Palestinian Arab Self-Determination and Israeli Settlements on the West Bank

by Marylin J. Berliner

The "right of self-determination," which has played a pivotal role in reshaping the map of the post-World War II world, is repeatedly asserted on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Gaza). This comment focuses on the development of the concept of self-determination, its interpretation by the United Nations, and its relevance to the Palestinian Arabs living on the West Bank and Gaza. While strategic, political, and moral factors are involved, this comment is limited to an analysis of the legal aspects of Israel's presence on the West Bank, the validity of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and the extent to which those settlements affect the future of the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank.