The Security Fence and International Law

(Jerusalem Post) Shlomo Slonim - * Is Israel's placing the security fence beyond the "green line" a violation of international law? * Israel's legal claim to the entire area of the former British Mandate has been consistently in accordance with international law. * The UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947, envisioned the creation of three separate entities when the British Mandate terminated: a Jewish state, an Arab state, and an internationalized Jerusalem. * When that mandate ended on May 15, 1948, only one of the three projected entities - Israel - emerged. On that date, in clear violation of the UN resolution and of general international law, five Arab countries invaded Israel in an attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state. At war's end, Israel survived, the Gaza Strip came under Egyptian control, and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, came under Jordanian control. * Neither Egypt nor Jordan gained any legal title to the areas they conquered since, as the then U.S. ambassador to the UN stated, they were engaged in "aggression." These Arab states were throughout the period 1948-1967 "belligerent occupants," which gave them no title under international law. * When war erupted on June 5, 1967, Israel expelled the belligerent occupants from the lands they had illegally conquered and thus was in a position to claim title to the whole area vacated by the two aggressor states. Israel clearly had a superior title, since it was the only entity legitimately to survive from the 1947-48 era. The writer is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

2004-01-13 00:00:00

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