FACTBOX-UPDATE 2-Borders in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Fri May 20, 2011 5:37pm GMT

(Adds details on U.S. position)

May 20 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed a long-standing Palestinian demand that the borders of any future state of Palestine be based on the lines prevailing before the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for talks with Obama in Washington on Friday saying a Palestinian state configured that way could leave Israel "indefensible."

Obama's stress on 1967 borders went further than before in offering principles for resolving the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians and put the United States formally on record as endorsing the historical borders as a starting point.

But he stopped short of presenting a formal U.S. peace plan or suggesting how talks should resume.

Following are facts touching on the borders bequeathed by the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state.

* The 1967 borders echoed the "Green Line" of demarcation set out by a 1949 armistice between Israel and its Arab neighbors -- Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria -- ending the war over the establishment of the Jewish state. For 18 years, this line had divided Israel from other parts of former Mandate Palestine, namely the West Bank, administered by Jordan, and Gaza, controlled by Egypt. It had not become a formal international border owing to the lack of an Israeli-Arab peace accord. Jordan also administered the eastern half of Jerusalem including its Old City, holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

* In the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel kept the West Bank and Gaza under military occupation and allowed settlements by Jews who regarded both territories and East Jerusalem as part of biblical Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). It annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.

* In 1993, the Palestinians who constitute the vast majority of the population in the occupied territories signed interim peace deals with Israel giving them limited self-rule. But the accords did not curb expansion of fortified Jewish settlements, increasingly dimming prospects for the contiguous state sought by Palestinians under any final peace agreement.   Continued...

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