Israeli Settlements' Legal Basis

(USA Today) Alan Baker - The oft-used term "occupied Palestinian territories" has no basis whatsoever in law or fact. The territories are neither occupied nor are they Palestinian. No legal determination has ever been made as to their sovereignty, and by agreement between Israel and the PLO, they are no more than "disputed" pending a negotiated solution, with both sides claiming rights to the territory. Israel has nevertheless committed itself to negotiate the fate of the area with the Palestinians. As long as settlements do not violate local Palestinian private property rights, and as long as the issue of the fate of the areas remains a negotiating issue, there is no legal basis for preventing continued settlement, pending the outcome of the final status negotiations. The writer, legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry from 1996 to 2004, participated in the negotiation and drafting of agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

2013-01-24 00:00:00

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