Legal Argument: State of Israel and State of Palestine

My goal in this correspondence is not to support or bias an argument for the existence of the State of Israel or the State of Palestine; my goal is to present the facts from my research.

My intention is to bear the weight of my proposed peace plan at:
A Bridge for the World: Peace Plan to the Israeli / Palestinian Conflict

Further breakdown of my research as it pertains to land area, can be found at:
There will be peace in Palestine; Palestine, Israel and the Power Elite, from 1827;
The History of Canaan: 2350 BCE – 1906

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NOTE: In this post, it should be noted that when “Palestine” is used, it should be understood that this will be apply to the land which is now known as the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; unless otherwise noted; information is drawn from the demographic studies related to the mandatory of Palestine, and the demographics of pre-British Palestine, consisting the parts of Ottoman Syria.

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Summary of my Argument:

A quick look into antiquity:

Exodus 23:31 (KJV) And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

Author’s NOTE: My Peace Plan meets these requirements: Israel would span from the Red Sea, with coasts on the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba and to the point of the former Sinai Peninsula, on the coast of the Red Sea. Even unto the sea of the Philistines; in the Bible, the Mediterranean Sea was also known as the “Sea of the Philistines” (Exod. 23:31), from the people occupying a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. So, Israel would continue to have a northern coast on the Mediterranean Sea.  And from the desert, the desert is the Negev Desert, and now would extend to the southern-most point of the Sinai. Unto the river, unto implies north from the Negev Desert to the Jordan River. Prophecies would be fulfilled.

So, let’s begin with October 24, 1915: McMahon-Hussein Agreement (Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sharif of Mecca, Husayn bin Ali) was accepted by Arabs (including those living in Palestine) as a promise by the British that after World War I, land previously held by the Ottoman Empire would be returned to the Arab nationals who lived in that land. In 1917: British defeated Ottoman Turkish forces and occupied Ottoman Syria, which would later be divided to British Palestine and Transjordan and French Syria and Lebanon. The land remained under British military administration for the remainder of the war, and beyond. On November 2, 1917: Balfour Declaration, a letter issued by Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, addressed to Lord Rothschild (Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild): “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

As some might otherwise state, all of the land of British Palestine was never fully promised to either the Israeli Jews or the Palestinian Arabs. I have heard people make the argument that the San Remo Conference stated that all of Palestine would be for a Jewish National Home. But, this is incorrect, on April 25, 1920 the San Remo Resolution stated, “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The British two state position was then further clarified on June 3, 1922 in the Churchill White Paper. On July 24, 1922, the British Mandate for Palestine is created; Palestine and Transjordan were to remain under British control.

Unfortunately, for the Palestinians and Israelis, on September 16, 1922, a British memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations went into force; the Transjordan memorandum. This single memorandum gave away 91,000 square kilometers of the original 118,000 square kilometers, of the Palestine Mandate. The land was given to the Sharif of Mecca. So, in this one memorandum, the British gave away 77% of all the land, which would eventually be called Jordan. After giving away this land, the British then excluded the land, Transjordan at the time, from any area promised as a national home for the Jews, or as an independent national home for the indigenous peoples in Palestine. This one act created severe problems in Palestine and continues to create problems to this day.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan as Resolution 181(II); in this resolution the land of Palestine was given to the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Jews, for a two state solution.

NOTE: Arabs have always reiterated that it was rejected because it was unfair: it gave the majority of the land (56%) to the Jews, who at that stage legally owned only 7% of it and remained a minority of the population. The Arabs argued that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). There were also disproportionate allocations under the plan and the area under Jewish control contained 45% of the Palestinian population. The proposed Arab state was only given 45% of the land, much of which was unfit for agriculture. Jaffa, though geographically separated, was to be part of the Arab state. However, most of the proposed Jewish state was the Negev desert. The plan allocated to the Jewish State most of the Negev desert that was sparsely populated and unsuitable for agriculture but also a “vital land bridge protecting British interests from the Suez Canal to Iraq.”

