Green Line (Israel)


Green Line (Israel)

The term Green Line is used to refer to the 1949 Armistice lines established between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Green Line separates Israel not only from these countries but from territories Israel would later capture in the 1967 Six-Day War, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula (the latter has since been returned to Egypt). Its name is derived from the green ink used to draw the line on the map during the talks. [Green Line: the name given to the 1949 Armistice lines that constituted the de facto borders of pre-1967 Israel — [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/israel/il_glos.html "Glossary: Israel"] , "Library of Congress Country Studies"] [Eli E. Hertz, [http://www.mythsandfacts.com/Conflict/1/A_secure_israel.htm "A Secure Israel - Security: A Condition for Peace"] , "Myths and Facts", December 9, 2006] In March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew from Palestine and handed over their positions to the smaller Jordanian legion, three Israeli brigades manoeuvred into threatening positions in Operation "Shin-Tav-Shin" in a form of coercive diplomacy. The operation allowed Israel to renegotiate the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the northern West Bank in a secret agreement reached on 23 March 1949 and incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement. The green line was then redrawn in blue ink on the southern map to give the the impression that a movement into green line had been made. [The Politics of Partition; King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine 1921–1951 Avi Shlaim Oxford University Press Revised Edition 2004 ISBN 019829459-x pp. 299, 312]

Overview

The Israeli side of the Green Line encompasses 78.5% of what was Palestine in 1947. Although the line does not denote an official border, as is explicitly stated in ("military considerations only"), in practice it is largely used to differentiate between those areas within the Israeli side of the Line, which are administered as part of the State of Israel, and the areas outside it, which are either administered by the Israeli military or in agreements with the Palestinian National Authority.Yisrael Ya'akov Yuval, [http://www.am-oved.co.il/HTMLs/product.aspx?BSP=13468&C1010=15881 "Where is the Green Line"] , "Two Thousand", Vol. 29, no. 971, 2005 he icon] [Akiva Eldar, [http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=797884 "What is the Green Line"] , "Haaretz", July 21, 2006 he icon] The extended municipality of Jerusalem constitutes one exception to this: although the parts ruled by Jordan until 1967 fall outside the Green Line, Israel has informally annexed them according to the Basic Jerusalem Law (1980). Other nations' positions on Jerusalem vary.

The Golan Heights are another exception, having been informally annexed with the Golan Heights Law (1981). Israeli Settlements are also subject to the laws of the State of Israel rather than the PNA's laws. As of December 2005, the Line formally divides the areas of operation of the Israeli Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, although the former is still responsible for care in Israeli settlements. [ [http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2005/Geneva%20vote%20paves%20the%20way%20for%20MDA%20Red%20Cross%20membership%208-Dec-2005 "Geneva vote paves the way for MDA Red Cross membership"] , "Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs", December 8, 2005]

According to Hebrew University Geographer Ilan Salomon, the Green Line can be discerned via satellite, marked by the Jewish National Fund pine forests planted to demarcate Israeli space. Salomon and Larissa Fleishman conducted a study regarding Israeli students' knowledge of the location of the Green Line and found that not much more than 1/3 could identify its placement; they furthermore found that "students who identify with left-leaning parties are more familiar with the location of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, can sketch them more accurately and are also more aware of the nature of borders." [ Akiva Eldar. [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/797959.html "Putting back the Green Line - once we find it"] Haaretz, December 8, 2006]

Impact

The sections of the Line that delineate the boundaries between Israel on the one hand, and the West Bank and Gaza on the other, separated heavily populated regions. As such, drawing the precise line was complicated and the harm caused to settlements on its periphery was great. The majority of the line corresponds to the military front of the 1948 War, and while the considerations dictating its placement were primarily military, it soon became clear that in many places it divided towns and villages and separated farmers from their fields. Consequently, the Green Line underwent various slight adjustments, and special arrangements were made for limited movement in certain areas.Yossi Alpher, et al., [http://www.bitterlemons.org/previous/bl240203ed8.html "The green line"] , "Palestinian-Israeli crossfire", Edition 8, February 24, 2003]

Most impacted were (and for the most part, remain) Jerusalem, which the Line divided in half, into East and West Jerusalem; the city of Qalqilyah, which virtually became a Jordanian enclave within Israel, with only a narrow passage connecting it with the West Bank; and the village of Barta'a, which, partially due to errors on the map, was left with one third of its area on the Israeli side and two thirds outside of it. Kibbutz Ramat Rachel was left almost entirely outside the Israeli portion of the Green Line.

