January 22, 2005
'Palestinian Land' still undetermined
Referring to Israel's security fence, Tim Collie wrote that "the fence runs deep into what the United Nations and many other countries regard as Palestinian territory" ("Town spotlights divide over barrier," Jan. 11).
It should be noted that the U.N.'s most authoritative body, the Security Council, does not regard the land along the fence's route as "Palestinian territory." Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515 emphasize that a border between Israel and Palestinian territory—and thus the specifics of what is "Palestinian territory"—has yet to be determined.
These resolutions stress that boundaries should be secure (many, including the drafters of 242, argue that the Green Line would not be a secure border) and, more importantly, that they should be agreed upon by the parties in a negotiated settlement. Since such a negotiated settlement has yet to occur—Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat rejected the last attempt to reach a settlement—the land under the fence cannot be correctly termed "Palestinian territory."
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Boston, Mass.