14 Harv. Int'l. L. J. 1 (1973)
Trustee-Occupant: The Legal Status of Israel's Presence in the West Bank

handle is hein.journals/hilj14 and id is 13 raw text is: Trustee-Occupant: The Legal Status of
Israel's Presence in the West Bank
ALLAN GERSON*
In the search for a new and stable order in the Middle East, both con-
temporary scholarship and diplomacy often overlook a major key to
the resolution of that region's conflict between Israel and her Arab
neighbors -the disposition of the West Bank.' The Palestinian Arabs
J J.S.D. candidate, Yale University; M. Jur., Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1972;
J.D., New York University, x969. Member of the New York Bar.
I. Symptomatic of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the variety of terms designating the
area in question- that part of Mandatory Palestine [see note 69 infra] under Jordanian
control between 1948 and 1967. Alternative terms most frequently employed are 'The
Vest Bank of Jordan, the former West Bank of Jordan, Eastern Palestine, and
Judea and Samaria. These terms must, however, be rejected as inappropriate for a
legal analysis since they are insufficiently neutral. The first three terms imply sovereignty
resting, respectively, with Jordan, with some entity other than Jordan, or with the
Palestinian people. The term Judea and Samaria implies, at least to the non-Israeli
reader, that Israel's right of sovereignty will be asserted. This is so despite the fact
that Judea and Samaria is both a historical and geophysical term: Judea designating
the mountainous ridge of which Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron are the main towns,
and Samaria, the plateau further north, centered around Jenin and Nablus. See THE
MIDDLE EAsT & NoRTH AFRICA SURVEY AND REFERENCE BOOK FOR 1970-71, at 335.
Israel has since February x968 officially referred to the region, exclusive of East Jeru-
salem, as Judea and Samaria rather than the West Bank. See Amendments to Entry
into Israel Law, 1953 and Amendments to Orders Extending Applicability of the
Emergency Regulations, 1948, both in KovwTz HATAKANOT [SUBSIDIARY LEGIsLATION]
9xo--i (1968) [hereinafter K.T.] (in Hebrew; all translations hereinafter are by the
author). Non-Israeli writers have, however, rarely employed the term Judea and
Samaria when referring to the political and legal rather than' the historical and
geophysical aspects of that region and have thus conditioned the public to accept its use
in a political or legal context as other than neutral in value. The West Bank, by
contrast, has been the term most frequently employed to designate the area. (The term
the West Bank of the River Jordan, although neutral in value, has been rarely
employed.) Although arguably the term implies sovereignty resting with the entity in
control of the other Bank, the Kingdom of Jordan, its frequent use by different schools
of political opinion has rendered the term most neutral in value.

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