Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories

Military-Political Issues in the Debate

by Abraham S. Becker

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A study of Israeli views on the disposition of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Relatively dormant since the conclusion of Israel's War of Independence in 1948-1949, the Palestinian problem as an issue of Israeli policy was revived by the addition in 1967 of one million Arabs to the 400,000 already in Israel. Sharp internal debate produced a wide range of ideas for disposition of the conquered Palestinian territories, from annexation to the return of all areas except Jerusalem to their previous Arab rulers--including creation of a Palestinian state. Due to the lack of a consensus, the government took no official position. The debate concentrated primarily on the extent to which the territories would improve Israel's security, their significance in Jewish history, and their large, nationally conscious Arab population. Opinions were not divided according to political party, socioeconomic background, or age, due to a general agreement on certain basic tenets.

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