United Nations Security Council Resolution 242/338

United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 were passed (respectively) in the aftermaths of the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars.

Resolution 242 (reaffirmed in 338) was designed to provide the framework for peace negotiations based on a “land-for-peace” formula and has become the foundation of all subsequent negotiations and peace treaties in the region.

The resolutions called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces “from territories of recent conflict,” an Arab “termination of all claims or states of belligerency,” and a recognition of the State of Israel and its “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” The resolution also called for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.”

Since the passage of the resolution, many have interpreted the text as mandating an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. However, the drafters of Resolution 242 have stated that they did not intend to call for a return to June 5, 1967 lines and purposefully used the words “withdrawal from territories” and not “withdrawal from the territories.” Israel and the United States interpret the resolutions as calling for a withdrawal from areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip consistent with its security needs and in the context of a peace agreement, but not from all the territories.