Mapping Israeli occupation

For the fourth time in 13 years, Israel has launched a major military offensive on the Gaza Strip. In its latest assault that began on May 10, at least 220 Palestinians, including 63 children, have been killed in Gaza. At least 12 people have died in Israel, including two children.

According to Human Rights Watch, Israel is “committing crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against the Palestinians.

The human cost

Between 2008 and 2021, at least 5,739 Palestinians and 251 Israelis were killed. The conflict has killed 23 Palestinians for each Israeli, according to the United Nations. Over the same time period at least 121,438 Palestinians and 5,682 Israelis were injured.

Of those killed on the Palestinian side at least 1,255 (22 percent) were children and 565 (10 percent) were women. On the Israeli side 121 (48 percent) of those killed were security forces as categorised by the UN.

Forced expulsion

Before the British Mandate for Palestine, Jews made up around six percent of the total population. From 1947 to 1950, during the Nakba or “catastrophe”, Zionist military forces expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians and captured 78 percent of historic Palestine. The remaining 22 percent was divided into the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

During the 1967 war, Israeli forces occupied all of historic Palestine and expelled a further 300,000 Palestinians from their homes. Today, Israel continues to force Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank from their homes and lands, which are often taken over by Jewish Israeli settlers.

Palestinian citizens of Israel

There are around 1.6 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship living in present-day Israel. In 1948, during the creation of the State of Israel, Zionist forces attacked major Palestinian cities and destroyed some 530 villages. These Palestinians, who are also referred to as “1948 Palestinians”, are descendants of those who managed to remain in their towns and villages or were internally displaced.

Despite holding Israeli citizenship, rights groups have documented several dozen Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens across a wide spectrum of issues, including education, housing, political participation and due process. They are treated as second and third-class citizens.

Jerusalem – a divided city

Jerusalem is an ancient city holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews. West Jerusalem has been Israeli territory since 1948 with Jews in the majority. East Jerusalem, which houses the Old City of Jerusalem including the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, is Palestinian majority and was occupied by Israel in 1967.

In 1980, Israel passed the Jerusalem Law, claiming that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, in violation of international law, which states that the city should be administered by the UN for its importance to the three Abrahamic religions.

Although Israel claims Jerusalem as its undivided capital, the realities for those who live there cannot be more different. More than 140,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have been physically separated from the city by a 700km concrete wall, which Israel started building in 2002.

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