Days after a cease-fire in Gaza was agreed to by Hamas and Israel, the latter announced it was taking over 1.5 square miles of West Bank territory south of Bethlehem as “a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area” this summer.
Posted on Sep 3, 2014
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Map from AUFPR.org Americans United for Palestinian Rights
The first map (1946), approximately a year before Israel was created, shows that Jewish communities owned no more than 6% of historic Palestine and represented 30% of the population.
The second map spells out the United Nations partition plan of 1947, which awarded the Jewish community a state on 55% of the land alongside a much reduced Palestine even though Palestinians were the strong majority of the land’s inhabitants.
The third map (1948-1967) displays the armistice lines from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. In this map Israel controls 78% of the land.
The fourth map is where we are today . In the 1967 war, Israel took control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation – now in its 45th year – of the West Bank is being made permanent as Israel systematically takes more and more Palestinian land to accommodate Israel’s massive settlement project to establish irreversible “facts on the ground”. Over half a million Israeli settlers now live in the occupied West Bank. Under international law, it is illegal for Israel to move Israeli settlers into the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is on the verge of annexing 60% of the West Bank.
These maps attract attention because they graphically tell a story of dispossession.
They point to an important reality: that as Israel has expanded in what was historic Palestine, the majority of the indigenous people of that land – the Palestinians – have either been driven off their land, or, where they remain, have no sovereignty and few rights.