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International Law Officially Recognizes Jewish Claims in Judea and Samaria

Tomb-of-the-Patriarchs1-300x225Despite dubious claims to the contrary, Israel has international law on its side.

Contrary to claims made by Palestinian leadership and others in the international community, international law fully recognizes Jewish claims in Judea and Samaria. These areas were part of the Palestine Mandate, which granted Jews the right to settle anywhere west of the Jordan River and to establish a national home there.

History reminds us that the Palestine Mandate, supported by all 51 members of the League of Nations at the time, and codified in international law, is recognized as legally valid by the United Nations in Article 80 of the UN Charter. In addition, the International Court of Justice has reaffirmed this on three different occasions.

While some people argue that the Palestine Mandate became obsolete following its termination in 1947, international legal scholars claim otherwise. According to Eugene Rostow, a Dean of Yale Law School, “A trust never terminates when a trustee dies, resigns, embezzles the trust property, or is dismissed. The authority responsible for the trust appoints a new trustee, or otherwise arranges for the fulfillment of its purpose.” While the Palestine Mandate ceased to exist in Israel and Jordan when Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom obtained independence, Rostow maintains that “its rules apply still to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which have not yet been allocated either to Israel or to Jordan or become an independent state.”

Map-of-Israel6-202x300This international law expert adds that the Armistice Lines of 1949, which are part of the West Bank boundary, “represent nothing but the position of the contending armies when the final cease-fire was achieved in the War of Independence. The Armistice Agreements specifically provide, except in the case of Lebanon, that the demarcation lines can be changed by agreement when the parties move from armistice to peace.” Simply put, international law does not consider the 1967 borders the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel.

Israeli legal claims to Judea and Samaria are strengthened by the fact that no other sovereign nation state claims this territory as her own. Both the Ottoman Turks and the British Mandate renounced their claims to the Land of Israel decades ago, including Judea and Samaria. Furthermore, Jordan’s annexation of Judea and Samaria following Israel’s declaration of independence was never internationally recognized, since it amounted to an act of aggression. Both the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly declared at that time that Israel was a peace-loving state in the 1948 war.



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