It is occupied land within the meaning of the fourth Geneva Convention. If you have a problem with that take it up with the Supreme Court of Israel, which agrees with that classification, as well as the vast majority of competent international law NGOs like the ICRC, virtually every state in the world, the ICJ, the vast majority of eminent international law scholars, etc. Even if we accept your basic premise that the final disposition of the land is subject to a negotiated settlement, this doesn't change Israel's CURRENT status as an occupant. You're the one repeating a mantra when the weight of legal authority is quite clearly overwhelmingly against you.You and your scholars seem to pretend that the West bank is holy Arab land under Israeli occupation. It isn't! It is a land that has been earmarked for both Jews and Arabs as was the whole of Palestine. When I say, "earmarked" I mean a division of the land, via negotiated solution, into two states, one Jewish one Arab, was recommended. However, as we both agreed, UN resolution 181 was non binding.
That's a philosophical view, not a legal one. Occupation is a legal status - and Israel's presence in the West Bank satisfies the legal requirements of that status.Since the beginning of this conflict, Israel was ready to negotiate a solution to divide the land on a mutually agreeable basis. Even though a Jewish state now exists in part of historic Palestine, for whatever reason, the way I see it due to Arab intransigence, you probably don't agree, but let's agree to disagree, for whatever reason, the status of the land has not been finalized. Till relatively recently, even the status of Israel has not been finalized according to the Arabs. Many Arabs still don't accept the right of Israel to exist. So we have two groups of people, the Palestinian Jews and the Palestinian Arabs still vying for the same piece of land or at least parts of it. Both groups belong on this disputed land so neither can be deemed as occupiers.
No, this is definitely not true. To be clear, self-determination IS a legal principle. In fact, if you take a look at the ICJ decision in Western Sahara and Namibia, you'll see it's actually considered a critical legal principle, especially in former mandate territories. It is regarded as a rule of jus cogens, which is a kind of fundamental law that trumps all other inconsistent rules of international law. The problem is not whether they have a right to self-determination - they clearly do - the question is what that means in practice. How does that right operate? What does it practically mean in any given set of circumstances? This is why the situation is unclear in your 'thought experiment'.But you and your scholars put the cart before the horse and claim that since Jewish self determination has been achieved, now it is the turn of the Palestinian Arabs to get self determination. While I won't argue for or against that, let me remind you that such an argument is not necessarily part of the legal framework. The reality is that legally speaking, they don't necessarily have to end up having self determination. As Dayag said, there are many people on this earth who don't have self determination. I'll say it again, I am not arguing AGAINST their self determination (or for it), it's just that legally speaking it isn't imperative. You yourself admitted that the UN resolution 181 was non binding.
I guess readers will have to make up their own minds. All I can do is point out yet again that, as against your rather limited group of scholars, there is an overwhelming weight of authority - both international and Israeli - that consider the territories to be occupied. One has to really bend over backward to ignore all these legal precedents and opinions to reach the conclusion you have, and it doesn't appear to me that this can be done in good faith.So where does that leave us? It leaves us with Israel administering the West Bank, not as an occupier, as your so called scholars claim and with whom my scholars vehemently disagree, but as the representative of one of the entities, the Jews, who have the right to be there. As for the settlements, they don't take up the whole of the West Bank, not by a long shot. So they don't even prejudice the possibility of a Palestinian Arab state.