There's an image going around Facebook, showing Israel's occupied territory over the last few decades:

Isreale 1946-2010

I have seen at least two people (both Christian Zionists) criticize this map as "very biased" because it was created by an anti-semite. My follow-up questions to these critics have gone completely unanswered. Personally, I don't care if it was created by Adolf Hitler himself, if the map is accurate.

Is this map accurate? If not, or if there is some sort of room for interpretation, what are its chief failures?

  • 38
    The apparent interpretation may be biased and there are clear inaccuracies. The entire country was British in 1946 so the map isn't mapping the same definition as the later maps. The 2010 map is clearly wrong as there is no israeli land in gaza since the israeli withdrawal. It also ignores the reason why the UN plan was not the outcome (the arabs invaded and lost the subsequent war on different boundaries). And Israel occupied Sinai in 1967 but handed it back.
    – matt_black
    Nov 24, 2012 at 21:17
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    If the third picture is showing Israel before the 1967 war, shouldn't it be stating that the green areas are Jordan and Egypt? proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 25, 2012 at 2:20
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    As a more general point, my default assumption about anything I see on facebook is that it's false. The first thing I'd do is ask the author of the image to prove that it's true, rather than for the critics of the image to prove that it's false.
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 25, 2012 at 2:22
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    Much better infographic with sources here, as a side note, please see my comments on the answer as the 2010 map seems to be correct (most of the West Bank is actually still under Israeli control)...
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2012 at 2:32
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    It's obvious the author of this map didn't put much effort into it - so it's safe to assume it's inaccurate. Why? In 1946 there was no "Palestine", rather it was "The British Mandate of Palestine". In 1967 (unclear if pre-war or post-war) the green area was Jordan, not Palestine. In 2010 all of Gaza is Palestinian - not just pockets of it. Israel pulled out in 2004. Also, the Golan Heights are now part of Israel. Additionally, there are important time periods missing that are crucial to the story. Feb 16, 2014 at 9:36

3 Answers 3


TL;DR: There are inaccuracies and biases in the map, however it seems to be based on facts.

There is a well sourced infographic, which is very similar.

Loss of land

Cartographic Regression: Good.Is

As a personal note, it is a very well known fact that Israel has annexed more and more lands as a result of political pressure and winning wars. It would be wildly misleading, though, not to mention that Israel was involved in many of these wars as a defending party and that they have been giving back control to the Palestinian National Authority of some of the land.

  • 17
    Do you have a citation that Gaza is occupied by Israel, as claimed by the infographic at the top of your answer?
    – Golden Cuy
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:25
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    Why all the down votes on this answer? Can those who think it's a bad answer explain why, for the benefit of those of us who are trying to understand the situation?
    – Flimzy
    Dec 11, 2012 at 22:37
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    @Flimzy the whole post leaves a nagging feeling of political bias and voting-by-clique (on both sides)... :-(
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 11, 2012 at 22:39
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    @Sklivvz has anyone added any citations that Gaza is occupied by Israel to this answer since my November 27 comment?
    – Golden Cuy
    Dec 25, 2012 at 7:32
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    "Your infographic for Palestine in 1946 shows some parts under Israeli control. That doesn't make sense. " -> Note that the OP's infographics calls those parts as "Jewish Land" and not "Israel Land". It seems to map pretty well with Jewish-owned land under British mandate, which covered about 7% of Palestine. Of course, comparing private property before 1948 with state-controlled territory after 1948 is debatable, but it does make some sense. However, the infographics is incorrect when it all the rest of Palestine as "Palestinian Land". There were public land and land owned by non-Arabs too.
    – Evargalo
    Mar 13, 2018 at 14:23

There are several issues with these maps.