Jewish population

During the war, a number of male Jews who resided east of the Line, including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, were taken prisoner by the Jordanians, while women and children were allowed safe passage. Many of the Gush Etzion inhabitants were killed. The prisoners were returned to Israel after the war.

In July 8, 1948, the Jewish inhabitants of Kfar Darom and Naharayim were evacuated by Israel due to military pressure by Egypt and Jordan respectively. Israel also withdrew villages in the Lebanese Upper Galilee, whereas Syria withdrew from Mishmar HaYarden.

Since the victory in the Six-Day War in 1967, successive Israeli governments have promoted the establishment of Jewish settlements south and east of the Line. From August to September 2005, Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip and evacuated the Jewish population who lived south of the Line in Gaza back to sovereign Israeli territory. In 2006, with Ehud Olmert's Convergence plan, Israel had future plans to disengage (if necessary, unilaterally) from much of the West Bank (east of the Line), by 2007 or 2008. Following the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict and the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, however, the plan increasingly fell off the national agenda. Unlike the Gaza disengagement, this was expected to correspond much less with the Green Line, primarily by retaining Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem — forming, together with West Jerusalem, Israel's united capital in accordance with Israel's domestic 1980 Jerusalem Law — and the large Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank. As well, some of the border was likely to be drawn in relation to the West Bank Barrier. ("See ")

Arab population

The majority of Arabs who had inhabited what became the Israeli side of the Line either fled or were expelled during the war. Those Arabs who remained generally became Israeli citizens and now comprise approximately 20% of Israel's total citizenry. The Umm al-Fahm-Baqa al-Gharbiyye-Tira area, known in Israel as "the Triangle", was originally designated to fall under Jordanian jurisdiction, but Israel insisted on having it within its side of the Line, due to military and strategic reasons. To achieve this, a territorial swap was negotiated with Transjordan, giving the latter Israeli territory in the southern hills of Hebron in exchange for "the Triangle" villages in Wadi Ara.

During the Six-Day War, Israel captured and occupied territories outside the Green Line which were inhabited by over a million Palestinian Arabs, including refugees from the 1947–1949 war. [The new territories more than doubled the size of pre1967 Israel, placing under Israel's control more than 1 million Palestinian Arabs ... In November 1967 ... UN Security Council Resolution 242, called for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" in exchange for Arab acceptance of Israel — [http://countrystudies.us/israel/25.htm "Israel: 1967 and Afterward"] , "Library of Congress Country Studies"] The Green Line remained the administrative border between these territories (with the exception of Jerusalem) and the areas inside the Israeli side of the Green Line.

In 1967, East Jerusalem was annexed into Israel, with its Arab inhabitants given permanent residency status. They could apply for Israeli citizenship, but virtually none of them chose to do so Fact|date=January 2008. Domestically, the status of East Jerusalem as part of Israel was further entrenched with the Jerusalem Law of 1980. United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 , although non-binding, determined the law null and void. In 1981, the rule of law of the State of Israel was extended to the Golan Heights with the Golan Heights Law in what can be seen as an informal annexation.

The Green Line and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The question of whether or to what extent Israel should withdraw its population and forces to its side of the Green Line remains a crucial issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although the Palestinians were not party to the drawing of the Line, its existence plays a key role for the boundaries of the future state they seek.