Also, any argument that states no government controlled the now occupied territories is invalid; on January 3, 1917, Britain and France recognized Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca as “King of the Hijaz”; on April 25, 1936, the Arab Higher Committee or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab community of Mandate Palestine; then on September 22, 1948, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League; and on May 28, 1964, the PLO signed its Original PLO Charter. All these governments were established before the Six Day War in 1967.

Lastly, over 78% of the former British Palestine Mandate, which was partitioned by the UN to Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews; is now controlled by Israel. This is in direct violation of agreements which Israel has signed.

On December 11, 1948: Resolution 194 was passed, defining principles for reaching a final settlement and solving the refugee problem in the region. On May 11, 1949, Israel is admitted into the UN, conditionally, based on Israel’s acceptance and implementation of resolutions 181 and 194. On May 12, 1949, the Arabs (including the Palestinian Arabs) and Israel signed the Lausanne Protocol. By signing the Protocol, countries recognized the Resolutions 181 and 194. On August 12, 1949, Israel signs the Fourth Geneva Convention; it was ratified on June 2, 1951. In Section III. Occupied territories; Articles 47-78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it clearly states: an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons, or deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory. So, Israeli settlements are against international law.

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Explanation of my Argument:

Let me begin my argument by agreeing that a portion of the land of Palestine is justified as the State of Israel and a portion as the State of Palestine. Not only by both peoples living in the area for thousands of years, the promised land fulfillment, nationalism, and because the world organization has said it to be so. I hope to lend my findings to the betterment of our world. We are accentually destined to find peace, anyway, it is an eventually. Peace will sell like hotcakes, too.

The Israelites and Judahites have had four autonomous Jewish nations in this land, and have lived in this area for a period of 3285 years, if not more. The Philistines and Palestinians have lived in this area for a period of 3,191 years, if not more. Only 94 years less than the Israelites and Judahites. So, the Palestinians and Israelis, both, have thousands of years of history in this land, I believe it would be remiss of me to try and analyze this extensive past. So, I will begin my argument with the modern history of the involvement of Great Britain. Let’s begin with the British government conquering the land in World War II. After all, it was their land anyway, after they took it, and it was theirs to give, I guess. The League of Nations backed them and so did the UN.

I also believe that Great Britain truly tried to fulfill their agreements with the Palestinian Arabs and the Israeli Jews. There are accentually, three agreements promised for this land. The original British Palestine Mandate consisted of 118,000 square kilometers; it included Palestine and Jordan, which was then called Transjordan.

Let’s look at these agreements, Great Britain promised. The first agreement can be seen in the Lawrence of Arabia story; Britain agrees to give the Arabs their independence if they fight against the Ottomans (October 24, 1915: McMahon-Hussein Agreement). The second agreement can also be seen in the Lawrence of Arabia story; Britain, France and Russia, signed this secret agreement to keep the land for themselves (May 16, 1916: Sykes–Picot Agreement). Lastly, the third agreement was with the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people (November 2, 1917: Balfour Declaration). It was a letter issued by Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, addressed to Lord Rothschild.

Then came another agreement between the World Zionist Organization and the Arabs. On January 3, 1919, the Faisal–Weizmann Agreement, was signed, by Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference to support an Arab Kingdom and Jewish settlement in Palestine.

On March 8, 1920, Arabs claim an independent government as the Arab Kingdom of Syria. The Kingdom was established under Faisal I of the Hashemite family, this included Palestine.

The League of Nations gets involved. On April 25, 1920, the San Remo Resolution stated, “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine. Basically, giving Great Britain control of the area under world opinion. On June 3, 1922, after the San Remo Conference, Winston Churchill clarified the position of the British government in the Churchill White Paper; in that Britain’s views on the Balfour Declaration, do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded “in Palestine.”

To back up Great Britain’s position. On June 30, 1922, the Official Journal of the League of Nations, contained a statement by Lord Balfour in which he explained that the League’s authority was strictly limited. “The article related that the ‘Mandates were not the creation of the League, and they could not in substance be altered by the League. Basically, Britain concluded that they still controlled the land, instead of the League of Nations.

On July 24, 1922, the British Mandate for Palestine is created. It was a legal commission for the administration of the territory. Palestine and Transjordan were to remain under British control.

