June 5War breaks out between Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. When it ends, Israel controls the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula. This is the first time since 1948 that what had been the Palestine of the British Mandate—the League of Nations protectorate established under British control in the partition of the Ottoman Empire after World War I—is under a single sovereign entity.
June 7Proclamation No. 1 is posted on houses as the Israeli military forces advance. It states: “The Israel Defense Forces have today entered the area and taken control and responsibility for maintenance of public order and safety.” This proclamation and other orders that would be issued subsequently already had been drafted by the Judge Advocate General’s Office in the early 1960s as part of a legal framework for a future military government in occupied territory. Also on June 7, Proclamation No. 2 is issued, which grants the military commander sole executive and legislative power in the territory occupied, with the power to repeal or suspend every local law, cancel every decision made under law, ignore the provisions of international law, dismiss every official, elected or appointed, and make and repeal regulations. Over the years, Israel will issue more than twenty-five hundred orders arranging all areas of life in the Occupied Territories.
June 7The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) destroy three villages (Amwas, Yalu, and Beit Nuba) in the Latrun enclave, near the main Jerusalem–Tel Aviv Road, and their eight thousand inhabitants are forced to go by foot eastward, to the Ramallah area. Three days later, most of the Maghariba neighborhood, near the Wailing Wall, is demolished to build an open area for Jewish worshippers. In general, unlike the situation following the 1948 War, most of the Palestinian towns and villages are left standing. Exceptions are the villages in the Latrun enclave and the refugee camps in the Jordan Valley, which are demolished and their fifty thousand residents evacuated. Extensive use of house demolition begins immediately after the war. A report published by the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights states that, by April 1968, 5,367 houses had been demolished, 1,830 of them in the three villages that had been totally destroyed.
June 13The military government announces that every citizen in the West Bank will be allowed to move to the Kingdom of Jordan and organizes special transportation service for Palestinians wanting to move. During and after the war, between two hundred thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians fled or were expelled to Jordan.
June 15A “Directors-General Committee” is established to solve civil and economic problems arising in the Occupied Territories. The committee is composed of the directors-general of a few ministries and is chaired by the director-general of the Finance Ministry. A “Coordination Committee” is also established to coordinate the handling of political and security matters and is headed by an army officer. The Ministerial Committee for the Administered Territories that established the Directors-General Committee states: “The inclination is to cover the costs to meet civilian needs from the resources of the Territories. . . . Government ministries will not allocate funds from their budgets to fund the civil tasks related to the Territories.”
June 18Order No. 25 is issued. It prevents property and land transactions without the authorities’ approval.
June 19The government makes its first decision relating to the fate of the territories occupied in the war, stating that they are to be held in trust until a peace agreement is signed. The decision states that the Gaza Strip would remain under Israeli control in any event and that no decision on the West Bank would be made at the present time.
June 20The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) announces that its main headquarters will be moved to the Occupied Territories.
June 27Israel annexes East Jerusalem, along with twenty-eight other villages, a total area of seventy square kilometers (Jordanian East Jerusalem comprised only six square kilometers), the borders of the annexed area being based on the principle of “maximum land area, minimum number of Arabs.” In a census taken shortly after annexation, sixty-six thousand Palestinians are found to be living in the city. They are offered an Israeli identity card in exchange for relinquishing their Jordanian citizenship. Almost no Palestinian takes the offer. The Palestinians in the city are then given Israeli resident cards, which grant them only some civil and political rights.
JulyOrder No. 58 and Order No. 59 are issued. They state, respectively, that absentee property and enemy civilian property will be handed over to the state. Under Order No. 58, in the coming five years, Israel will transfer to its ownership some 7.5 percent of West Bank lands. By, 1979, Israel will take ownership, under Order No. 59, of about 13 percent of the West Bank.
JulyIsrael allows West Bank Palestinians who fled to Jordan during the war to return to their homes, provided that they do so within thirty days. The deadline is extended a few times. In a period of two and a half months, some fourteen thousand refugees of the one hundred and twenty thousand who submitted requests return. Over the next five years, Israel allows some forty-five thousand refugees to return to the West Bank. Males aged sixteen to sixty are not allowed to return.
July 2The Knesset decides to adopt a dual judicial system whereby offenses committed by Israelis in the Occupied Territories will be heard by courts in Israel.
July 13The “Alon Plan” (its official name is “The Future of the Territories and the Handling of Refugees”) is presented for the first time. It will be the basic plan for Israeli settlement in the territories during the first decade of occupation, although it is never formally approved. The principal elements of the plan: the Jordan River is Israel’s eastern border; the Jordan Valley, the southern Hebron Hills, East Jerusalem, and Gaza will be annexed and undergo large-scale settlement; no settlements will be established in crowded Palestinian areas, which will be given autonomy; a number of refugees from the Gaza Strip will be resettled in the West Bank.
July 16Buses are allowed to travel between Gaza and the West Bank.
AugustThe Directors-General Committee and the Coordination Committee that were appointed at the beginning of the occupation to handle, respectively, the civil and security affairs of the government in the Occupied Territories are unified. A coordinator of government operations in the territories is appointed as head of the unified committee. Subordinate to both the defense minister and the IDF General Staff, the coordinator carries out civil and military functions.
August 22Order No. 92 is issued. The order expropriates all the water resources in the West Bank.
August 31Jerusalem’s Old City is declared a site of antiquity, and no building is permitted until an archaeological survey is conducted.
SeptemberThe first census is taken in the Occupied Territories: The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has 667,200 residents, and the Gaza Strip has 389,700.
September 1The Pan-Arab summit in Khartoum decides on “the three noes”: no to recognition of Israel, no to negotiations with Israel, and no to signing an agreement with it.
September 4A general strike in schools in the West Bank in protest against annexation of East Jerusalem and the prohibition on using dozens of textbooks lasts for some two months.
September 10Israel expropriates one hundred thousand dunams of land (24,711 acres) to build five army bases in the West Bank.
September 21The first deportation: The chief qadi (Moslem religious judge) of the West Bank, Abed al-Hamid a-Ziyah, is accused of incitement and is deported to Jordan.
September 27The first settlement, Kfar Etzion, is established on the ruins of a Jewish settlement that was destroyed in the 1948 War.
November 6Israelis are allowed open entry into the Occupied Territories.
November 9Prime Minister Levi Eshkol makes a request to the head of the World Zionist Organization for assistance from the WZO’s Settlement Division in establishing new settlements in the Occupied Territories.
November 15The cabinet approves Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s plan for an “invisible administration” in the territories. The principal elements of the plan are inconspicuousness, lack of interference, “open bridges” between the West Bank and Jordan, and free movement between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and between the territories and Israel.
The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 242. The main sections call for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” for a “just settlement of the refugee problem,” and “for guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area.” Almost immediately, Egypt and Jordan accept the resolution. Israel accepts it the following month. For years, the Palestinians have reservations about the resolution because it minimizes the Palestinian question to the refugee problem, ignoring the Palestinians’ demand for self-determination.
The judge advocate general, Meir Shamgar, allows Palestinians to petition the High Court of Justice. In the absence of objections by the Judge Advocate General’s Office, the Supreme Court recognizes the standing of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. Over the years, the High Court of Justice will deny about 99 percent of the petitions filed by Palestinians.