From the early 1970s on, some elements in the Palestinian national movement, notably in Fatah and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), mooted the possibility of the establishment of a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967. Nevertheless, the PLO did not recognize it as a prospective border between a Palestinian state and an Israeli state until the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, where this was hinted at. This was further highlighted in the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Unlike Fatah, Hamas, which following the Palestinian legislative election of 2006 controls the Palestinian Legislative Council and Prime Ministership (Fatah controls the Presidency), formally refuses to see the Green Line or one roughly corresponding to it as a prospective border between Israel and a future State of Palestine. Smaller parties and groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, the Popular Resistance Committees, and Islamic Jihad lean more toward Hamas than Fatah's position.

During April 2006, Hamas' political branch issued statements which claimed that suicide bombing attacks inside Israel corresponded to a temporary phase of the struggle and are not expected to ensue indefinitely (or until the destruction of Israel, following its official platform) Fact|date=January 2008. This was, however, quickly contradicted and rejected by the military wing of Hamas.

In Israel, following the legislative election of 2006, it is likely that at least 68 of the Knesset's 120 members will favour a unilateral withdrawal to borders roughly corresponding to the Green Line. One striking development of the election was that Likud, who for decades subscribed to the concept of Greater Israel which ignores the Line, and before the split leading to the founding of Kadima was the ruling and largest party, saw its numbers diminish to one quarter its former strength, its lowest point ever. Thus, only 35 MKs can be seen to be ideologically committed to opposing unilateral withdrawal.

ee also

* 1949 Armistice Agreements
* At the Green Line
* Peace Process in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
* Blue Line
* Purple Line
* Mixed Armistice Commissions
* United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)

Notes

Further reading

*Gad Barzilai and Ilan Peleg, [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-3433(199402)31%3A1%3C59%3AIAFBAO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W "Israel and Future Borders: Assessment of a Dynamic Process"] , "Journal of Peace Research", Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 1994), pp. 59-73
*Ilan Peleg and Paul Scham, [http://www.aisisraelstudies.org/Peleg%20Ilan%202006.pdf "Israel's Neo-Revisionism and American Neoconservatism: The Unexplored Link"] , "Association for Israel Studies", May 30, 2006
*Bornstein, Avram S. " [http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/13532.html Crossing the Green Line Between the West Bank and Israel] ", University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001; [http://www.meforum.org/article/545 Unfavourable review] by Steven Plaut, "Middle East Forum", Vol. 10, No. 3, (Spring 2003); [http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/journal_of_colonialism_and_colonial_history/v004/4.2gordon.html Favourable review] by Matthew S. Gordon, "Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History", Vol. 4, No. 2 (Fall 2003)
*S. Brian Willson, [http://www.brianwillson.com/palest_hist.html "History of Palestine and Green Line Israel"] , "Most Dangerous of Rogue Nation", 1992, Revised May 2002
*David Newman, [http://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru.www/publications/showpubs.php?id=206 "Boundaries in Flux: The 'Green Line' Boundary between Israel and the West Bank - Past, Present and Future"] , "Boundary & Territory Briefings", Vol. 1 no. 7, 1995.
*David Newman, [http://www.geog.bgu.ac.il/ncrd/bib/Show.asp?Action=Chapter&id=446 "The functional presence of an 'erased' boundary: The re-emergence of the 'green line'"] ; from Schofield C.H. and Schofield R.N. (eds.). " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0020-5850(199501)71%3A1%3C132%3AWBVIGB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X World Boundaries: the Middle East and North Africa] ", Routledge, London, 1995 (ISBN 0415088399)
*Nadim Rouhana, [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0377-919X(199021)19%3A3%3C58%3ATIATPO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-B "The Intifada and the Palestinians of Israel: Resurrecting the Green Line"] , "Journal of Palestine Studies", Vol. 19, No. 3 (Spring 1990), pp. 58-75

External links

* [http://www.fmep.org/maps/overview.html Foundation for Middle East Peace - Maps]
* [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east.html University of Texas- Middle East Maps - PCL]
* [http://www.walkthegreenline.org Walk The Green Line] A fundraising event of IPCRI


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