On September 16, 1922, the British then create another problem. Through the Transjordan memorandum, a British memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations; the British decide to give away 91,000 square kilometers of the original 118,000 square kilometers, of the Palestine Mandate to the Sharif of Mecca; which was to eventually become Jordan. The British gave away 77% of the land, to abide by the promise made to the Arabs. But, Transjordan was than excluded from any area promised as a national home for the Jews, and an independent national home for the indigenous people, the peoples in Palestine.

April 25, 1936: The Arab Higher Committee or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab community of Mandate Palestine. It was established on the initiative of Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and comprised the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans and political parties under the mufti’s chairmanship.

On May 23, 1939, the White Paper of 1939, was in favor of creating an independent Palestine governed by Palestinian Arabs and Jews in proportion to their numbers in the population by 1939. This was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain.

Then on October 24, 1945, the United Nations was founded after World War II to replace the League of Nations. On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan as Resolution 181(II).

The Arabs opposed any form of partition and continued to demand independence in all of Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). Arabs have always reiterated that it was rejected because it was unfair: it gave the majority of the land (56%) to the Jews, who at that stage legally owned only 7% of it and remained a minority of the population. There were also disproportionate allocations under the plan and the area under Jewish control contained 45% of the Palestinian population.

The plan allocated to the Jewish State most of the Negev desert that was sparsely populated and unsuitable for agriculture but also a “vital land bridge protecting British interests from the Suez Canal to Iraq.”

On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate over Palestine expired; and the State of Israel declared independence; the declaration states that the State of Israel would ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, and guaranteed freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.

Unfortunately, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document; the Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes. So, the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel is not legally valid, I guess.

On May 11, 1949, Israel is admitted into the UN. This is conditional on Israel’s acceptance and implementation of resolutions 181 and 194. These resolution granted UN control over Jerusalem and for the return of Palestinian refugees. Resolution 181: United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine; Resolution 194: defined principles for reaching a final settlement and solving the refugee problem in the region.

On May 12, 1949, the Arabs and Israel signed the Lausanne Protocol. By signing the Protocol, countries recognized the Resolutions 194 and 181. The parties signed a joint protocol on the framework for a comprehensive peace, which included territories, refugees, and Jerusalem, in which Israel agreed “in principle” to allow the return of all of the Palestinian refugees.

On August 12, 1949, Israel signed the Fourth Geneva Convention; it was ratified on June 2, 1951. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental principles of international law, accepted as binding by all civilized nations, were to be incorporated in the domestic legal system of Israel.

The Fourth Geneva Convention contains Section III. Occupied territories; Articles 47-78 impose substantial obligations on occupying powers. As well as numerous provisions for the general welfare of the inhabitants of an occupied territory, an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons, or deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory (Art.49). Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory (Art.47).

On June 19, 1967, the National Unity Government of Israel voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements. The U.S. was informed of the decision, but not that it was to transmit it. There is no evidence it was conveyed to Egypt or Syria. The decision was kept a closely guarded secret within Israeli government circles and the offer was withdrawn in October 1967.

On November 22, 1974, UN General Assembly officially “acknowledged” the government of Palestine; as observer status at the United Nations and as a “non-state entity,” which entitled it to speak in the UN General Assembly but not to vote; to use the designation “Palestine” instead of “Palestine Liberation Organization” when referring to the Palestinian permanent observer. On November 15, 1988, the State of Palestine is a state that was proclaimed by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) National Council (PNC) which unilaterally adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice concluded that Israel had breached its obligations under international law by establishing settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and that Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defense or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of imposing a régime, which is contrary to international law.

On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN; resolution 67/19; adopted by a vote of 138 in favor to nine against with 41 abstentions by the 193-member Assembly; nations who voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

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Timeline of my Argument:

History in Brief: 1272-1258 BCE: Israelites settle in Canaan; 1209 BCE: Israel first appears in the stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah, “Israel is laid waste and his seed is no more”; 1030-930 BCE: United Kingdom of Israel; 957 BCE: First Temple was built by King Solomon; 930-720 BCE: Kingdom of Israel (Samaria); 930-586 BCE: Kingdom of Judah; 853 BCE: Assyrian king Shalmaneser III names “Ahab the Israelite” among his enemies at the battle of Qarqar; 538 BCE: building of the Second Temple is authorized by Cyrus the Great, completed 23 years later; 37-4 BCE: Judean Kingdom of Herod, a client kingdom of the Roman Empire; 6 BCE–135 CE: Judaea or Iudaea, a Roman province; 614-628: The Sassanid Jewish Commonwealth; May 14, 1948: State of Israel declared independence.

