Israeli occupied territories

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Areas under Israeli control that are outside the ceasefire lines of the State of Israel concluded in 1949 with its neighbors are referred to as Israeli occupied territories . The International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations , other international organizations and many governments they are called occupied territories rated, while Israel these areas in the case of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights regarded as belonging to Israel and elsewhere as "disputed territories" with open claim.

Territories occupied in 1967

The "Israeli occupied" territories now include the West Bank including East Jerusalem , the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights . The Sinai Peninsula , which Israel had also conquered in the Six Day War in 1967 , was returned to Egypt in the 1982 Camp David Peace Treaty . The Gaza Strip was established in 2005 under the unilateral disengagement plan of Ariel Sharon by Israeli settlements evacuated and military bases, but applies to the UN continues to be occupied by Israel of Palestinian territory. Israel had also occupied territories in Lebanon several times since 1978, but withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.

Overall, Israel, including the Gaza Strip, cleared around 84% of the territories occupied by the military in 1967, the majority of which was desert on the Sinai Peninsula.

The Israeli government denies that the territories conquered by Israel in 1967 and classified as occupied territories under international law are occupied territories, while the Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that the West Bank in particular is occupied territory. The Israeli government justifies its position with a historical and religious relationship of the Jews to the areas concerned, Israel's security needs and with the fact that, according to its interpretation , the 4th Geneva Convention only refers to occupied territories of a sovereign state at the time of the conquest , which is the West Bank and Gaza Strip was not the case. Consequently, the term occupation and the 4th Geneva Convention, which ensures the protection of the civilian population, are not applicable. This view was also expressed in July 2012 in a report commissioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the settlements (outposts) in the West Bank, even illegal under Israeli law, the "Levy Report", which was based on a statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appointed to the 4th Geneva Convention from 1958. The report, which received widespread support from the Israeli right-wing parties, was harshly criticized outside Israel, including by the US State Department and mainstream American Jewish organizations. In November 2012, the ICRC issued a statement clarifying that the West Bank is an Israeli-occupied territory under international law and that the Israeli settlements established in it violate the provisions of international humanitarian law .

The official Israeli terminology uses the term “disputed areas” unless they are occupied areas that have been annexed by Israel. Colloquially, the occupied territories in Israel are often referred to as the territories for short . However , it is occupied territory for the international community and international organizations, including the United States of America , the United Nations , the ICRC and the European Union , although in the case of the Gaza Strip, there has been some uncertainty since the Israeli withdrawal in 2005 consists.

UN Partition Plan For Palestine 1947 de.svg
Territory of the Jewish (orange) and Arab (yellow) state in Palestine, as provided for in the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine .
Palestinian National Authority showing Israel's 1948 and 1967 borders.svg
The Palestinian Autonomous Areas (green), as agreed in the Oslo Agreement between Israel and the PLO .

Occupied Territories

West Bank

The official Israeli name of the West Bank is Judea and Samaria . This was a common geographical name in Europe in the 19th century for the area then under Ottoman rule and was also used during the period of British mandate rule . The term “West Bank”, which is used in German today, goes back to the British mandate for Palestine , which divided the original mandate of Palestine into “ Cisjordania ”, on this side of the Jordan River, and “Transjordan”, across the Jordan River. Transjordan was separated from Palestine and later became the Kingdom of Transjordan , which incorporated Cisjordan in 1948 and has been called Jordan since then . In 1949, Cisjordan was annexed by Jordan, giving the residents full Jordanian civil rights, and remained under Jordanian rule until June 1967. Jordan gave up its claim to the area in 1988 in favor of a sovereign Palestinian state.

As a result of the Oslo Peace Process , the PLO was able to set up an administration under the Palestinian Authority in parts of the West Bank areas (so-called A areas (complete) and B areas (partially)) . Although these areas cover a large part of the Palestinian metropolitan areas, they do not form a contiguous area, but consist of numerous enclaves in areas still under Israeli administration (C areas).

East Jerusalem

East Jerusalem and the surrounding area, conquered by Israel in 1967 and part of the occupied West Bank under international law, was formally annexed by Israel in 1980, an annexation that is not recognized by the international community.

Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip was under military rule from Egypt from 1948 to 1967 with a short interruption after the Suez crisis, but the residents were denied Egyptian citizenship. Egypt has also given up its claim to the area in favor of a sovereign Palestinian state. The Gaza Strip has been under Palestinian self-government since the Oslo Accords came into force. However, Hamas , which has been in charge of the administration since 2007, is not recognized by Israel.

In 2005, Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip due to the Sharon Plan and dissolved all of its settlements there. The border with Egypt has been controlled by the Palestinians since 2007 . All other accesses, including air and sea access, will continue to be controlled by Israel.

The Israeli Supreme Court has decided on the basis of its own expert opinion that the Gaza Strip has not been occupied since the withdrawal in 2005 because Israel does not exercise “effective force” and, according to the Oslo Accords, Israel is entitled to air and sea controls anyway. It is denied that Israel does not exercise “effective force” over the Gaza Strip. International law experts see, among other things, permanent air sovereignty and control with the possibility to strike immediately at any point, since summer 2007 at the latest, the continuation of the military occupation by Israel, for which, according to the Hague Land Warfare Regulations, the army does not actually have to be present at every location. Both the US and the UN continue to regard the Gaza Strip as an occupied territory. A spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated in January 2009 that the status of the Gaza Strip as an occupied Palestinian territory had not changed for the UN.

