The maps presented below are only a few that could be used in learning and teaching about Israel and the Middle East.

Diplomacy and war reflect the changing contours of states and borders along the evolution of Israel and the modern Middle East. We wish to thank the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for allowing us to use some of their published maps. Others were made for CIE use.

Max Fisher has assembled 40 maps of the Middle East from ancient times to the present, each of them with a brief paragraph introduction.  This is a first rate collection of maps with almost no noticeable bias, with a devotion to accuracy. In addition, Michael Izady’s collection, the Gulf2000 project focuses on 8 countries of the Persian/Arabian Gulf.

At the bottom of Michael Izady’s site, other map collections are listed, including the fine collection at the University of Texas.  On the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website there is Israel’s Story in Maps. The story covers the Ancient Near East to the present.

For Spanish-language maps, please click here.

Map of Forming a Nucleus for the Jewish State: 1882-1947

Forming a Nucleus for the Jewish State: 1882-1947

For the idea of Zionism to become a territorial reality, Jews required a population and a territory. Creating facts on the ground provided the future state with its demographic and physical nucleus. With 34 pages of original maps alongside contextual, historic descriptions, the story of Zionism’s steady growth is vividly shown and explained.


Map of future Area of Palestine and adjacent areas, 1890s

Future Area of Palestine and adjacent areas, 1890s

The area of Eretz Yisrael was part of the Ottoman Empire and composed of three large administrative areas without any political
identity as a state or part of a state. At times, portions of the area that was later designated as the Palestine Mandate
were ruled from Mecca, Damascus, or Baghdad, or in the case of Jerusalem, directly from Istanbul.

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Map of the Ottoman Empire before WWI

The Middle East Circa 1914

The region prior to the outbreak of WWI. After the War, Modern Middle Eastern states had their borders arbitrarily drawn by European powers.

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1916 Sykes Picot Map

Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916

The Russian, French, English secret agreement that carved up the Middle East into future areas of interest

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The San Remo Agreement, 1920

The San Remo Agreement, 1920

The European agreement that identified the states of the Middle East, 1920.

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Map of Palestine and Trans Jordan

Palestine and Trans Jordan, 1922

When Britain controlled Palestine, she lopped off 80% of it and assigned it to the Hashemite family leader, Emir Abdullah. It became today’s Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

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Map of Registered Land in Jewish Possession, 1930

Registered Land in Jewish Possession, 1930

Jewish land acquisition in 1930 mostly in the valley and coastal regions

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Map of United Nations Partition Plan, 1947

United Nations Partition Plan, 1947

The UN suggested partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an economic union between them and an internationalization of Jerusalem

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Map of 1949-1967 Armistice Lines

1949-1967 Armistice Lines

In the aftermath of the 1948 War of Independence, Israel signed armistice agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. These armistice lines lasted until the immediate aftermath of the June 1967 War.

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Map of Israel and the Occupied Territories, 1967

Israel and the Occupied Territories, 1967

As a result of the June 1967 War, Israel increased its size seven fold to include Eastern Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the West Bank of the Jordan River, and the Gaza Strip.

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Map of the Alon Plan

The Alon Plan

Drafted by Minister of Labor Yigal Alon after the June 1967 War, the plan envisages Israeli retention of a series of settlements and military installations along the Jordan Valley, as buffers to a potential Arab land attack from the east. The plan was never implemented.

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1974 I-E separation map

A Map of Israeli-Egyptian Separation of Forces Agreement, 1974

For Sadat, who had gone to war against Israel three months earlier, securing a military disengagement agreement was important.
In addition, diplomatically engaging the US to secure the agreement meant entrenching Washington as a friend of Egypt.
The US embraced the opportunity to quell tensions between Israel and Egypt, while squiring Cairo away from decades of Moscow’s
embrace. Israel had its POWs returned and slowly tested Sadat’s broader intentions toward Jerusalem.

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Golan Heights after May 1974 Israeli Syrian Separation of Forces agreement

In the last days of the June 1967 War Israel secured a portion of the Syrian Golan Heights, estimated at 1300 sq km or 500
sq mi; Israel forces sit some 40 miles, 60km from Damascus. Before the June War, Israeli villages and populations in the
valley were fired upon by Syrian forces from the Heights. In addition to being an important catchment for Jordan River
waters which helps supply Israel’s water needs, the heights contain not fully explored hydrocarbon sources. In the northern
Heights is Mt. Hermon which has strategic value for observing military movements into southern Lebanon and to Damascus.

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The Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, March 26, 1979

To test Egypt’s intentions, Israel took eight years, from January 1974 to April 1982, to withdraw from virtually all of Sinai.

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Jerusalem- Old City, 1988

Jerusalem- Old City, 1988

The Old City of Jerusalem divided into four religious quarters, Armenian,  Christian, Jewish, and Moslem areas. The overall population of the old city is less than 40,000.

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Israeli Settlements on the Golan Heights, July 1989

After Israel secured the Golan Heights in the June 1967 War, the Israeli government offered to negotiate its return, some
1300 km, for a peace treaty with Israel. Israel withdrew from a small portion of the Heights after the 1973 War. It continued
to build Israeli settlements in strategic locations and in 1981 applied Israeli law to the area. Some 20,000 Israelis live
there in 32 settlements, along with 20,000 Druze.

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Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank as of January 2005

Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank as of January 2005.

As an unintended consequence of the June 1967 War, Israel found itself controlling the entire West Bank of the Jordan River,
amounting to 2,300 square miles with 680,000 Palestinian living in 396 villages, towns and in portions of Jerusalem.
From 1976 forward, the US and the international community in general have labelled the settlements as either “illegal”
or as an “obstacle to peace.” The growth of the settlements or their expansion has occurred in a spatial manner that
places Israeli settler populations in between Arab villages and towns in order to limit or prevent Arab territorial contiguity
in the West Bank.

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Jewish settlements in Gaza, August 2005

Jewish settlements in Gaza, August 2005

From 1977-1979, the settler population in the territories grew from 3,200 to 17,500, plus 80,000 in East Jerusalem. Of
the 225,000 Israel settlers in the “territories,” in 2005, all 8,500 settlers living in Gaza (5% of the total) were evacuated
with the area turned over to the Palestinian Authority. Later in 2006, Hamas conducted a coup and ousted the Palestinian
Authority from Gaza.

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The Middle East, 2008

The Middle East, 2008

A political map of the Middle East

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Map of Israel and her neighbors

Israel and her Neighbors, 2014

Israel has 1068 kilometers in land borders. Egypt 208 km, Gaza Strip 59 km, Jordan 307 km, Lebanon 81 km, Syria 83 km,
and the West Bank 330 km; its Mediterranean coastline 273 km. CIA The World Factbook – Israel. June 2014

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