1178 BCE: Philistines (the name derives from the attested Illyrian locality Palaeste, whose inhabitants would have been called Palaestīnī); 500 BCE: Herodotus wrote of a ‘district called Palaistinê” in The Histories; 106-390: Syria Palæstina, a Roman province; Arabia Petraea; 490-636: Palaestina III Salutaris; Province of the Byzantine Empire; 390-636: Palæstina Prima or Palaestina I; 636-629: Perisan Empire; Jund Filastin; 629-636: Palæstina Secunda or Palaestina II; September 22, 1948: All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League; November 15, 1988: State of Palestine is a state that was proclaimed by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) National Council (PNC).

The Torah does not record the Philistines as one of the nations to be displaced from Canaan. In Genesis 15:18-21 the Philistines are absent from the ten nations Abraham’s descendants will displace as well as being absent from the list of nations Moses tells the people they will conquer (Deut. 7:1, 20:17). God also intentionally directed the Israelites away from the Philistines upon their exit from Egypt according to Exodus 13:17. In Genesis 21, Abraham agreed to a covenant of kindness with the Philistine king Avimelech and his descendants. The Battle of Aphek is a biblical episode described in 1 Samuel 4:1-10 of the Hebrew Bible. During this battle the Philistines defeat the Israelite army and capture the Ark of the Covenant. After the Ark had been among them for seven months, the Philistines, on the advice of their diviners, returned it to the Israelites.

October 24, 1915: McMahon-Hussein Agreement (Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt and Sharif of Mecca, Husayn bin Ali) was accepted by Arabs as a promise by the British that after World War I, land previously held by the Ottoman Empire would be returned to the Arab nationals who lived in that land. NOTE: Independent Arab Lands promised would include: The Eyalet of Damascus, including Sanjaks of Damascus, Acre, Safad, Nablus; Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem included the Kazas of Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Hebron, Beersheba

May 16, 1916: Sykes–Picot Agreement – a secret agreement which effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence. The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence. The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and British Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a dishonored minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement.

November 2, 1917: Balfour Declaration, a letter issued by Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, addressed to Lord Rothschild (Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild), an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild; and for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The letter was addressed to Lord Rothschild’s London home at 148 Piccadilly. He was an active Zionist and close friend of Chaim Weizmann, and worked to formulate the draft declaration for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

January 3, 1919: Faisal–Weizmann Agreement, was signed, by Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, settling disputes stemming from World War I; forging an agreement between Faisal and the Zionist movement to support an Arab Kingdom and Jewish settlement in Palestine. The agreement was never implemented, only surviving only a few months. The decision of the peace conference itself refused independence for the vast Arab-inhabited lands that Faisal desired, mainly because the British and French had struck their own secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 dividing the Middle East between their own spheres of influence.

March 8, 1920: Arab Kingdom of Syria was established under Faisal I of the Hashemite family; a Pan-Syrian Congress meeting in Damascus had declared an independent state of Syria; the new state included portions of Syria, Palestine, and northern Mesopotamia. King Faisal was declared the head of State. At the same time Prince Zeid, Faisal’s brother, was declared Regent of Mesopotamia.

April 25, 1920: San Remo Resolution, “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” NOTE: The precise boundaries of all territories were not finalized until four years later.

June 3, 1922: Churchill White Paper clarified Britain’s views on the Balfour Declaration, 1917; that Declaration announced the British intent to aid the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded “in Palestine.” It took its name from Winston Churchill, the then-Secretary of State for the Colonies. In the White Paper, it states: “They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine.”

