Transfer of Sovereignty Over Populated Territories from Israel to a Palestinian State: The International Law Perspective
Minnesota Journal of Internaitonal Law, Vol. 17, 2008
40 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2008 Last revised: 27 Feb 2009
One proposal suggested for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the redrawing of the border between Israel and the future Palestinian State to include those territories densely populated by Palestinian citizens of Israel, west of the "green line," within the Palestinian State. The suggestion has stirred lively debate in Israel. This Article examines the idea of the transfer of sovereignty over populated territories from Israel to Palestine in light of international law. Following a discussion of historical precedent, international conventions, and international court decisions, it concludes that Israel has the right, from the international law perspective, to modify its borders, through agreement with a future Palestinian State. Nonetheless, international law does impose some strict conditions for the implementation of such a treaty. The most important of these is granting a "right of option" to the Israeli citizens in the transferred territory. The authors argue that Israel will be expected to grant a "broad" right of option, i.e., allow the affected persons to choose to move and live within Israel's new borders or to remain in their current residences while continuing to maintain their Israeli citizenship.
Keywords: Israel, Palestine, Middle East, Citizenship, Conflict, Soverignty, borders
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