Israel’s annexation of Palestine: MAPPED

The entire timeline explained via maps.

1917 – Pre-British Mandate Palestine

During the first World War, Britain made the treaty of the Balfour Declaration, which promised the “establishment in Palestine of a national state for the Jewish people.”

In 1917, British forces conquered Palestine from the Ottomans, ending 1,400 years of Islamic rule over the region. In 1920, it began its 28-year control over the area.


1918-1947 – Jewish migration from Europe

The British Mandate facilitated Jewish immigration to Palestine. The Jewish population increased from 6% (1918) to 33% (1947).


1920-1946 – Jewish immigration to Palestine

A total of 376,415 Jewish migrants arrived in Palestine, according to British records.

1947 – Proposed UN Partition Plan

After the end of WWII, the United Nations proposed a plan that would grant 55% of Palestine to a Jewish state and 45% to a non-contiguous Arab one. Jerusalem would remain under international control.

Palestinians rejected this as it stripped away much of the land that was under their control. At the time, they owned 94% of Palestine and comprised 67% of the population.


1948 – Palestinians expelled

In May 1948, the British Mandate expired, setting off the first Arab-Israeli war. Zionist forces expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians and captured 78% of historic Palestine. The remaining 22% was divided into the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The fighting continued until early 1949 when an armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon was forged.

1967 – Israel occupies the West Bank and Gaza

In the 1967 War, Israel occupied all of historic Palestine and expelled a further 300,000 Palestinians from their homes. Israel also occupied the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. In 1978, Israel and Egypt and signed a peace treaty, which led to Israel withdrawing from Sinai.



1993 & 1995 Oslo Accords

The Oslo Accords was the first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. This led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The occupied West Bank was divided into 3 areas:

Area A initially comprised 3of the West Bank and grew to 18% by 1999. In this area, the PA controls most affairs.

Area B represents about 22% of the West Bank. Israelis have full control of its external security, meaning they retain the right to enter at any time.

Area C represents 60% of the West Bank. Under the Oslo Accords, the jurisdiction of this area was to be handed over to the PA. Instead, Israel keeps control over all matters, including security, planning, and construction. The transfer of power to the PA has never happened.

Israeli settlements

Israeli settlements are Jewish communities built in Palestine. 750,000 Israeli settlers are living in at least 250 settlements in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international standards as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupying power from transferring its locals to the area.


According to international law, Jerusalem is divided. East Jerusalem has a Palestinian majority and was occupied by Israel in 1967. Since its annexation in 1980, Israel considers the entire city of Jerusalem a part of its territory. While West Jerusalem has been Israeli territory since 1948, and Jews are in the majority.


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