Last updated on: 2/4/2009 7:25:00 AM PST

What Is the 1967 UN Resolution 242, and Who Accepted It?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The United Nations Security Council, on Nov. 22, 1967, unanimously passed the following resolution, Resolution 242, which stated:

"The Security Council,

Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

2. Affirms further the necessity

(a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

(b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

(c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.

Adopted unanimously at the 1382nd meeting."

Nov. 22, 1967 - United Nations (UN) 

Rashid Khalidi, PhD, Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, in the 1993 book The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, wrote:

"U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, passed in November 1967 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli War of June of that year, has become the internationally accepted basis for peacemaking in the Middle East. Drafted by Lord Caradon, the British ambassador to the UN, in consultation with the parties concerned, the resolution was an attempt to bring Israeli demands for a final, formal peace agreement together with those of Egypt, Syria and Jordan for Israel's withdrawal from the territories—the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank, and East Jerusalem—which it had occupied during the June war.

The resolution did this by a balanced emphasis on 'the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace.' It therefore called for 'withdrawal of Israel from territories occupied in the recent conflict,' as well as for 'termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace.' The resolution also called for 'a just settlement of the refugee problem.'

The resolution was accepted by Egypt, Jordan, and Israel from the outset, but was initially rejected by Syria. Only after the October War of 1973 did Syria accept the resolution, while all the Arab states (except Libya) accepted its principles at the Fez Arab summit conference in 1982. The most consistent rejection of Resolution 242 came from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which from its inception in 1964 refused a peaceful settlement with Israel. After 1974, however, as the PLO moved toward the idea of a negotiated settlement with Israel, it increasingly based its objections to Resolution 242 on the fact that it dealt with the Palestinians as refugees, rather than as a people with national rights. Finally, in 1988, the PLO formally accepted Resolution 242 as the basis for a Middle East settlement, thereby meeting one of the conditions posed by the United States for opening contacts with it."

1993 - Rashid I. Khalidi, DPhil 

Michael B. Oren, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, in his 2003 book Six Days of War, wrote:

"Israel accepted the resolution, albeit begrudgingly, as did Jordan. [Egyptian President] Nasser's response was more equivocal. While endorsing the U.N.'s decision, he reiterated the three no's [of the Khartoum Resolutions] to his National Assembly, reminding it: 'That which was taken by force will be regained by force,' and told his generals, 'You don't need to pay any attention to anything I may say in public about a peaceful solution.' And yet, secretly, he signaled the Americans his openness to a nonbelligerency accord with Israel 'with all of its consequences.' Iraq and Syria rejected the resolution entirely, denouncing it as 'a deception of the people, a recipe for failure,' as did the Palestinians, incensed by their exclusion from the text. The PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], which would approve 242 only twenty years later, declared in 1967: 'unresolved, the Palestinian problem will continue to endanger peace and security not only in the Middle East, but in the entire world.'"

2003 - Michael B. Oren, PhD