Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label israel. Show all posts

Friday, May 14, 2021

Israel / Palestine Map: Who Controls What in May 2021?

This article was originally published in July 2020, but has been revised and updated to May 2021. The accompanying map has also been revised for clarity, but there have been no changes to territorial control since the previous edition.

Map of who controls Palestine and Israel's claimed territories today (May 14, 2021), as Gaza Strip violence continues to escalate? Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Also file under: Palestine controlled area map. Includes bigger West Bank map (Areas A, B, C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL and UNDOF), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Colorblind accessible.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

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Israel and Palestine Controlled Areas

The Israeli government's much-hyped plan to annex (absorb) parts of the Palestine-claimed West Bank into Israel last July never came to pass, but the region is once again making headlines amid a new wave of fighting. So who actually controls what parts of Palestine and Israel's claimed territories? This newly-revised version of PolGeoNow's Israel/Palestine control map lays out the details of government jurisdictions on the ground. And if you see something you don't understand on the map, check below for our concise outline of the disputed regions and conflict actors involved, which has also been updated and slightly expanded since first published last year.

Note that this is a map of who actually controls what, not of who claims which areas. And it's definitely not supposed to imply that any particular party should or shouldn't control any particular area. As always, PolGeoNow takes no side in these disputes, and we have done our best to report only the facts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Map & Analysis: Which Countries Recognize Kosovo in 2020?

Announcing the re-launch of our Kosovo recognition updates series! PolGeoNow will now once again be providing timely reports on when countries recognize - or un-recognize - the disputed Republic of Kosovo.

Map of Kosovo recognition, indicating which states (countries) still recognize Kosovo's independence, which have withdrawn recognition, and which claims of recognition have been denied, as of September 2020, including new addition Israel. Colorblind accessible.
Click to enlarge. By Evan Centanni, modified from public domain blank world map.
Contact us for permission to use this map.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Israel / Palestine Map: Who Controls What in 2020?

This is the original version of PolGeoNow's Israel/Palestine administrative control map, as published in July 2020. An improved version is now available as of May 2021 (there have been no changes to the lines of control).

Who controls Palestine and Israel's claimed territories today (June 30, 2020), just before Israel's planned annexation of parts of the West Bank? Also file under: Palestine controlled area map. Includes bigger West Bank map (Areas A, B, C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL and UNDOF), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Colorblind accessible.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

The explanatory article accompanying this map has been revised and updated, and can now be found at the following link: Israel / Palestine Map: Who Controls What in May 2021?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Explainer: Is Jerusalem the Capital of Israel or Not?

Detailed map of administrative control in Israel and the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), including official and de facto capitals. Cities: Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza, Tel Aviv. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni. All rights reserved.

US recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

This Wednesday, the United States government announced a new policy of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. US president Donald Trump said the declaration's purpose was to "acknowledge the obvious", while also revealing plans to eventually move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. These decisions were extremely controversial, to say the least. But why? We'll break it down for you:

What's the big deal?

Israeli law says the city of Jerusalem is the country's capital. But even Israel's closest ally, the US, has never officially accepted the city's capital status. And the world's countries generally haven't either: In fact, no country in the world has a proper embassy in Jerusalem. So the new move by the US is a major change of policy, and one that runs contrary to an established world consensus.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is Palestine Really a Country?

(Keep up with changes to Palestine's situation: view all Palestine updates.)

Palestine is now recognized as a country by both the U.N. and a majority of its members, but many  have questioned whether this new-found status reflects the truth on the ground. Is Palestine really an independent country, or is this a political fantasy concocted by supporters in the U.N.?

The Olso Accords divided the Palestinian territories into three areas of control (see article for explanation). Map by Evan Centanni. Sources: Natural Earth, B'Tselem, U.N. OCHA oPt.
What is a "sovereign state"?
By the most common definition, a "state" has to have:
  1. A government
  2. A defined territory
  3. A permanent population
  4. The ability to conduct foreign relations with other states
This definition is called the "declarative theory of statehood", and was formalized in the Montevideo Convention of 1933. To be a "sovereign" state (i.e. an independent country), it's also important that the government answers to no other country, and that the territory and population are actually under the government's control.

