza today from Egypt and, in addition to visiting Beit Hanoun itself, are holding a range of meetings, including with survivors and witnesses of the original attack.  The mission will submit a final report to the September session of the Human Rights Council.

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Question:  I was told before, a few months ago when I asked the question, that the reason that the United Nations considers Gaza to be occupied by Israel is that Israel controls all the entry points into the Strip.  Israel said “no” to Desmond Tutu and tried to bar his entry.  Now he’s entering through an entrance that Israel apparently doesn’t control, through Egypt.  So, the question is:  Is Gaza still occupied?

Spokesperson:  It is.  Gaza is part of the [Occupied] Palestinian [Territory], part of one entity.

Question:  So, it is occupied by Israel?

Spokesperson:  The fact that the West Bank is still occupied by Israel makes it one occupied Territory.

Question:  And Israel controls all the entry points into Gaza?

Spokesperson:  We didn’t say it controls all the entry points.

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Question:  A point of clarification.  As far as the United Nations is concerned, until the peace process in the Middle East, especially in the Occupied Territories, under resolutions 338 and 242, is completed, the Territories like Gaza and the West Bank are still considered to be the Occupied Territories in the international sense? 

Spokesperson:  I’m sorry, we’ll have to stop the questions because our guest is already here to talk about an important issue, which is Myanmar.

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For information media • not an official record




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