It’s disputed, not ”occupied” territory.
Folks, any time you hear anyone talk about ”occupied territories” in relation to Judea and Samaria (or the disingenuous term of West Bank), you should automatically exclude them as the radical fringe, or the grossly ill informed.
Looking at the language which determines what is, and what isn’t occupied, (occupation itself is actually a neutral term that’s become a pejorative to slam Israel with), the areas that comprise ancient Judea and Samaria, are de facto disputed territories, with the Arabs maintaining 90% authority over themselves in areas A & B in accordance with the signed agreements of the Oslo Accords.
NOTE: It’s high time that the false meme of ”occupation/occupier” be rendered to the periphery of rational debate on the issues surrounding the Arab’s/Islam’s war against the Jewish state of Israel. So here is an article from 2001 that helps to disarm the arguments of the Arabs and their radical Left apologists.
Describing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “occupied Palestinian territories” is incorrect and misleading. Israel’s transfer of government functions under the Oslo Agreements greatly strengthens Israel’s case that the main international conventions relevant to military occupations do not apply. Describing these territories as “Palestinian” may serve the Palestinians’ political agenda but prejudges the outcome of future territorial negotiations that were envisioned under UN Security Council Resolution 242. It also serves the current Palestinian effort to obtain international affirmation of Palestinian claims and a total denial of Israel’s fundamental rights in every international forum.
Vol. 1, No. 1 2 September 2001
Occupied Territories or Disputed Territories?
Last month’s Palestinian draft resolution at the UN Security Council again described the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “occupied Palestinian territories.” References to Israel’s “foreign occupation” also appear in the Durban Draft Declaration of the UN World Conference Against Racism. This language was not just chosen for rhetorical purposes but in order to invoke specific legal claims: For example, Palestinian insistence on using the term “occupied territories” is usually connected to the assertion that they fall under the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. Yet, Palestinian spokesmen also speak about Israeli military action in Area A as an infringement on Palestinian sovereignty: If Israel “invaded Palestinian territories,” then they cannot be regarded as “occupied”; however, if the territories are defined as “occupied,” Israel cannot be “invading” them.
Israel’s Traditional Definitions
Israel entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israeli legal experts traditionally resisted efforts to define the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “occupied” or falling under the main international treaties dealing with military occupation. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Meir Shamgar wrote in the 1970s that there is no de jure applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention regarding occupied territories to the case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the Convention “is based on the assumption that there had been a sovereign who was ousted and that he had been a legitimate sovereign.” In fact, prior to 1967, Jordan had occupied the West Bank and Egypt had occupied the Gaza Strip; their presence in those territories was the result of their illegal invasion in 1948. Jordan’s 1950 annexation of the West Bank was recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan and rejected by the vast majority of the international community, including the Arab states.
International jurists generally draw a distinction between situations of “aggressive conquest” and territorial disputes that arise after a war of self-defense. Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel’s case: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.” Israel only entered the West Bank after repeated Jordanian artillery fire and ground movements across the previous armistice lines; additionally, Iraqi forces crossed Jordanian territory and were poised to enter the West Bank. Under such circumstances, even the UN rejected Soviet efforts to have Israel branded as the aggressor in the Six-Day War.