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Before we go over the history of the region, let's get a handle on what lands and territories we are discussing.

This section will cover some maps of the Middle East and Israel. This will allow us to better understand the size of Israel and its neighbors, where exactly is the West Bank and Gaza (what is referred to as the occupied territories), etc...

Israel is located in the Middle East, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean, at the juncture of Europe, Asia and Africa:

The World

Let's get an idea of the size of Israel:

Israel in California

The above picture shows Israel drawn to the same scale as California - if you are not from California, click here for other comparison maps.

Next, let's see Israel in the midst of its neighboors of the Middle East:

Israel in Middle East

Or if we include the Arab countries from Northern Africa as well we get the following:

Israel and the Arab World

Israel is actually smaller than the areas shown above. If we zoom in, we can see the details of Israel in its borders of 1948 and the West Bank and Gaza:

Israel and Judea/Samaria

When you hear something about the "occupied" territories, the newscaster is reffering to the West Bank and Gaza. To realize how small these areas are, here's a map that shows the distances between major Israeli cities and the West Bank and Gaza:

Israel and terrorist commutes

The Palestinian suicide bombers and terrorists that fire into civilian crowds come from the West Bank and Gaza - their commute is not very long.

For more maps, click here.

Finally, here's a satellite picture of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza. As you can see, the whole State of Israel can be shown in one picture:



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(According to digits.com)