A prospective country that fits these criteria is described by geographers as a de facto sovereign state, even if it's not recognized by the international community (de facto is Latin for "in actual fact").

Friday, November 30, 2012

Palestine Recognized as a Country by the U.N.

(Keep up with changes to Palestine's situation: view all Palestine updates.)

This Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly voted to change Palestine's status in the organization from "observer" to "observer state". This is the first time the international body has recognized Palestine as a state, giving it the same status enjoyed by U.N. non-member Vatican City. 

Map of Israel with the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights highlighted
The State of Palestine claims the West Bank and Gaza, which are largely occupied by Israel. The Golan Heights are not part of the Palestinian Territories. Public domain map (source).
Until this Thursday, Palestine was a partially recognized country, acknowledged by some U.N. member nations, but not by the U.N. itself (See also: How many countries are there in the world?). Although its delegation has had observer status at the U.N. since 1974, it was never classified as a "state", being treated as something between a country and a non-government organization. Now, the organization has officially voted to change Palestine's status to "observer state" - effectively a recognition that it's an independent country, even though it's still not a U.N. member.

The Palestinian delegation campaigned to join the U.N. as a member last year, but had to give up after the U.S. promised to veto the application in the U.N. Security Council. Observer status, on the other hand, is determined by a majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly, which no single country can veto. That vote happened on November 29th, with members voting 138 to 9 in favor of granting Palestine observer state status (41 members abstained, and 5 were absent from the vote; see the full breakdown of national votes).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

States Recognize Palestine Ahead of U.N. Bid

Country Name: Palestine (English), Filastin (Arabic)
Official Name: State of Palestine (English), Dawlat Filastin (Arabic)
News Category: Partially Recognized States, Diplomatic Recognition
Summary: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, which claims sovereignty over the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the State of Palestine, will apply for U.N. membership this week. Meanwhile, the total number of countries recognizing Palestinian independence has grown sharply in the lead-up to the U.N. bid.
The Palestinian Territories. Area A: Full Palestinian Control
(on the ground); Area B: Joint Palestinian-Israeli Control;
Area C: Full Israeli Control. Israeli government considers
the green areas "disputed territory". Map is my own work.
Sources: Natural Earth, B'Tselem, U.N. OCHA oPt, others.

Full Story
Palestine is a unique case within the nation-state system. It is recognized as an independent state by more than half of the world's countries, but not by the U.N. itself or by any major Western powers. It indirectly administers much of its claimed territories, yet exercises full sovereign control over none of them. At the heart of one of the world's most intractable conflicts, it is perhaps the most controversial topic in international politics. The coming weeks could see significant changes to the political status of the Palestinian Territories on the world stage.

The Palestinian Territories are made up of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, two regions previously controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively, which were captured by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967. Israel has never fully relinquished control, and Egypt and Jordan eventually gave up their claims to the regions, leaving them in an unusual political situation. Despite widespread calls for independence based on a 1947 U.N. partition plan, Israel refuses to refer to them as anything other than "disputed territories" until negotiations determine their final status. Some of the land within the territories is now administered by the Palestinians, though much of it is still ruled by the Israeli military, which also controls all associated airspace and territorial waters.

Wikipedia: History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 

This week, Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), will formally request full membership for the State of Palestine in the United Nations. The PLO declared independence in 1988, and has enjoyed a degree of support from the U.N. General Assembly, but currently only holds observer status in the organization, which pointedly labels it as a "non-state entity". Palestinian membership in the U.N. is likely to be vetoed by the U.S., which holds a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. However, Palestine may still achieve "state observer" status by a majority vote in the General Assembly, which would elevate it to the same level as the Holy See (Vatican City): a U.N.-recognized state with legal rights.

Countries recognizing the State of Palestine. Recent additions (in the last year) indicated in lighter color.
Modified from this map by Alinor at en.wikipedia (license: CC BY-SA).
Though 90 U.N. members recognized Palestine during the first year after its declaration, the number grew little over the next 15 years. However, since the campaign for U.N. membership began a few years ago, recognition has risen sharply. The State of Palestine is now recognized by 126 U.N. members - nearly two-thirds of the world body - 17 of which have announced their recognition just in the last year. This summer alone has seen six new additions: Syria, Liberia, El Salvador, Honduras, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Belize. Palestine's independence is also endorsed by Western Sahara, a partially-recognized state without U.N. membership.

