Territories presently occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Israeli-occupied territories are the lands that were captured and occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967. While the term is currently applied to the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights, it has also been used to refer to areas that were formerly occupied by Israel, namely the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon. Prior to Israel's victory in the Six-Day War, governance of the Palestinian territories was split between Egypt and Jordan, with the former having occupied the Gaza Strip and the latter having annexed the West Bank; the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights were under the sovereignty of Egypt and Syria, respectively. The first conjoined usage of the terms "occupied" and "territories" with regard to Israel was in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was drafted in the aftermath of the Six-Day War and called for: "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles: ... Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict ... 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."
From 1967 to 1981, the four areas were administered under the Israeli Military Governorate and referred to by the United Nations (UN) as the "Occupied Arab Territories". The Israeli Military Governorate was dissolved in 1981, two years after the Egypt–Israel peace treaty that saw Egypt recognize Israel and Israel return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. After the treaty with Egypt, Israel effectively annexed the Golan Heights into its Northern District through the Golan Heights Law, and brought the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the Israeli Civil Administration. Despite the dissolution of the military government, and in line with Egyptian demands, the term Occupied Arab Territories had remained in use, referring to the West Bank (including East Jerusalem, which Israel effectively annexed in 1980), the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. From 1999 to early 2013, the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" was used to refer to territories that the interim governing body of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), controlled in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN General Assembly, and the UN Security Council all regard Israel as the occupying power for the territories. UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called Israel's occupation "an affront to international law". The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that Israel is holding the West Bank under "belligerent occupation". According to the Sasson Report, the Supreme Court of Israel, with a variety of different justices sitting, has repeatedly stated for more than four decades that international law applies to Israel's presence in the West Bank. However, successive Israeli governments have preferred the term "disputed territories" in the case of the West Bank, and Israel likewise maintains that the West Bank is disputed territory.
Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The UN and a number of human rights organizations continue to consider Israel as the occupying power of the Gaza Strip due to its blockade of the territory; Israel rejects this characterization. On 24 September 2021, in a speech before the UN General Assembly, the President of the PNA, Mahmoud Abbas, gave Israel a one-year ultimatum to end its military occupation over the Palestinian territories, stating that its failure to do so would lead to the withdrawal of Palestine's 1993 "recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders" (under the Oslo I Accord) and the bringing of the matter to the ICJ. In his speech, Abbas referred to Israeli policy as amounting to "apartheid" and involving "ethnic cleansing".