Ilhan Omar Wrongly Refers to Gaza as ‘Occupied’

Ilhan Omar (Win McNamee / Getty)
Win McNamee / Getty

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) wrongly referred to Gaza as “occupied” in a tweet supporting Palestinian terrorists against Israel on Sunday, as hundreds of rockets were fired at Israeli civilian population centers, killing four Israelis.

Omar, who supports the anti-Israel “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, and who has a long history of antisemitic rhetoric relating to the issue, weighed in on the conflict Sunday, calling it a “cycle of violence” but clearly blaming Israel:

The “protesters” to which Omar refers were shot at because they were trying to breach the border fence and were using incendiary devices, among other weapons. In the past, such “protests” were organized by the Hamas terror organization — which violently suppresses protests against its own brutal regime in Gaza, according to the UN.

Among Omar’s many dubious claims in a single tweet, one false claim stands out: namely, that Gaza faces a “status quo of occupation.” In 2005, Israel unilaterally removed every Israeli soldier and civilian from Gaza, ending any possible “occupation” of the territory — against much domestic political opposition within Israel itself. The hope was that Palestinians would use the withdrawal as an opportunity to invest in Gaza’s economy and work towards peace.

Instead, Hamas — which took over Gaza in a 2007 coup against the Palestinian Authority government — turned Gaza into a terrorist launchpad, using civilian areas in the territory to launch rockets at Israeli cities, and digging tunnels to infiltrate into Israeli territory and kidnap Israeli soldiers (successfully, in the case of Gilad Shalit in 2006).

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed Omar in January to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has refused to remove her from that post despite repeated antisemitic comments and mis-statements of basic facts.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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