History of Israel in Maps
The birth of Palestine and the Jewish Homeland 1914-1948
The maps show the creation and evolution of the state of Israel and of the area called "Palestine."
|1914 - Ottoman Levant - The general area of the Levant in the Ottoman Empire was divided into Vilayets (provinces) and Sanjaks (districts). These divisions and designations changed periodically. In 1914, the area was divided into:The Vilayet of Beirut, covering South and Central Lebanon and the northern part of modern Israel and the West Bank. This included the Sanjaks of Nablus, Acre and Beirut, going south to north;|
The "Independent Sanjak of Jerusalem" covering a part of the south-central part of Israel, the West bank and Gaza, but not including the southern Negev;
The Villayet of Damascus - covering the western part of modern Jordan and southwestern Syria, and including the Sanjak of Hauran and the Sanjak of Ma'an.
"Palestine" was the European and American name for the general area where Jesus had lived, but it had no definite geographic boundaries.
|1919 - Zionist Proposal - The Zionist movement presented the map at left as the proposed area of the Jewish national home to the Paris Peace Conference. It included a portion of land east of the Jordan river almost up to the railway that runs from Damascus to Saudi Arabia, and not including Amman. It also included areas that are now in south Lebanon.|
|1922- The Jewish National Home is born - In April of 1922, the League of Nations created The British Mandate for Palestine, providing for an area of 43,000 square miles or 111,369 square kilometers. Britain however, had already demarcated the part of the mandate east of the Jordan river as "Transjordan."|
|1922- The Jewish National Home is Downsized - In August of 1922, the League of Nations accepted the British demarcation of Transjordan, as discussed in the The Churchill ("Command") White Paper. About 32,500 square miles or 84,174 sq km, roughly 76% of the area of the Jewish National home, were given to Transjordan. The Jewish National Home now had an area of about 10,500 square miles. Jews were barred from living or owning property east of the Jordan river, violating Article 15 of The British Mandate for Palestine: "No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief." In 1946, Britain granted independence to Jordan, in violation of Article 25. By that time however, the League of Nations was defunct.|
|1923 - Golan is Ceded to France: The Jewish National Home is Downsized Again - In 1923, Britain concluded a treaty with France, ceding the Golan Heights at the northeast tip of the Palestine mandate. The "Jewish National Home" lost about 1,800 square kilometers or 694 square miles. The blue area became the territory of the British Mandate. In recent years, Palestinian Arabs have referred to this area as "Historic Palestine," but "Historic Palestine" lasted for only about 25 years in actual history.|
Where is Palestine? When Arabs refer to "Palestine," they usually mean the entire area of Israel west of the Jordan river. This is shown in outline in the emblems of the various Palestinian Arab political and terror groups, such as that of the "moderate" Fatah shown below:
1947 - The Jewish National Home is Downsized Again- UN Partition Plan for Palestine: General Assembly Resolution 181 divided the remaining area of the British Mandate, about 10,000 square miles or 26,000 square kilometers, into a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state." The Jewish state was to get about 5,500 square miles of the area, and the Arab state was to get about 4,500 square miles. The Arab state was divided into three areas, and the Jewish state into two areas. The areas were theoretically contiguous, touching at two points. The Arabs rejected the partition plan and attacked Israel when it became independent.
|1949 - Israel Armistice Lines - Following the Israel War of Independence, armistice agreements left Israel with about 7,800 square miles or 20,200 square kilometers. The land that was to have become part of the "Arab State," about 2,200 square miles, was divided into the West Bank to the east, occupied and annexed illegally by Jordan, and the Gaza strip, on the southern shore of the Mediterranean sea, occupied and held as an administrative area by Egypt. No Arab state recognized these or any lines as borders of Israel. Nonetheless, Palestinians now insist that Israel must retreat from land conquered in the Six day war up to the 1967 lines. Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005.|