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

Monday, December 11, 2023

Israel / Palestine: Map of Control After End of Truce (December 8, 2023)

Hidden image for crawlersThis map shows the approximate situation on November 8, a week after Israel and Hamas resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip after a seven-day "humanitarian pause". To see more maps in this series, view all Israel articles or Palestine articles on PolGeoNow.

Map of who controlled Palestine and Israel's claimed territories early on December 8, 2023, one month into the Israeli (IDF) ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, and a week after the end of the humanitarian pause (ceasefire/truce). Shows both Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Includes bigger West Bank map (Area A, Area B, and Area C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Now also shows Israel's closed military zones (closed military areas) and key towns and sites from the news, like Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Beit Hanoun, Jabalia, Erez Crossing, Jenin, and Kiryat Shmona (Qiryat Shemona). Now with improved colorblind accessibility.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Timeline by Djordje Djukic, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni

Gaza Strip Divided

Just as we were publishing the previous edition of our Israel/Palestine control map, Israel began its long-expected counter-invasion into the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip, responding to hardline Palestinian group Hamas's unprecedented October 7 invasion of Israel. Now, one month into Israel's counter-invasion and two months into the war, the densely-populated Gaza Strip is divided between Hamas-led forces and the Israeli military. 

Israeli forces have seized large parts of Gaza City, the biggest population center in the densely-populated Strip, and completely surrounded the parts of it and nearby towns that are still under Hamas control. Meanwhile, since the temporary humanitarian ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended a week ago, Israel has also pushed deep into the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis. For more information on control within the Gaza Strip, maps by online conflict-tracker Suriyak and ISW/Critical Threats give good detailed approximations.

Since our last report, Israel's military has appeared to confirm that it's killed at least about 5,000 Palestinian fighters and 10,000 Palestinian civilians, about ten times the respective numbers of Israeli soldiers and civilians killed by Hamas and allies in their brutal October 7 rampage through the Israeli countryside. This is roughly in line with estimates from the Hamas-affiliated Gaza Health Ministry, which as of Friday estimated a total of 17,000 Palestinians killed, about a third of them adult men (who are assumed to make up the vast majority of Hamas fighters).

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Israel / Palestine: Map of Control Before Israel's Gaza Invasion (October 27, 2023)

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Israel articles or Palestine articles on PolGeoNow.

This map shows the approximate situation early on October 27, 2023, before Israel's announced expansion of military activity within the Gaza Strip. At the time of publication, it's still unclear whether the expected Israeli ground invasion has begun, and little is known of the current situation within the Strip.

Map of who controlled Palestine and Israel's claimed territories early on October 27, 2023, before the expansion of Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip that may signal the start of the expected ground invasion. Shows both Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Includes bigger West Bank map (Area A, Area B, and Area C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Now also shows Israel's closed military zones (closed military areas) and key towns and sites from the news, like Sderot, Netivot, Erez Crossing, Rafah, Khan Yunis, Tulkarm, and Kiryat Shmona (Qiryat Shemona). Colorblind accessible.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Timeline by Djordje Djukic, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni

2023 Israel-Hamas Control Map: Temporary Equilibrium

It's been almost three weeks since Palestinian group Hamas and allies burst unexpectedly out of the Gaza Strip, taking brief but unprecedented control over parts of Israel proper (see our map of the height of Hamas control). Israel's long-promised counter-invasion of the Strip may now be starting, two weeks after its military restored the lines of control to roughly the same as before the Hamas attack. But during the wait, there's been no end to violence: Israel has retaliated against Hamas with heavy bombing of that group's stronghold, the densely-populated Gaza Strip, while both Hamas in Gaza and allied Hezbollah in Lebanon have continued striking Israel with rockets and missiles launched across the borders. 

