Occupied territory is territory under military occupation.
Examples of occupations
In most wars some territory is placed under the authority of the hostile army. Most occupations end with the cessation of hostilities. In some cases the occupied territory is returned and in others the land remains under the control of the occupying power but usually not as militarily occupied territory. Sometimes the status of presences is disputed by a party to the situation. The largest extending territories under military occupation came into existence as the outcome of World War I and World War II:
- Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA), encompassing much of the Middle East during 1917-1920 - separated to French (OETA North) and British (OETA South) domains;
- Soviet occupation zone (1945-49) in the aftermath of World War II
- Allied-occupied Germany (1945-49) in the aftermath of World War II
Occupation is usually a temporary phase, preceding either the handing back of the territory, or its annexation.
A significant number of post-1945 occupations have lasted more than two decades such as the occupations of Namibia by South Africa and of East Timor by Indonesia as well as the ongoing occupations of Northern Cyprus by Turkey and of Western Sahara by Morocco.
The world's longest ongoing occupation, and the longest in modern times by one single occupying power, is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (1967–present).
Other prolonging belligerent occupations that have been alleged include the occupation by the United Kingdom of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas (1833-present) which Argentina claims this as sovereign territory, of Tibet by China (1950-present), and of the Kingdom of Hawaii by the United States (1893-present). The War Report makes no determination as to whether belligerent occupation is occurring in these cases.
The most recent cases of occupation, which took place in the 21st century are the:
- Gash-Barka Region taken over in 2000 during the Eritrean–Ethiopian War
- Iraq occupied by US during the Iraq War of 2003-2011
- Parts of Somalia occupied during the War in Somalia (2006–09)
- Gori and Poti occupied by Russia during the Russo-Georgian War
- Occupation of Crimea, followed by its annexation in 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
- Turkish occupation of northern Syria in support of the Syrian opposition since 2015
- Takeover of Socotra in 2018 during the Yemeni Civil War
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