West Bank and Gaza Strip as a Single Territorial Unit
The concept of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a Single Territorial Unit (STU) refers to the principle that the West Bank and Gaza Strip constitute a unified political, legal, economic and territorial entity.
In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the "Mandate for Palestine". During this period, the Arab areas of "Mandatory Palestine" were unified, both politically and physically, and the concept of the West Bank and Gaza Strip did not yet exist.
Following the War of 1948, and confirmed within the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Mandatory Palestine was divided into three distinct political units. The territory surrounding the city of Gaza fell under Egyptian control and became known as the "Gaza Strip", while the "West Bank" (of the Jordan River) fell under Jordanian control. The State of Israel was created in between them.
Thus, the West Bank and Gaza Strip emerged as distinct territorial units, both physically and politically. Moreover, Palestinians were restricted from traveling between the two areas.
On April 24, 1950 Jordan attempted to annex the West Bank but failed to receive international recognition.
Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip. Palestinian residents were issued All-Palestine passports and were never extended Egyptian citizenship. The Gaza-Egypt border was closed and military rule was imposed.
Concepts and Terms
Israel officially recognized the legal and political status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a STU for the first time in the Declaration of Principles signed between Israel and the PLO.
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