This week, the international community will mark the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem. But despite the fact that Israel won its war against three Arab armies in early June 1967 in record time, the war seems to continue. Indeed, the international community still has difficulty accepting that the small country of Israel, against all odds over the Arab armies, and as a result of winning this war, received new lands.
The war ended formally after six days, June 10, 1967, but still fifty years later, the international community demands that the “occupied” territories of Israel should be returned even though it was not Israel who started the war. Thus, the Israeli “occupation” is considered to be the root of the entire Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The statement is incorrect for two different reasons. According to international law, one can not occupy an area already belonging to a legal entity. Judea and Samaria were assigned to the Jewish state in the 1922 Palestine Mandate in the land area that remained when the original mandate was divided into two parts, a Jewish Palestine (1948 Israel) and an Arab Palestine, today Jordan.
The United Nations partition plan of 1947, on the other hand, had been rejected by the Arab neighbors of Israel and thus never came into force. The lands that Israel regained in the Six-Day War therefore already belonged to it according to international law after being illegally occupied by Jordan for twenty years.
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