The story

As fighting rages in Gaza, a question about the region has shot to the forefront of international politics: More than three years after Israel pulled out from the small strip of land, is it still "occupied" territory?

"They are re-invading occupied territory," Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi said on "CNN Sunday Morning." She added that Israel has "all the powers and none of the responsibilities of the occupying force."

Ambassador Reda Mansour, Israel's consul general to the Southeastern United States, decried "the same old story about 'occupation.'" He added, "We didn't have, until the last 48 hours, one soldier inside Gaza. We didn't have one settler there."

The United Nations still calls Gaza "occupied," although U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon last year balked at the question. U.S. government Web sites also describe Gaza as "occupied." Israel's supreme court ruled last year that after the disengagement, Israel "had no effective control over what occurred" inside Gaza, according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Israel's relationship to the two separate Palestinian territories -- Gaza and the West Bank -- is one of the most sensitive topics in the world. Read full article »

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