Israel’s Legal Case for the West Bank
Jordan occupied both Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1948-49 war and only gained these areas via war and the ‘Green Line’ of the UN armistice. These areas had never formally been allocated to Jordan and so were strictlyunallocated Palestine Mandate territory.So since there is no legal ownership of Judea and Samaria, these areas cannot be regarded as ‘occupied’ lands. Between 1949 and 1967 Jordan simply attempted illegal annexation of this newly gained territory.
Eminent legal scholars, such as Eugene Rostow (Undersecretary of State to Lyndon Johnson and Professor Emeritus at Yale Law School) therefore maintain that Israeli settlers have as much right to live in the West Bank as non-Jews. The Israeli Government follows this argument and denies that the occupation of the West Bank is illegal on the grounds that the land was not previously occupied lawfully by any other state.
The Refugee and West Bank Problem
*.1949: At this time around 700,000 Arabs fled to neighbouring Arab countries, whilst over 800,000 Jews were forced to leave Muslim countries after their property was confiscated. Israel offered to repatriate 100,000 Arab refugees in April 1949 but this was rejected.
*.1952: The UN offered $200m for the refugees but this was also rejected by Arab governments.
*.1967: The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel. Their goal was “to wipe Israel off the map”. Israel defeated the attack even though the Arab armies had huge superiority in armour, aircraft and troops. After the war Israel held Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and all of Jerusalem. Some 1 million Arabs were now under Israeli rule. It seems each time Arab countries attack Israel, their end state is worse than their first. Are we seeing the hand of God protecting Israel (Isa 54.15-17)(Zech 2.5-8)?
*.1973: In October 1973 Egypt and Syria launched another attack on Israel (the Yom Kippur War). Israel withdrew from Sinai in 1982.
*.1996: Israel withdraws troops from Gaza and most cities and towns of the West Bank. Palestinians authorities take control.
*.2002: Israel reoccupied all of the West Bank following waves of Palestinian suicide attacks.
*.2003: Israel erected security barriers along the Green Line to prevent more suicide attacks, and made unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. From 2000 to 2003 there were 73 attacks from Samaria killing 293 Israeli’s, but after construction of Israel’s Security Fenceattacks have declined by over 90%. This is, of course, at the expense of severe hardship for many Palestinians.
*.2003-2004: In response to Palestinian attacks, the IDF recaptures parts of the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presents a Disengagement Plan from Gaza and the northern West Bank, which met with intense opposition from fellow Likud members and from settlers. To aid Israel in this withdrawal, President Bush stated that, in his view, “Israel should not have to withdraw to the 1949 Armistice borders”.
*.2005-2008: Knesset ratifies Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. Government announces August 15 as the day disengagement is set to begin. Passionate, nationwide anti-disengagement protests begin. Israel withdraws unilaterally from Gaza on August 15. After the election of Hamas in 2006 there was a steady increase of rocket attacks against Israel’s citizens. Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched from Gaza, leading to 28 deaths and widespread trauma.
*.2008: Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians an independent state in all of Gaza and over 93.5 percent of the West Bank. He offered them land swaps from Israel to make up for the less than 6.5 percent of the West Bank they would not receive. He also offered them half of Jerusalem. By some accounts, the Palestinians turned this offer down. By other accounts, they simply never responded to it. [Christians United For Israel].
*.2008-2012: On 27 December 2008 Israel launched a wave of airstrikes against targets within the Gaza Strip, with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire from and arms import into the territory. In a continued attempt to stop frequent rocket barrages, Israel assassinated two more of Gaza’s leaders in October 2012. This resulted in the 8-day conflict between Gaza and Israel in November 2012 – a conflcit which saw Palestinian rockets strike the outskirts of Jerusalem.
The Two-State Solution is Unworkable and Unbiblical. As stated above, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem was proposed in 1938 and 1947, and each time it was rejected by the Arab leadership. Today it is still under discussion, but again it is unlikely to succeed given the Arab position. To date, the Palestinian Authority maintains the following position:
Israel’s Legal Case for the West Bank