WASHINGTON (Jul. 10)
The State Department has finally pinned down its official policy on United States government maps that show the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The new maps that will be used by all U.S. government agencies will show the areas in different colors than Jordan and Israel.
For years. United States maps have shown the West Bank as part of Jordan. Martin Miller, a Washington area resident, long complained about this to the State Department and when he received no satisfaction, he enlisted the aid of his Congressman, Rep. Michael Barnes (D, Md.). In March, the Department of State Bulletin showed a new map which included a series of dashes separating the West Bank from Jordan.
But in an announcement to the press last week, the Department said that, from now on, all maps which include the West Bank and Gaza will show them in a different color from Israel and Jordan and “bear the legend ‘Israel-occupied’ and ‘status to be be determined.’”
The Department noted that a memorandum with the new maps stresses that they reflect United States policy in the Middle East. “The present status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is that they are under occupation by Israel. ” the statement said.
It added that the Camp David framework and President Reagan’s September I Mideast initiative makes clear the United States position that “the final status of these lands must, of course, be reached through the give and take of negotiations. But it is the firm view of the United States that self-government by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in association with Jordan offers the best chance for a durable, just and lasting peace.”