Israel Palestine West Bank Maps

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This sequence of maps takes you through the development of the political geography of the region.

You can download individual maps or download the complete package of maps which includes all the maps below plus an additional 9 maps. This is a 10.5 MB file so it may take a while unless you have high speed broadband.

Pre 1918

The area now known as Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan was very different during the period of the Ottoman Empire. For 500 years a middle east feudal aristocracy controlled the vast tracts of land and the peasant farmers who lived there.

There were no nation-states during this era. No Israel, no Palestine, and little of the nationalist ideologies of the 20th century.

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© PASSIA - Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs

Since the Ottomans sided with the Germans during World War 1, they naturally lost their empire to the Western Allies who soon chopped it up into spheres of control.

The British Mandate of Palestine was created on both sides of the Jordan River. In 1922 Transjordan was created as a kingdom for an aristiocratic Bedouin family. The British remained in control of Western Palestine until 1948

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© ICAHD - Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

During 1947, and the British were preparing to leave Palestine, the new United Nations debated the issues and finally published this map to divide the territory between a Jewish and Arab state.

This proposal was never implemented

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© ICAHD - Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

During the war of May 1948 Israel conquered 22% more territory than had been allocated under the Partition Plan.

This territory, about 78% of Western Palestine became the state of Israel, based on the 1948 cease fire line,known today as the Green Line

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© ICAHD - Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

In 1967 Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza and began settling Jewish Israeli citizens in the territory. In 2006 Israel withdrew all settlers from Gaza and sealed the area.

Palestinians became confined to cantons in the West Bank as the numbers of settlers increased to over 500,000 by 2009.

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© Negotiations Affairs Department - Palestinian Authority

At the Camp David talks of 2000 Israel presented this map as a take it or leave it proposition, also refusing to discuss the sharing of Jerusalem or a resolution to the refugee issue

President Arafat refused since the West Bank would then be divided into three pieces, with no control of the eastern border with Jordan

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© ICAHD - Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

The West Bank Palestinian cantons hardened after the first Netanyahu administration in the late 1990s

Walls and fences were built to contain Palestinians inside ghettos while Israel expanded the settlements and built segregated roads throughout the West Bank

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© FMEP - Foundation for Middle East Peace

The segregated Arab-only roads in the West Bank connect the Palestinian cantons through tunnels underneath the exclusive Israeli-only roads that connect the settlements to each other and to Israel.

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 Download the complete package of maps, including 9 more - 10.5MB

* Please note that these maps have various copyright holders, as noted, who should be credited if the maps are published elsewhere.
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  1. Please be accurate. In the map that shows the UN decision to create a Jewish and Arab state, partitioning the land:
    You wrote "This proposal was never implemented".
    That is not the accurate. The UN passed the resolution, the Jews accepted it and the Arabs rejected it. Meaning, that the only people in the middle east who recognized a Palastinean state was Israel. The propsal was implemented de-facto but was shortl lived due to the Arab invasion of the area and their decision that the destruction of Israel was more important than the creation of a palestinian state.

    1. Your comment merely reinforces the fact that the partition as conceived by the UN, was never implemented. Your viewpoint is hotly disputed by other Israelis. The historian Benny Morris has well documented through original sources - Jewish Agency meetings protocols etc. - that Ben Gurion's government planned to conquer more land than had been assigned to the Jewish state, even as they stated publicly that they accepted the proposal.

  2. The proposal was to allocate 56% of the Western British Mandate for a Jewish state and 44% for an Arab state. Israel conquered an additional 22% of the land and ended up with 78% of the land. The country was never partitioned along the lines that the UN proposed, thus their proposal was not implemented.

    Keep in mind that while the Jews of Palestine declared their acceptance of the proposal, the Jewish Agency, and the Jewish militias were busy during the same period, clearing out Arab villages in the triangle area of the Galilee, and creating the beginnings of the refugee issue.


  3. And while the Jewish Agency and Jewish militias were busy preparing defenses, the Arabs of Palestine together with irregulars from other countries had already launched numerous attacks on Jewish communities and caused a number of key setbacks to the Yishuv's militias. In fact, the attacks began in earnest the day after the vote for the partition.

    I also have to say that it's quite disappointing not to see Israel's revisions for Taba, which went much further than what was offered at Camp David. Offers and changes which were not reciprocated by the Palestinians. Apparently, the author of the maps above seeks to paint a particular picture, without providing a full one.

    Other errors?
    1. "Arab-only roads" is incorrect and it's important to note that the Israeli-only roads also serve all Arab Israelis, Christian, Muslim and Druze.
    2. The author include a map of the offer made by Ehud Olmert to Abbas after 36 meetings in 2007 and 2008. Olmert offered 95% of Judea and Samaria, all of Gaza, land from inside Israel on a 1:1 ratio basis for the missing 5% of Judea and Samaria land, removal of all settlers from within Palestinian areas, control of eastern Jerusalem as Palestinian capital and internationalization of the Holy Basin. Abbas walked away and never replied. Later, Bush would ask him to reconsider but Abbas refused. Twice.

    3. While 56% of Western British Mandate was offered for a Jewish state, it is important to note that the large bulk of this land was Negev desert land. Most of the arable land in the Mandate was given to the Arabs in 181, and still they refused the deal.

    4. While it's correct to assert that 78% of the Western British Mandate land ended up in Jewish hands, unless one mentions where the rest of the Palestine Mandate ended up, one would form an incorrect impression. The fact is that the British, with the blessing of the League of Nations, gave 77% of Mandatory Palestine to the Arabs in giving them all the land east of the Jordan River. Today over half of Jordan's population is comprised of Arabs of Palestinian descent. The reason, however, that nobody mentions this even though Jordan was created by the very same international forces and organizations that created Israel (and in the same period), is that to bring up Jordan as a Palestinian homeland minimizes the effect of suggesting that Israel is illegitimate or that the outcome of the Arab-launched wars of 1947-1948 actually gave the Arabs far more land that Israel would get.

  4. Response to the last comment by Anonymous

    The Jewish militias of pre-state Palestine were also very active before and after the Partition Plan vote in 1947. Many of the Arab refugees from the Galilee fled attacks by Jewish militias and terrorist groups long before the state of Israel was announced in May of 1948.

    1. OK I concede the point. Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian Arab citizens can use the segregated roads while the Palestinians in the communities through which the roads pass, may NOT use the roads - some 2.5 million people. (Not sure exactly what point Anonymous was trying to make)

    2. Yes, somewhere between 90 and 95% was offered. The map (last one on the list) is more or less accurate since neither the Israelis or the Palestinians actually published an official map.

    However Think about a prison. The prisoners basically have access to about 95% of the space - the cells - hallways - dining room - exercise yard etc. The spaces restricted to them are the administrative offices etc. HOWEVER, there are walls between the spaces mentioned and only the guards have the keys to the doors.

    Similarly, look closely at the map. The blue areas are under Israeli control, effectively imprisoning the Palestinians into one of several enclaves completely surrounded by Israeli controlled territory. Not exactly a sovereign state. More like a series of reservations.


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