Friday, June 07, 2019

Dividing Palestine

Forensic Architecture has released an interactive story map to visualize how Israel has attempted to divide and rule the Palestinian people. Forensic Architecture argues that since 1967, in order to drive Palestinians out of Palestine, Israel has used military force and administrative measures to split up Palestinian territory. This has been carried out in order to divide the Palestinian population into disconnected enclaves. The result has been the fragmentation of Palestinian space and a huge land grab by Israel of Palestinian land.

As you progress through Conquer and Divide Forensic Architecture visualizes on the map the areas of Palestine which have been divided and conquered by Israel. This includes annexed land, land Israel has declared closed military zones, Israeli settlements, nature reserves, declared state land and farmland. Forensic Architecture claims that the result of this land grab is that Israel has exerted control over ever more Palestinian land while driving out and dispossessing Palestinians.

The Settlements and Solutions Project maps the locations and history of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The map is designed to help further understanding of the political and territorial conflicts in the West Bank and of some of the 'Land Swap' scenarios which have been proposed in peace negotiations.

The 'Green Line' on the map is the armistice line drawn up after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This was the agreed border between Jordan and Israel until 1967. The red line is the West Bank Security Barrier, a physical barrier that Israel has been building since 2002. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are marked on the map in blue and Palestinian communities are shown in yellow.

You can click on the colored Israeli settlements and the Palestinian communities to view details about the population living in each area. The information provided for each Israeli settlement includes details about what year the settlement was founded, the number of buildings constructed and even information about how the people have voted in Israeli elections.

The map also includes visualizations of various Land Swap proposals. These show on the map territories which could be swapped between Israel and the Palestinians in proposed solutions to the problems in the West Bank. This includes Land Swap suggestions made in the 2008 Abbas-Olmert negotiations and in the Geneva Accord.

Palestine Open Maps allows you to browse historic maps from the period of the British Mandate of Palestine and to view information about the existing present day locations and those erased in the last 70 years. The platform allows you to explore vintage maps from 1870 and from the 1940's & 1950's.

Under the 'Localities' section of the map you can add markers to show Palestinian towns which have been depopulated, appropriated or abandoned since the creation of Israel.

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