Chart over time of total U.N. members recognizing the State of Palestine. My own work (source).

State of Palestine, Palestinian Territories, International Recognition of the State of Palestine

Sunday, June 5, 2011

News Bits: June 2011

"News Bits" posts cover minor political geography events from the previous month. Although the news may be of great political relevance, these events haven't (yet) affected major changes to the shapes, sovereignty, or international positions of the world's countries.

Abyei's location within Sudan
(yellow). The south (blue) gains
independence this July. Based
on this map (license: CC BY-SA).
Sudan Government Forces Overrun Disputed Abyei
The Abyei Area, subject of a territorial dispute between the central Government of Sudan and the autonomous Southern Sudan region, has been invaded by Sudanese government forces. Southern troops, who had shared joint control of the area with the central government, have been driven out, along with many of the area's inhabitants. Southern Sudan is set to become an independent country this July, based on the 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan's second civil war. A referendum was planned for Abyei residents to choose whether they would stay in Sudan or join the new Republic of South Sudan, but it was never held due to disagreements about who was eligible to vote. The Sudan government in Khartoum has asserted that it will not give up Abyei, and southern president Salva Kiir has promised not to go to war again over the territory.

Israel with occupied territories (green).
The PLO claims both the West Bank
and Gaza Strip, but they are currently
ruled by rival factions (map source).
West Bank & Gaza Strip to be Reunited
Rival Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the coming months, which will effectively reunite their respective territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Both groups claimed control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government after a brief civil war following the 2006 elections, in which Hamas won a majority of seats in the previously Fatah-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council. The armed clash left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah retained its authority in the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank. Known to the U.N. as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are claimed as the State of Palestine by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), parent organization of the PA. Over half of the U.N.'s member countries have recognized the state's independence, but the U.N. itself has not. Furthermore, the territories remain under military occupation by Israel, which controls much of the West Bank as well as all air space and territorial waters in the region.

Peruvian and Ecuadorian waters, with the newly agreed
upon boundary marked in yellow. My own work, based
on data sources listed on map (terms of use).

Ecuador & Peru Define Sea Border
The neighboring South American countries of Ecuador and Peru have formally agreed on a boundary between their respective territorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. Although the location of the border was never actively in dispute, its acceptance had been called into question by Peru's ongoing territorial dispute with Chile, in which Peru claims a 1952 agreement between the three countries did not technically establish the location of their maritime borders. The new agreement is widely seen as a move by Peru to gain Ecuador's support as the case of the Peru-Chile conflict heads to the International Court of Justice. The agreed upon boundary is located along the parallel of 3° 23' 33.96" S, originating at the point where the countries' land border reaches the ocean.

Libya as of June 1, 2011. Cities controlled by Gaddafi
government in green, rebel-held cities in black, and
areas of ongoing fighting in blue. Public domain map
from Wikipedia (source).
Libyan Rebels Gain Further Recognition
Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) over the last month gained diplomatic recognition from five more national governments, bringing to 11 the list of countries recognizing its legitimacy. The NTC forms the political leadership of the rebel forces fighting for control of the North African country against dictator Muammar Gaddafi, in a civil war provoked by Gaddafi's violent crackdown on popular protests last February. Although Libya's independence is already recognized by the U.N. and all of it's members, countries have begun to make the special diplomatic gesture of switching their recognition from Gaddafi's government to the NTC. Recent additions to the list are Jordan, Russia, and Malta; two other countries, Senegal and Turkey, have acknowledged the NTC's status as a legitimate opposition group, while still maintaining ties with Gaddafi. Six other countries, starting with France in early March, had all previously recognized the NTC as Libya's sole representative, some of them expelling Gaddafi's diplomats and sending ambassadors to the rebel command center in Benghazi. As Gaddafi's forces continue to face NATO bombing attacks, the war has ground to a near-stalemate, with Gaddafi controlling the capital city of Tripoli and several smaller western cities, while the rebels control the eastern half of the country and some areas of the west.