June 30, 1922: Official Journal of the League of Nations, contained a statement by Lord Balfour in which he explained that the League’s authority was strictly limited. “The article related that the ‘Mandates were not the creation of the League, and they could not in substance be altered by the League. The League’s duties were confined to seeing that the specific and detailed terms of the mandates were in accordance with the decisions taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, and that in carrying out these mandates the Mandatory Powers should be under the supervision—not under the control—of the League.”

July 24, 1922: British Mandate for Palestine, or simply the Mandate for Palestine, was a legal commission for the administration of the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros. The draft of the Mandate was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

September 16, 1922: Transjordan memorandum was a British memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations; the memorandum described how the British government planned to implement the article of the Mandate for Palestine which allowed exclusion of Transjordan from the provisions regarding Jewish settlement.

December 3, 1924: US government accepted the de facto, if not de jure, status of the mandates and entered into individual treaties with the mandatory power to secure legal rights for its citizens and to protect property rights and business interests in the mandates.

May 23, 1939: White Paper of 1939, also known as the MacDonald White Paper after Malcolm MacDonald, the British Colonial Secretary who presided over it, was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in which the idea of partitioning the Mandate for Palestine, as recommended in the Peel Commission Report of 1937, was abandoned in favor of creating an independent Palestine governed by Palestinian Arabs and Jews in proportion to their numbers in the population by 1939.

October 24, 1945: United Nations was founded after World War II to replace the League of Nations. The UN officially came into existence upon ratification of the Charter by the five then-permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in Methodist Central Hall Westminster in London beginning January 6, 1946.

November 29, 1947: UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan as Resolution 181(II); approved the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine; vote was postponed twice and passed on a Saturday; the vote was 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and 1 absent; the new states would come into existence no later than October 1, 1948; would lead to the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem; composed of three major sections, linked by extraterritorial crossroads; the Arab State would receive the Western Galilee, with the town of Acre, the hill country of Samaria and Judea, and the southern coast stretching from north of Isdud (now Ashdod) and encompassing what is now the Gaza Strip, with a section of desert along the Egyptian border; the Jewish State would receive the Coastal Plain, stretching from Haifa to Rehovot, the Eastern Galilee (surrounding the Sea of Galilee and including the Galilee panhandle) and the Negev, including the southern outpost of Umm Rashrash (now Eilat); the Corpus Separatum included Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the surrounding areas

February 16, 1948: UN Palestine Commission to the security council reported that: “Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.” The Arabs were against the establishment of an international regime in Jerusalem too. The Arabs opposed any form of partition and continued to demand independence in all of Palestine. The Arabs argued that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000).

NOTE: Arabs have always reiterated that it was rejected because it was unfair: it gave the majority of the land (56%) to the Jews, who at that stage legally owned only 7% of it and remained a minority of the population. There were also disproportionate allocations under the plan and the area under Jewish control contained 45% of the Palestinian population. The proposed Arab state was only given 45% of the land, much of which was unfit for agriculture. Jaffa, though geographically separated, was to be part of the Arab state. However, most of the proposed Jewish state was the Negev desert. The plan allocated to the Jewish State most of the Negev desert that was sparsely populated and unsuitable for agriculture but also a “vital land bridge protecting British interests from the Suez Canal to Iraq”

May 14, 1948: British Mandate over Palestine expired

May 14, 1948: State of Israel declared independence; the declaration states that the State of Israel would ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, and guaranteed freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. Also, included in the Declaration: “in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months – to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions. We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East”

May 11, 1949: In the aftermath of the 1948 war, and conditional on Israel’s acceptance and implementation of resolutions 181 and 194, the UN General Assembly voted, with Resolution 273 (III), to admit Israel to UN membership as a “peace-loving country”. This resolution reiterated the demands for UN control over Jerusalem and for the return of Palestinian refugees.

NOTE: Resolution 181: United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine; Resolution 194: defined principles for reaching a final settlement and solving the refugee problem in the region.

May 12, 1949: Lausanne Protocol; by signing the Protocol, Arab countries recognized the Resolutions 194 and 181; Israel signed the protocol. The parties signed a joint protocol on the framework for a comprehensive peace, which included territories, refugees, and Jerusalem, in which Israel agreed “in principle” to allow the return of all of the Palestinian refugees.