  • Map of 1946. There was no country of Palestine. The entire area was under British control. Source. It might be a better idea to have a map of land owned by Jewish vs Arab hands. I doubt that an accurate map like that exists.. (Per @Evargalo, map like that exists, it provides more proof of the inadequacy of the 1946 map - see comments for further detail). Furthermore, 10 miles south of Jerusalem, it's pretty much all desert which is very sparsely populated to this day. So, no, not accurate at all. Source.
  • Map of 1947. This map of the UN partition plan is accurate. Source. However, it never ever came to be, as the nearby Arab states invaded Israel shortly after UN approved the partition (in 1948, iirc). Source.
  • Map of 1967. This map is not accurate at all. It's actually the situation as it was after the war for independence (mentioned above) concluded. Source. Following the six-day war in 1967, Israel actually conquered everything you see on the map (either marked Israel or Palestine), plus the Gaza strip and Sinai peninsula from Egypt (area much larger than Israel). Source. Israel subsequently gave back all land conquered from Egypt. Source 1, Source 2.
  • Map of 2010. The last map is simply absurd as well. First off Gaza is completely in Arab hands, so it should be properly colored. The map of West Bank is simply wrong. Here is the map, according to Wikipedia.
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    The 2010 map is actually correct, and it represents Areas A and B (under at least Palestinian civil control). Your statement about Gaza is therefore factually incorrect - see page 26.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2012 at 2:20
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    @Sklivvz Re: 2010 map. I am afraid you are wrong. The link you provided is a map of settlements in the West Bank from 2006. I provided a map of who controls what. However, if you look closely, it is essentially the same exact map. As far as you saying that I am incorrect that Gaza is in Arab hands, please refer to the wikipedia link I provided regarding Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2006 (marked Source 2). In other words, there isn't a single Israeli in Gaza - it is all in Arab hands. Page 26 of your link is all about West Bank. Thus, my entire statement is 100% correct. Nov 25, 2012 at 7:48
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    @Sklivvz Re: 1967 map. I am correct here as well. I assume we are talking about the end of 1967, e.g. after the 6 day war (otherwise what's the point of picking that year). At the end of 1967, Israel was in charge of West Bank, Gaza and Sinai. As per the 2nd source in the "Map of 1967" bullet point. In fact, compare the 1948 map from the infographic you provided (awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1110/cartographic-regression/…) with the 1967 map in the question. It is the same map! Thus, I am correct here. Nov 25, 2012 at 7:55
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    The 1947 map provided shows Gaza in the hands of Egypt. The 1967 map provided has the same shape but shows Gaza controlled by Israel. Please try to fix your answer based on what the facts are - you can't show a 2007 map for 2010 for example! Wikipedia is not considered reputable enough here to sustain an answer. In general, please refer to reputable, ideally neutral organisations, such as the UNO or to history books. Avoid the military. I am only trying to help you make your answer acceptable to our standards.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 25, 2012 at 9:16
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    You argue There was no country of Palestine. The entire area was under British control. by this argument so There was no country of India.
    – C.F.G
    Dec 10, 2023 at 8:34

The maps from the original question are incorrect on the points that Sklivvz points out in his excellent answer, but correct on many important parts. The greatest fault of the original map is the lack of information about the cause, and that it does not show any disengagement by Israel - which did happen. The borders did not grow uniformly through time, sometimes the borders contracted, and the increase of land area happened in bursts: twice the result of (unsolicited) war, once the result of mutually signed agreements.

As Sklivvz points out in the end of his answer: "It would be wildly misleading, though, not to mention that Israel was involved in many of these wars as a defending party and that they have been giving back control to the Palestinian National Authority of some of the land".

I want to explain the shortcomings of the map from the original answer with different maps, but I'd like to start off with the perception that land was stolen unilaterally by Israel as depicted here: Anti-jewish depiction of border changes in Israel (source: http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/mapstellstory.html)

The reason this is actually not 'what really happened' is that the Israeli government did not go out and claim this land, they actually conquered as a result of several wars for which they were the defending party, not the aggressor, from 1948 through to 1980. Explained for the 1948 Arab-Israeli war by this map:

Vox map of 1948 Arab-Israeli War (source: http://www.vox.com/2014/7/17/5902177/9-questions-about-the-israel-palestine-conflict-you-were-too)

The borders changed again in 1948 after Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria emerged from the six-day war, instigated by Nasser with great support of Arabs in several countries. The events leading up to this war included the following:

An informative documentary about this war is Six Days in June. After these six days, the map looked like this:

BBC News Six Days War - after

Following the Camp David accords in 1979, the Sinai was handed back to Egypt in the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, shrinking the borders of Israel down (one of the things that never happens in the original series of maps offered in this question).

The 2000 map resulted from the Oslo agreement, but is grossly understating the amount of Palestinian land resulting from those accords. The reason it looks so patchy is because of the sub-division of the west bank into areas A, B, and C. The following map illustrates the sub-division of land on the West Bank as agreed upon in 2000: West Bank areas A, B and C

Finally, one important part left out in the original map of occupied territory is the unilateral disengagement from Gaza that Israel effectuated in 2005 as part of a road to peace. This disengagement included the destruction of Israeli settlements by the Israeli army, leaving no Israeli occupying force in Gaza. However, ccess between Egypt and Gaza as well as Isreal and Gaza is tightly restricted.

  • Good answer, but could you put in a brief description of what Areas A, B, and C are and which of them correspond with the original map? I think it's both A and B, but I can't tell.
    – Bobson
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:13
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    Whether Gaza is still an occupied territory or not is at least debatable. washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/07/02/…
    – Evargalo
    Mar 13, 2018 at 16:33
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    @Evargalo I gather that a blockade can also be called an occupation - okay. In that case, it would at least be nice to include a partial non-occupation under most interpretations of 'occupation' in the original/misleading map in the question. I'll adjust my answer.
    – Spork
    Mar 13, 2018 at 17:09
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    "Defending party"? The "defenders" came heavily armed from outside the region. Mar 14, 2018 at 3:34
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    @KeithMcClary : not necessarily a contradiction...
    – Evargalo
    Mar 14, 2018 at 8:40

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