Palestinian spokesman Ghassan Khatib claims in a recent news story, “What is illegal here is the [Israeli] occupation, not the attempts to end it.” (“Israeli official warns of Palestinian plans for ‘bloodshed,’ ” Washington Times
, August 7). Mr. Khatib is mistaken, as Israel is the legally required military occupational authority in the West Bank, which is land gained through successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War and retained by successful self-defense in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Sinai Peninsula, a territory also won by Israel in 1967, was returned to Egypt in 1979 after the two countries negotiated a peace treaty. Israel has attempted to negotiate a “two-state solution” with the Palestinian leadership in 2000 at Camp David, in 2001 at Taba, and in 2008. Each time, the Palestinian leaders rejected a West Bank and Gaza Strip state that would have ended the “occupation” in exchange for peace with Israel. Israel has made good-faith efforts to negotiate with the Palestinian Arabs. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of the West Bank’s Arab residents are under Palestinian Authority rule. Israel’s occupation of this disputed territory, where Jewish communities make up just 4 percent of the land, is limited mainly to counterterrorism checkpoints. If Mr. Khatib is serious about getting the United Nations to help resolve the conflict, he and Palestinian leaders should simply follow Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and related guidelines, including the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords and the 2003 international “road map.” SOPHIE LINSHITZ, Research Intern Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Washington, D.C.