August 1949: Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, commonly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It defines humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone, and outlaws the practice of total war. There are currently 194 countries party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including this and the other three treaties.

NOTE: Section III. Occupied territories; Articles 47-78 impose substantial obligations on occupying powers. As well as numerous provisions for the general welfare of the inhabitants of an occupied territory, an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons, or deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory (Art.49). Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory (Art.47).

August 12, 1949: Israel signs the Fourth Geneva Convention; it was ratified on June 2, 1951. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental principles of international law, accepted as binding by all civilized nations, were to be incorporated in the domestic legal system of Israel. Including Article 47; Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.

May 28, 1964: Original PLO Charter stated that “Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British mandate is an integral regional unit” and sought to “prohibit… the existence and activity” of Zionism. It also called for a right of return and self-determination for Palestinians. Palestinian statehood was not mentioned, although in 1974 the PLO called for an independent state in the territory of Mandate Palestine. The group used multi-layered guerrilla tactics to attack Israel from their bases in Jordan (including the West Bank), Lebanon, Egypt (Gaza Strip), and Syria.

June 5, 1967: Six Day War, began with Israel launching surprise bombing raids against Egyptian air-fields; within six days, the Israeli forces take control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

NOTE: In the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel was in control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Golan Heights. Immediately after the war, the Israeli government authorized the construction of military settlements for security purposes. They were built on the fringes of the territories, along the Jordanian and Syrian frontiers and along the edges of the Sinai Peninsula. At the same time, Israel conveyed that it was willing in principle to return most of the newly captured territory; Levi Eshkol (the third Prime Minister of Israel) offered to return the territories with only minor border modifications.

June 19, 1967: National Unity Government of Israel voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements; the Golan would have to be demilitarized and special arrangement would be negotiated for the Straits of Tiran; the government also resolved to open negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan regarding the Eastern border; the Israeli decision was to be conveyed to the Arab states by the U.S. government. The U.S. was informed of the decision, but not that it was to transmit it. There is no evidence it was conveyed to Egypt or Syria. The decision was kept a closely guarded secret within Israeli government circles and the offer was withdrawn in October 1967.

November 22, 1967: United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War; (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

1971: Official Israeli legal argument against the application of Article 2 to the situation in the West Bank is based on a 1971 interpretation by Israeli Attorney-General, Meir Shamgar. His view was presented by Moshe Dayan in a speech before the 32nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1977. Shamgar believed that the Convention did not pertain to the territories captured by Israel since they had not previously been recognized as part of a sovereign state and could not be considered “the territory of a High Contracting Party”. According to the argument, the last legal sovereignty over the territories was that of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which stipulated the right of the Jewish people to settle in the whole of the Mandated territory. According to Article 6 of the Mandate, “close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use” was to be encouraged. Article 25 allowed the League Council to temporarily postpone the Jewish right to settle in what is now Jordan, if conditions were not amenable. Article 80 of the U.N. Charter preserved this Jewish right to settlement by specifying that: “nothing in the [United Nations] Charter shall be construed … to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments.”

NOTE: Shamgar further stated: “There is no rule of international law according to which the Fourth Convention applies in each and every armed conflict whatever the status of the parties…. The whole idea of the restriction of military government powers is based on the assumption that there has been a sovereign who was ousted and that he was a legitimate sovereign. Any other conception would lead to the conclusion, for example, that France should have acted in Alsace-Lorraine according to rule 42–56 of the Hague Rules of 1907, until the signing of a peace treaty.”

October 28, 1974: Arab League summit designated the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” and reaffirmed “their right to establish an independent state of urgency”

November 22, 1974: UN General Assembly officially “acknowledged” the government of Palestine; as observer status at the United Nations and as a “non-state entity,” which entitled it to speak in the UN General Assembly but not to vote; to use the designation “Palestine” instead of “Palestine Liberation Organization” when referring to the Palestinian permanent observer. United Nations General Assembly recognized the PLO as the “representative of the Palestinian people” in Resolution 3210 and Resolution 3236, and granted the PLO observer status in Resolution 3237.

