Jerusalem is NOT ‘disputed’ territory

by Jeremy Hammond

Here’s the Washington Post on the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, emphasis added:

Ever since the administration was blindsided by Israel’s March 9 announcement that it intends to build 1,600 housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem, U.S. officials have pressed Israel to take actions to encourage Palestinians to attend indirect talks, including canceling the project, making concrete gestures such as a prisoner release and adding substantive rather than procedural issues to the agenda for talks. Some U.S. requests have not been made public.

“Disputed”? This description implies that Israel and the Arabs both have some kind of legal claim over Jerusalem. But the fact of the matter is that Jerusalem is not by any means “disputed”. This is simply false. It is a simple and uncontroversial point of fact under international law that Israel has no legal claim to Jerusalem, that Jerusalem is rather undisputed Palestinian territory, and that Israel’s occupation of the city is illegal, in violation of both the Fourth Geneva Convention and numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Israel today controls Jerusalem because it invaded and occupied the West Bank in 1967. Subsequently, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 242, which emphasized “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, emphasized that member states have a commitment to abide by the U.N. Charter, and called for the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied” during the June 1967 war.

In May 1968, the Security Council passed resolution 252, which declared Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem “invalid” and called upon Israel “to rescind all such measures already taken and to desist forthwith from taking any further action which tends to change the status of Jerusalem”.

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