This is a very brief background to the confusing border between Israel and the occupied West Bank. It differentiates between the planned but never to be ‘Partition’ and the Green Line, and emphasises the impact of the 1967 war and the subsequent Israel’s militarisation of the Green Line after the first intifada, 1987-1991.
Up to 1948 Palestine was a relatively thriving area between Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, cultivated, well educated, cultured, with good transport links between for example, Jaffa, Haifa and Lebanon. It was not as some zionists like to suggest ‘a land with no people’.
Since the First World War it was under the governance of Britain which had been mandated to be the governing body by the European International Powers.
Even well before the Second World War European zionists planned to colonise Palestine and turn it into a Jewish state called Israel. In the 1940s, even during the Second World War, Zionist terrorist groups were destroying Palestine’s infrastructure, terrorising the civilian population and attempting to drive the British, and then the Arabs, out, all achieved with, especially, USA Zionist support. (Suarez’ “State of Terror” provides a detailed account)
The Partition was a plan to divide Palestine according to Resolution 181 in November 1947 of the UN General Assembly. It was suggested by USA/Europe a) as a way for Britain to wash its hands of Palestine and its Palestinian inhabitants, to turn its back, and b) for Israel to achieve statehood – a status that transformed its army from being regarded as terrorists into a national ‘state’ army and enabled rapid expansion of settler colonisation with impunity. It provided Israel with a beachhead – a military front from which the rest of Palestine could be conquered.
Of course the partition was never going to be enough for the zionists. And in fact it never even materialised as a border of any kind.
This plan never materialised because, before and during the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, the Jewish Terror units (Irgun, Lehi, Palmach and Hagana of the Jewish Agency) over-ran, massacred and displaced 750 000 Palestinians from their lands and homes and intensified settler colonising.
Instead the zionists took 50% of the area allotted to Arabs under the Partition plan and a so called Green Line was marked out on the map in 1949 separating the State of Israel from the occupied territories.
This could be crossed freely even after it was over-run after the 1967 six day war that drove Jordanian control out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
From an article by Prof Newman in 2014 (dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University) :
Although the line was overrun by Israel during the Six Day War of 1967, it has never ceased to be the administrative line separating sovereign Israel from that area which is controlled/administered/ occupied (delete whichever terms is least suitable to your personal political preferences). Israel has never formally annexed the West Bank and, as such, has left the Green Line in existence by default. The one exception has been Israel’s policy regarding east Jerusalem.
However, since the first intifada, (a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation 1987-1991), the Green Line became the line of curfews and check points.
Those remaining inside Israel became Israeli citizens, while those in the West Bank were transformed into stateless citizens, initially under Jordanian administration and, since 1967, under Israeli control.
Of course the wall is situated to take as much Palestinian land as possible and often strays well over the so called Green Line of 1949 into the occupied West Bank.