1975: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) was founded in 1975 by resolution 3376 of the United Nations General Assembly. In its inception year, the CEIRPP urged the SC to promote action for a fair solution- recommending “a two-phase plan for the return of Palestinian to their homes and property, a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories by June 1, 1977, with the provision, if necessary, of temporary peacekeeping forces to facilitate the process.” The committee oversees “a programme of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty; and to return to their homes and property.” The committee reports to the Assembly annually, since the mandate is renewed each year.

NOTE: UN General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, which said “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. According to the resolution, “any doctrine of racial differentiation of superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous.” The resolution named the occupied territory of Palestine, Zimbabwe, and South Africa as examples of racist regimes. Resolution 3379 was pioneered by the Soviet Union and passed with numerical support from Arab and African states amidst accusations that Israel was supportive of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In 1991 the resolution was repealed with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/86, after Israel declared that it would only participate in the Madrid Conference of 1991 if the resolution were revoked.

1977: After Likud came to power, seizing land on the basis of the 1907 Hague Regulations, which implied a temporary nature of Israeli presence, was not employed anymore as the new government declared land in the West Bank “state land”.

April 21, 1978: An opinion by a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State found the settlements contrary to international law, though no Administration has officially stated so since the Carter Administration. Legal Adviser of the Department of State Herbert J. Hansel issued an opinion, on request from Congress, that creating the settlements “is inconsistent with international law,” and against Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Hansell found that “[w]hile Israel may undertake, in the occupied territories, actions necessary to meet its military needs and to provide for orderly government during the occupation, for the reasons indicated above the establishment of the civilian settlements in those territories is inconsistent with international law.” This opinion, “has neither been revoked or revised,” and remains the policy of the United States according to Hansel,

NOTE: The Washington Post, and the Rand Corporation’s Palestinian State Study Project. The Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations all publicly characterized the settlements as illegal.

1978 and 1979: Israeli Supreme court, prompted by the new government policies, ruled on two important cases that set out the requirements for Israeli settlement legality under international law. In Ayauub et al. vs. Minister of Defence (the Beit-El Toubas case), the Court determined that the Hague Conventions but not the Geneva Conventions could be applied by Israeli courts on land and settlement issues in the occupied territories. The following year the Court ruled on Dwikat et al. vs. the Government of Israel (the Elon Moreh case), outlining the Hague Conventions’ limitations on Israeli land acquisition and settlements. Settlements, whether on private or public land, could not be considered permanent, nor could the land be permanently confiscated, only temporarily requisitioned. Settlements on private land were legal only if determined to be a military necessity; the original owner retained title to the land and must be paid rental fees for its use. Public lands’ “possession cannot be alienated, nor its basic character transformed.”

1979 and 1980: numerous UN Security council resolutions, including 446, 452, 465, 471 and 476, considered the settlements as having “no legal validity” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

June 30, 1980: United Nations Security Council resolution 476, declared that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

NOTE: The resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none, with the United States abstaining.

August 20, 1980: United Nations Security Council Resolution 478, is one of seven UNSC resolutions condemning Israel’s attempted annexation of East Jerusalem; condemned Israel’s 1980 Jerusalem Law which declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “complete and united” capital, as a violation of international law.

NOTE: The resolution was passed with 14 votes to none against, with the United States abstaining.

1987: Hamas was founded as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stated in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

1988: Hamas Charter: Article 22 states that the French revolution, the Russian revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists or forces supportive of Zionism: “You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

November 15, 1988: State of Palestine is a state that was proclaimed by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO’s) National Council (PNC) in exile in Algiers which unilaterally adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. It claims the Palestinian territories (defined according to the 1967 borders) and has designated Jerusalem as its capital. The proclaimed State of Palestine is recognized by 132 countries. The permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over the natural resources of the Palestinian territories has been recognized by 139 countries

1988: PLO officially endorsed a two-state solution, contingent on terms such as making East Jerusalem capital of the Palestinian state and giving Palestinians the right of return to land occupied by Palestinians prior to 1948, as well as the right to continue armed struggle until the end of “The Zionist Entity.”

September 1993: Palestine Liberation Organization agreed that Resolutions 242 and 338 should be the basis for negotiations with Israel when it signed the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo Accords; accepts Israel’s right to exist and condemns all forms of terrorism.

