Territory and borders

Authored by: David Newman

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415778626
eBook ISBN: 9780203079553
Adobe ISBN: 9781136160691

10.4324/9780203079553.ch11

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Abstract

Only two of Israel's five potential land borders have the status of internationally recognized boundaries, a fact that is unique to states in the contemporary world. The two borders, between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan, achieved that status only following the respective peace agreements between the countries, in 1979 and 1994. Before those dates, all of Israel's borders were, at best, agreed armistice lines drawn up in the wake of its War of Independence in 1948–9 or imposed lines of administrative division following the Six Day War of 1967. The ultimate demarcation and location of the recognized boundaries with Egypt and Jordan were based largely on the boundaries that had existed before the wars, and the same is to be expected if, and when, boundaries are eventually demarcated with Lebanon and Syria – although the case of Syria is more problematic given the dispute, because of its strategic importance, over the Golan Heights. For as long as there is no formal agreement between the neighbouring states, boundaries remain officially designated as armistice lines and open to modification in future peace talks.

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