Palestine Map: Regions, Geography, Facts & Figures

The Israel-Palestine area, located in the Middle East and bordering the Mediterranean Sea, can be better understood by observing a map of Israel and its surrounding regions. This region is a hotspot for historical, political, and socio-cultural complexities, and is composed of Israel, the State of Palestine, and the Palestinian territories, which include the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These areas have a fascinating blend of cultures, mirroring influences from the Arab, Jewish, and other regional ethnicities, including those from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

While Palestine has declared independence, only a few of the G20 countries actually accept its status as the Palestinian State, with India and Russia being among them. Other nations, such as the U.S. and Canada, do not.

If you want to discover more in-depth information on the State of Palestine as a disputed country, check out our Palestine (Disputed) Profile!

Plus, test your country knowledge with our Middle Eastern Geography quiz, Palestine Map Quiz!

History of Palestine

The history of the region is shaped by narratives of the Israeli and Palestinian populations. The Palestinian conflict had its seeds sown during the British Mandate period, following the controversial Balfour Declaration. The United Nations attempted to resolve the issue by proposing a partition plan in 1947, dividing the region into Jewish and Arab states. However, the plan was rejected by the Palestinian side and neighboring Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

The State of Israel and Palestinian Territories

The State of Israel was established in 1948, triggering a wave of conflicts with surrounding Arab states. The Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, have been under Israeli control since the Six-Day War in 1967. Hebron, East Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv in Israel are significant cities, while Ramallah and Jenin are significant in the West Bank. The Palestinian population primarily resides in these areas. The Gaza Strip, governed by the Hamas political organization, includes the city of Rafah.

Signing the Accords

The Oslo Accords, signed in the mid-1990s, tried to establish a framework for peace. Although the Accords led to the recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and gave rise to the Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah, they failed to bring about a lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Geography of Palestine

The geography of the region is diverse, with the Golan Heights overlooking the north and the arid Negev Desert spanning the southern part of Israel. The Dead Sea, lying on the border of Israel and the West Bank, is the lowest point on the surface of Earth. The region includes cities like Bethlehem and Nablus in the West Bank and Haifa in Israel.

Tourist Attractions in Palestine

Visiting Palestine offers a unique opportunity to delve into its rich history and culture, while also experiencing the resilience and hospitality of its people. Here are some of the must-see destinations:

  • The Old City of Jerusalem: As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old City is home to key religious sites such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • Bethlehem: Known as the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem is a major Christian pilgrimage site. The Church of the Nativity is one of its most notable attractions.

  • Hebron: Hebron is another historical city with significant religious sites like the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Cave of Patriarchs.

  • Ramallah: This modern city is the de facto administrative capital of Palestine and offers a variety of cultural experiences, from art galleries to local markets.

  • Dead Sea: Though mostly in Israel, the northern edge reaches into the West Bank. The Dead Sea is famous for its salt-rich waters where people can effortlessly float.

  • Gaza Strip: Despite its tumultuous history, the Gaza Strip has places of interest like the Great Omari Mosque and the bustling Gaza City.

Major Cities and Contentions

In particular, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa all play significant roles in the historical and contemporary context of Palestine.

Jerusalem is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The city holds religious significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, which makes it a focal point of contention. East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, and it is considered part of the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.[1] Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel considers the whole city its undivided capital.[2]

Tel Aviv, on the other hand, is recognized internationally as the capital of Israel, and it's where most foreign embassies are located. Palestinians and many in the international community view Tel Aviv as part of the land that will form a future Palestinian state. The city is often the site of demonstrations and protests related to the conflict.

Haifa is located in northern Israel and has one of the country's largest Arab populations, including both Christian and Muslim communities. Historically, Haifa has been a model for coexistence between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel. However, tensions in Haifa have increased in past years, particularly during recent periods of escalated conflict in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.[3]

Biblical village Cana of Galilee
Image Source: Getty Images

People Also Ask...

If you're inspecting a map of Palestine, you may have some queries about the region. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.

Is Palestine a Country or Part of Israel?

Palestine is recognized as a state by many countries and international organizations, claiming the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip as its territory. However, these areas have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Which Country Is Palestine Now?

Palestine is a de jure sovereign state in western Asia, recognized by 138 of 193 UN member nations. It has also claimed independence, but this is not accepted by many nations.[4]

What Is the Current Status of the Israel-Palestine Conflict?

The conflict continues, with periods of relative calm punctuated by escalation, with the most recent being on October 7, 2023, by Hamas. Efforts for a two-state solution continue, with Israel and a fully independent Palestine living side-by-side in peace being the goal.

What Is the Significance of Jerusalem in the Conflict?

Jerusalem is a city of immense religious importance for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim it as their capital, which makes it a focal point in the conflict.

What Are the Conditions in Palestinian Refugee Camps?

Palestinian refugees, primarily in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, live in challenging conditions with limited access to basic amenities. Efforts from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and other organizations provide assistance.

[1] Israel profile - Timeline. (2019, April 9). BBC News. Retrieved October 16, 2023, from

[2] Israel-Palestine conflict | Today’s latest from Al Jazeera. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2023, from

[3] Belam, M. (2023, October 16). Israel-Hamas war live: Israel announces evacuation of residents within 2km of Lebanon and says 199 hostages held in Gaza. The Guardian. Retrieved October 16, 2023, from

[4] Status of Palestine. (2013, August 1). Retrieved October 16, 2023, from