Israel’s Rights in the Territorial Dispute with the Palestinians – Dore Gold (Israel Hayom)
What exactly are Israel’s rights in its territorial dispute with the Palestinians over the future of the West Bank? Those rights were enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 242. Over the years the resolution evolved into the basis of the entire peace process, including the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the 1993 Oslo Accords, the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, and draft agreements with Syria.
Resolution 242’s withdrawal clause did not call on Israel to pull back to the pre-war 1967 lines. As U.S. UN ambassador and former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg stated: “The resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.”
Any Israeli withdrawal had to be to “secure and recognized borders.” Israel had rights to retain some West Bank territory, so that at the end of the day it could obtain defensible borders in any future political settlement. The issue was settled in direct communications between U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin.
There were no land swaps in Resolution 242. According to the resolution, Israel was entitled to this territory without having to pay for it with its own pre-1967 territory.
Nor was there any corridor crossing Israeli sovereign territory so that the West Bank could be connected to Gaza (just as there is no land corridor across Canada connecting Alaska to the rest of the U.S.). These diplomatic innovations were thought of by negotiators in the 1990s, but Israel in no way is required to agree to them.