Moses led the Hebrew nation out of Egypt about 1,300 BC. Muhammad originated Islam about 600 AD, about 1,900 years later. The offspring of Jacob, the Jews, predate the Muslims everywhere in the Middle East. The land of Judea was the Jewish nation before the Roman occupiers expelled and killed a large portion of the population during the Jewish wars of the first century and renamed it Palestina in an effort to blot out every connection of the Jewish people to the land. Palestina was the name of the small part of the land that was occupied by the Philistines along the southern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. [Read more in the article: “The Origin of Palestine”.]
Before the Muslim conquest in the 7th century CE, the land was occupied by both Christians and Jews. The population remained essentially unchanged from the days of the Byzantine occupation (324 CE – 640 CE), and the majority of the population consisted of Greek Orthodox Christians and two minorities – Jews and Samaritans. The number of Arabs settled in Palestine was negligible. Most of the Arabs who now declare themselves Palestinians immigrated to the area between the 19th and 20th centuries, during the Ottoman rule (1516 – 1918) and the British Mandate period (1918 –1948).
Proof that Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people are cities that the Oslo Accord gave to the Palestinians –Jericho, conquered by Joshua; Hebron, where Abraham bought the burial place for his wife Sarah and where Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rebecca, and Leah are buried; Bethlehem – where Rachel is buried nearby and where Yeshua (Jesus) was born to Jewish parents; East Jerusalem with the Temple Mount, the City of David, and Golgotha, where Jesus the Jewish Messiah died, was buried and was resurrected.
There has never ever been a Palestinian state nor a political entity that belonged to the self-proclaimed Palestinians. Through all the international agreements from 1917 until 1947, the land designated Palestine was divided into three entities: Jordan, east of the Jordan River, and the suggested Jewish and Arab future states to be shared in the land west of the Jordan River. While the Jews reluctantly accepted this painful partition as better than nothing, an area much smaller than originally allocated to the Jewish state, the Arabs refused anything less than everything and launched a war of aggression against the new Jewish state of Israel in 1948. As a result of Israel’s victory, it gained additional land but was unable to hold Judea and Samaria or East Jerusalem which fell to the Jordanians who immediately occupied and annexed the areas, a violation of international law. At the same time, the Jordanians expelled Jews from their homes in East Jerusalem creating Jewish refugees.
During the Jordanian rule of Judea and Samaria, Arabs who were kept in refugee camps never claimed to establish a Palestinian state in that area. Rather, they adamantly refused to share the land with the Jews–land they previously refused and consequently lost in the 1948 war. Until today, the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians want to replace the land of Israel with what they still call Palestine. [See the article “The Origin of Palestine”.] In the1949 cease-fire, the Arabs refused to accept Israel’s victory and claimed that the borders drawn had no legal significance.
What is the Legal Status of Judea and Samaria
As of 1967, the territory legally belonged to no one, since the annexation of Judea and Samaria by Jordan was considered illegal. The British vacated in 1948 at the end of their mandate whereupon the War of Independence began. In 1949 at the end of the war, armistice boundary lines were drawn up but the Arabs refused to recognize them, insisting that the boundaries had no legal significance.
Therefore, according to international law, the land cannot be considered “occupied” but is considered “Disputed Territories”, a term used when there are territorial disputes.
In 1964 Arabs in those areas formed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (the PLO), under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, in order to reclaim Israel as their land of “Palestine.” It had nothing to do with the territory of the West Bank. They only began demanding rights to the West Bank once it too was in Israeli hands.
UNSC Resolution 242 doesn’t call for a complete and total withdrawal from ‘ALL captured territories’ nor does it call for a unilateral withdrawal only on the Israeli side, but just calls for a withdrawal from ‘captured territories’. The language of the resolution states that withdrawal must be made towards ‘Secure and Recognized Boundaries’ or defensible borders. Judea and Samaria is a special case because it was never part of a Palestinian state. Israel, Judea and Samaria and Gaza were all part of British-ruled Palestine, and Britain previously promised a national home for the Jewish people in the area, without specifying boundaries. On that basis, Israel maintains it has the right to extend sovereignty over the territories with a simple Cabinet vote, a position backed by the Trump administration.
However, most of the international community refuses to accept these facts and insists on referring to annexed east Jerusalem and the so-called West Bank as “occupied territory” because, they claim, the area was seized in war.
Israel insists that the Palestinian’s demand for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 boundaries is absolutely not secure and safe borders. For years, Palestinian propaganda has claimed falsely that Israel is occupying their land, resulting in a new generation that does not know the facts of history. They believe the Palestinians are being ruled by Israel which has taken land that rightfully belongs to them.
According to all agreements with the Palestinians, beginning with the Oslo Accords of 1993, a permanent status solution of Judea and Samaria should be determined solely through negotiations, which have never taken place. According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, Israel has agreed to give parts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, but only in return for recognition as a Jewish state and guaranteed security, which has also never occurred.
Previous Prime Ministers of Israel, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert agreed to negotiate the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel in Gaza and in parts of Judea and Samaria. They offered both Arafat and Abbas respectively almost all of Judea and Samaria in exchange for real peace and security and mutual recognition.
Not only did the Palestinians refuse Barak’s peace offer to Arafat in the 2000 Camp David talks, but they began massive terror attacks as well as a campaign war of political propaganda to delegitimize Israel. In 2007, the propaganda intensified after Abbas refused another peace offer from Olmert’s offer in Annapolis.