Or so some people claim…
Israel cannot be an “occupier” in Judea-Samaria (the West Bank).
“Occupation” occurs when one sovereign state moves into the territory of another sovereign state. This is not the case here.
At most, it might be said that the area of Judea-Samaria is “unassigned” or “contested,” meaning there are different claims on the region.
But in fact, Israel has a very strong case for possession of all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea:
In 1922, the League of Nations gave Britain the Mandate for Palestine. The Mandate states that Britain shall “secure the establishment of the Jewish national home” and “encourage close settlement by Jews on the land.” That close settlement was to happen in all of Palestine, including Judea-Samaria.
Jordan took Judea and Samaria in 1949, in the War of Independence, and held it until the area was liberated by Israel in 1967. Jordan had no claim on this region and its occupation was illegal. Judea and Samaria were not part of Jordan legally, but remained unclaimed Mandate territory.
This was set in international law and it has never been superseded. When the United Nations took over from the League of Nations, it assumed Mandate obligations of the League.
General Assembly Resolution 181—which proposed in 1947 that Palestine be partitioned—certainly didn’t supersede the Mandate. The General Assembly makes only recommendations, which have no standing in international law. What is more, the Arabs rejected the proposal. According to international law, they cannot now say what they rejected belongs to them.
Modern history is witness to the Jews’ return to their ancient homeland. The Jewish presence on the land goes back 3,000 years. Judea-Samaria is at the very heart of the Jewish heritage in the region. (See the section on ancient Israel).
The only time there were no Jews in Judea-Samaria was from 1948-67, when Jordan made the region Judenrein. From the time the ancient Jewish commonwealth was destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago until the founding of the modern state of Israel, there was no other autonomous state or even distinct province established in the area. This is Jewish land.