1996: PLO nullified the articles of the PLO’s Charter, or parts of it, which called for the destruction of Israel and for armed resistance.

1997: According to international law Israel is the custodian of absentee property in the West Bank and may not give it to settlers.

NOTE: The Civil Administration’s legal adviser gave his opinion that: The Custodian of Absentee Property in the West Bank is nothing but a trustee looking after the property so it is not harmed while the owners are absent from the area … the custodian may not make any transaction regarding the asset that conflicts with the obligation to safeguard the asset as stated, especially his obligation to return the asset to the owner upon his return to the region.”

1998: Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs produced “The International Criminal Court Background Paper“. It concludes: “International law has long recognized that there are crimes of such severity they should be considered “international crimes”. Such crimes have been established in treaties such as the Genocide Convention and the Geneva Conventions…. The following are Israel’s primary issues of concern [ie with the rules of the ICC]: – The inclusion of settlement activity as a “war crime” is a cynical attempt to abuse the Court for political ends. The implication that the transfer of civilian population to occupied territories can be classified as a crime equal in gravity to attacks on civilian population centres or mass murder is preposterous and has no basis in international law.”

October 23, 1998: Wye River Memorandum was an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to implement the earlier Interim Agreement of September 28, 1995. Brokered by the United States at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Centers near Wye River, Maryland, it was signed on October 23, 1998.

July 1999: High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention ruled that the Convention did apply in the Israeli-occupied territories.

2004: International Court of Justice concluded that Israel had breached its obligations under international law by establishing settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and that Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defense or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of imposing a régime, which is contrary to international law. The Court also concluded that the Israeli régime violates the basic human rights of the Palestinians by impeding the liberty of movement of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (with the exception of Israeli citizens) and their exercise of the right to work, to health, to education and to an adequate standard of living.

Judge Abdul Koroma explained the majority opinion: “The Court has also held that the right of self-determination as an established and recognized right under international law applies to the territory and to the Palestinian people. Accordingly, the exercise of such right entitles the Palestinian people to a State of their own as originally envisaged in resolution 181 (II) and subsequently confirmed.” In response, Prof. Paul De Waart said that the Court put the legality of the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate and the 1947 UN Plan of Partition beyond doubt once and for all.

July 9, 2012: Levy Report is an 89 page report on West Bank settlements, authored by a three member committee headed by former Israeli Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy. The committee, dubbed the “outpost committee”, was appointed by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in late January 2012 to investigate the legal status of unauthorized West Bank Jewish settlements, but also examined whether the Israeli presence in the West Bank is to be considered an occupation or not, The report comes to the conclusion that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation, that the Israeli settlements are legal under international law, recommends state approval for unauthorized Jewish settlement outposts, and provides proposals for new guidelines for settlement construction; and is based on “an eccentric legal doctrine that’s been circulating for years on the fringes of the far right”. Its advocates assert that the resolution of the post-World War I San Remo conference which called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” retains its validity to the present day and constitutes a binding international commitment to make all of historic Palestine as under the British mandate into a Jewish state. The report contradicts the world community’s interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

NOTE: According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the “members were meticulously chosen”; the report, while recommending the legalization of illegal outposts, is critical of government policies that allowed their establishment, stating “we wish to stress that the picture that has been displayed before us regarding Israeli settlement activity in Judea and Samaria does not befit the behavior of a state that prides itself on, and is committed to, the rule of law”. As of June 2013, the report has not been brought before the Israeli cabinet or any parliamentary or governmental body which would have the power to approve it.

November 29, 2012: UN General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN; resolution 67/19; adopted by a vote of 138 in favor to nine against with 41 abstentions by the 193-member Assembly; nations who voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

December 17, 2012: UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon decided that “the designation of ‘State of Palestine’ shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents”. UN has authorized Palestine to title its representative office to the UN as ‘The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations’, and Palestine has started to re-title its name accordingly on postal stamps, official documents and passports, whilst it has instructed its diplomats to officially represent ‘The State of Palestine’, as opposed to the ‘Palestine National Authority’.

April 2013: International recognition of the State of Palestine: 132 (68.4%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognized the State of Palestine.

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