From 1517 to 1917, the “West Bank” was part of the Palestinian province of the Ottoman Empire (“Call it what you want,” April 4). After World War I it became part of the of the British Mandate.
Subsequently, the 1947 U.N. partition plan divided the territory west of the Jordan River into proposed Jewish and Arab states. This plan was accepted by the Jews but was rejected by the Arab world. The Israeli War of Independence that led to the creation of Israel. In June 1967 Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan in a defensive war. In 1988, Jordan relinquished all legal and administrative claim to the West Bank.
Thus, the West Bank cannot be categorized as sovereign territory seized from an established state. The territory currently has close to 200,000 Jewish residents and more than 1 million Palestinian Arab residents. The PA has autonomy over much of the area.
It is a misleading error to refer to the West Bank as “occupied.” It is far more accurate to refer to it as “disputed territory.”