Israel reports that at least 1,400 of its people have been killed, including over 1,000 civilians - mostly in the first day of Hamas's October 7 invasion - while the Gaza Health Ministry says over 7,000 total Palestinian fighters and civilians have been killed, about 3,000 of them under the age of 18 (the ministry is part of the Hamas-dominated government of the Gaza Strip, but is generally evaluated as credible by outside observers).

Friday, October 13, 2023

Israel / Palestine Map: Height of Hamas Control in 2023 Invasion (October 7, 2023)

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Israel articles or Palestine articles on PolGeoNow.

This map shows the approximate situation on the afternoon of October 7, 2023, when control by Hamas and its allies reached farthest into Israel. Now, several days later, Israeli forces are thought to have reversed almost all those gains, returning the lines of control to roughly their same positions as just before the invasion.

Map of who controlled Palestine and Israel's claimed territories on the afternoon of October 7, 2023, at the greatest extent of penetration into Israel by the Hamas invasion. Shows both Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Includes bigger West Bank map (Area A, Area B, and Area C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Colorblind accessible. Also file under: Map of Hamas attack on Israel.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)


Timeline by Djordje Djukic

2023 Israel-Hamas War: How much of Israel did Hamas Capture in its Invasion?

Last Saturday, just a day after the 50th anniversary of Israel's last full-scale war, the country was once again thrust into massive turmoil. In an unprecedented invasion of Israel proper, forces of hardline Palestinian party Hamas and smaller allied groups burst out of their stronghold in the Gaza Strip, briefly doubling their area of control while killing hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers alike. The above map shows the approximate situation at the height of Hamas and allied control, later on the same day that the invasion began.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Israel / Palestine Map: Who Controlled What Before the 2023 Hamas Invasion?

This article was originally published in July 2020, but has been revised and updated to October 2023. The design of the accompanying map has also been slightly revised, but there were no changes to territorial control between the previous edition and this one except for the reopening of the Gaza fishing zone.

This map shows the situation just before the current war began. For the war itself, check out our new map showing control at the height of the October 2023 Hamas invasion the next day.

Map of who controlled Palestine and Israel's claimed territories on October 6, 2023, just before Hamas's invasion and the start of the current war. Shows both Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Includes bigger West Bank map (Area A, Area B, and Area C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Colorblind accessible. Also file under: Palestine controlled area map, How much of Israel is Palestinian land?
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Israel and Palestine Controlled Areas: Before the War

October 2023's surprise invasion of Israel by Palestinian fighters from the Gaza Strip has catapulted the area back to the top of world headlines, and the situation on the ground is now in flux. But what exactly was the situation just before this new chapter of the conflict started? This newly-revised version of PolGeoNow's Israel/Palestine explainer article answers all your questions about who's who and what the significance of each disputed zone is. 

The accompanying map has also been slightly revised and newly fact-checked to ensure that it shows the situation accurately as of October 6, 2023, the night before the Hamas-led invasion of Israel (the only change to control is that the Gaza Strip fishing zone was apparently open for most of this year, rather than closed as it was at the time of our 2021 update).

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.

Friday, May 14, 2021

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

This is the 2021 edition of our Israel/Palestine control map, first published in July 2020. A newer version is now available.

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 onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Israel and Palestine Controlled Areas in 2021

The Israeli government's much-hyped plan to absorb parts of the Palestine-claimed West Bank into Israel in 2020 didn't happen (at least not yet). But in May 2021, the region was once again making headlines amid a new wave of fighting. So who actually controlled what parts of Palestine and Israel's claimed territories at the time? This revised version of PolGeoNow's Israel/Palestine control map lays out the details of government jurisdictions on the ground.

There were no changes to the lines of control between 2020 and this 2021 edition, but this edition of the map did feature several modifications for improved clarity and more precise depictions of the situation. If you see something you don't understand on the map, check out the latest edition of our concise outline explaining who's who and introducing each of the disputed areas.

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.

Newer Map and Explainer Article: Who Controls What in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

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 Controlled 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 onestopmap.com 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

Countries 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).

Wikipedia:
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.