Opinions on Green Line (Israel)

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Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between the armies of Israel and those of its neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The name derives from the green ink used to draw the line on the map while the armistice talks were going on. From Israel's perspective, the territories "beyond" the Green Line came to be designated as East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. The Green Line became especially significant in Israel after Israel captured these territories in the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israeli maps contained the Green Line. These territories have since 1967 often been referred to as Israeli occupied territories. (The Sinai Peninsula has since been returned to Egypt as part of the 1979 peace treaty.)

The Green Line was not intended to be a border. The 1949 Armistice Agreements were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent borders. The Egyptian-Israeli agreement, for example, stated "The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question." Similar provisions are contained in the Armistice Agreements with Jordan and Syria. The Agreement with Lebanon stipulated that forces shall be withdrawn to the Israel-Lebanon international border.

The Green Line is often referred to as the "pre-1967 borders", the "1967 borders" by many international bodies and national leaders, including the United States president, currently Barack Obama, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and by the United Nations in informal texts and in the text of UN GA Resolutions.


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