International humanitarian law and the international community consider Israel responsible for the well-being of the people of the Gaza Strip. The EU and the US have repeatedly advocated an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip . In June 2010, Israel partially lifted the blockade for important goods. British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized the blockade in July 2010 with the following words: “Humanitarian goods and people must be able to flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not remain a prison camp ”. Aid organizations such as Amnesty International and medico international also called for an immediate end to the Gaza blockade in November 2010 with an appeal to the international community. The population is severely restricted in their freedom of movement. In 2013, Egypt also sealed off its border with the Gaza Strip. The UN Secretary General António Guterres visited the area in August 2017 and again called for the blockade by Israel and Egypt to be lifted. According to the UN, 70 percent of the population are dependent on international aid; the high youth unemployment, lack of drinking water and poor health care have led to "one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises" of all.

Golan Heights

The Golan Heights, which belonged to Syria until 1967 , were annexed by Israel in 1981 and incorporated into the northern district of the country. This is not recognized by the international community.

Former occupied territories


Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula twice: for a short time after the Suez Crisis of 1956 and for 15 years from 1967 to 1982 after the Six Day War. The return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt was specified in the Camp David Agreement of 1978 and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979. In 1982 the Israeli occupation ended.

Southern Lebanon

Israel had repeatedly occupied territories in southern Lebanon since 1978 . In 2000, Israel withdrew its troops from Lebanon. Lebanon claims, however, that Israel continues to occupy Lebanese land, mainly at the Shebaa farms at the foot of the Golan Heights. Israel, on the other hand, describes the Shebaa farms as Syrian territory, which is not subject to Resolution 425, which calls on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon.

The Israeli heartland

Unlike the territories occupied in 1967, the territories conquered and annexed by Israel in the Israeli War of Independence immediately after its founding in 1948, which go beyond the territory assigned to the Jewish state in the UN partition plan, which the Arab states rejected, will be part of Israel's national territory ( Heartland). The 1949 armistice lines, often referred to as the 1967 border or the " Green Line ", form Israel's de facto external borders. The territory of Israel within this border is now internationally undisputed and is only not recognized by a number of Muslim states, which deny the Jewish state the right to exist. However, there are some Palestinian groups who pursue the goal of "liberating Palestine" including the Israeli heartland, for example Hamas and the PFLP .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. International Court of Justice finds Israeli barrier in Palestinian territory is illegal. UN News Center, July 9, 2004, accessed August 30, 2014 .
  2. ^ Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (Request for advisory opinion). IGH , July 9, 2004, archived from the original on August 25, 2014 ; accessed on August 30, 2014 .
  3. Response to the Middle East speech. Israel is outraged by Obama's change of course. Der Spiegel , May 20, 2011, accessed January 15, 2012 .
  4. a b c Israeli Settlements and International Law. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 20, 2001, accessed January 17, 2009 .
  5. a b c Josh Levs: Is Gaza 'occupied' territory? In: CNN. January 6, 2009, accessed December 2, 2011 .
  6. ^ A b Juan Pedro Schaerer (ICRC manager): The Levy report vs. international law. In: Haaretz. November 4, 2012, accessed February 25, 2013 .
  7. Commentary of 1958. Retrieved on May 23, 2016 (English).
  8. Yitzhak Benhorin: US displeased with Levy Report. In: Ynetnews. July 10, 2012, accessed February 25, 2013 .
  9. ^ Paul Berger: Levy Report Tests American Consensus. In: The Jewish Daily Forward. July 20, 2012, accessed February 25, 2013 .
  10. Elizabeth Samson: Is Gaza Occupied? Redefining the Legal Status of Gaza. (PDF; 355 kB) The Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, January 2010, accessed on December 2, 2011 (English).
  11. ^ The Gaza Strip - Israel's obligations under international law. B'Tselem , accessed December 2, 2011 .
  12. 2010 Human Rights Report: Israel and the occupied territories. Occupied Territories. US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, April 8, 2011, accessed December 2, 2011 .
  13. The lagal status of Gaza. (PDF; 1.2 MB) Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, 2007, accessed on December 2, 2011 .
  14. Israel largely lifts the Gaza blockade. In: Welt Online , June 21, 2010.
  15. Nicholas Watt, Harriet Sherwood: David Cameron: Israeli blockade has turned Gaza Strip into a 'prison camp'. In: The Guardian . July 27, 2010, accessed on December 2, 2011 (English): “The situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp. "
  16. Stephanie Gebert: End of the Gaza blockade called for. Despite the easing of import regulations, the plight of the people in the Gaza Strip is still great. In: Deutsche Welle . November 30, 2010, accessed December 2, 2011 .
  17. UN Secretary General calls for the Gaza Strip blockade to be lifted. In: Der Standard , August 30, 2017.

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