The legal aspects of coming into possession of the territories 1st Part of 2
By Eli E. Hertz
About six months before the War of Independence in 1948, Palestinian Arabs launched a series of riots, pillaging, and bloodletting. Then came the invasion of seven Arab armies from neighboring states attempting to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in accordance with the UN's 1947 recommendation to Partition Palestine, a plan the Arab rejected.1
The Jewish state not only survived: It came into possession of territories – land from which its adversaries launched their first attempt to destroy the newly created State of Israel.
In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and
The metaphor of
There were 6,000 Israeli dead as a result of that war, in a population of 600,000. One percent of the Jewish population was gone. In American terms, the equivalent is 3 million American civilians and soldiers killed over an 18-month period.4
Under the pressure of war, Palestinian society collapsed in disarray.5 Both sides were left to cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees – Jewish and Arab. Yet the way the Arab world dealt with their refugees was as different from the Jews, as the way Jews and Arabs approach the notion of compromise over the past 100 years.
Israel War of Independence in 1948 was considered lawful and in self-defence as may be reflected in UN resolutions naming
"[Security Council] Decides in its judgment that
Arab losses caused by unlawful acts of aggression in 1967
In June 1967, the combined armies of
International law makes a clear distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression. More than half a century after the 1948 War and four decades since the 1967 Six-Day War, it is hard to imagine the dire circumstances
Core issues leading to those wars are the borders, and one of the key questions is whether borders can be established that do not invite aggression.
In 1967, the combined Arab armies had approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft,7 preparing to attack
The Arab objective in the 1948 War of Independence, the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War was to overrun and eradicate the Jewish state.
That objective is very much in the minds of the majority of Palestinian Arabs – in the leadership and the general population, as well as in the minds of their brethren in other Arab countries - though their tactics may have changed.9
1948: Arab League Secretary-General Azzam Pasha exulted: "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."
1954: Saudi Arabian King Saud ibn Abdul Aziz: "The Arab nations should sacrifice up to 10 million of their 50 million people, if necessary, to wipe out
1967: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of
2007 © Eli E. Hertz
1973: Libyan President Mohammar Qadaffi: "The battle with
1980: PLO representative in Saudi Arabia Rafiq Najshah: "There has been no change whatsoever in the fundamental strategy of the PLO, which is based on the total liberation of
1996: Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat: "[Our aim is] to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian one." (In a closed meeting with Arab diplomats in Europe, quoted in the Middle East Digest, March 7, 1996.)
1996: PLO spokesperson Bassam abu-Sharif: "The struggle against the Zionist enemy is not a matter of borders but relates to the mere existence of the Zionist entity." (In an interview with the Kuwait News Agency, May 31, 1996).
2001: PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Faisal al-Husseini: "The strategic goal is the liberation of
2003: The late Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the key leader of Hamas: "By God, we will not leave one Jew in
2007: Hamas statement in response to criticism by Al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahri, March 12, 2007: "We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of
Who starts wars does matter
UN Charter Article 51 clearly recognizes "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations" by anyone.
The suggestion that a small country such as
Arabs would like the world to believe that in 1967,
Arab leaders 'bundle' the countries who fought
Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, past President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)12 states the following facts:
"The facts of the June 1967 'Six Day War' demonstrate that
The Egyptians were responsible for:
• The expulsion of UN peacekeepers from Sinai – stationed there since 1956 to act as a buffer when
• The closure of Israel's outlet from the Red Sea in defiance of the Geneva Conference of 1958 on free navigation "through straits used for international navigation between one part of the high seas and … the territorial sea of a foreign nation" (For 16 years Egypt illegally blocked Israeli use of the Suez Canal);
• The failure of the international community to break the blockade; and
• The massing of Egyptian forces in Sinai and moving them toward
In 1956, when Egypt provoked Israel by blockading the Red Sea - crippling her ability to conduct sea trade with Africa and the Far East - the major Western powers negotiated Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, and agreed that Israel's rights would be reserved under Article 51 of the UN Charter if Egypt staged future raids and blockades against Israel. .14
Were the acts by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1967 against
The answer can be found on the official website of the Jordanian Government 15under the heading 'The Disaster of 1967.' It describes the events of the days prior to June 5, 1967 and clearly indicates that
"On May 16,
"Sensing that war was now likely, King Hussein aligned Jordan firmly with Egypt, suggesting an Egyptian-Jordanian Mutual Defense Treaty … [The treaty] stipulated that Jordan's forces were to be placed under the command of Egyptian General Abdul Moneim Riad … In response to the Israeli attack [on the Egyptian air force], Jordanian forces launched an offensive into Israel, but were soon driven back as the Israeli forces counterattacked into the West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem."
Judge Sir Elihu Lauterpacht wrote in 1968, just one year after the 1967 Six-Day War:
"On 5th June, 1967,
Professor, Judge Schwebel writing lead to the conclusion that under international law,
Defensive wars and wars of aggression
International law makes a clear distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression. All of
Professor, Judge Schwebel, wrote in What Weight to Conquest:19
"(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense;
"(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defense;
"(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.
"… as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."
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