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Palestine Maps: Palestinian vs Jewish Land Ownership Per District, 1945


As of 1947, Jews in Palestine owned UNDER 7% of Palestine's lands, and after the 1948 war 80% of the Palestinian people were DISPOSSESSED of their homes, farms, and businesses. Scroll below for the source and tabular break down of land ownership. It should be noted that as of 1948, Jews were 1/3 of the total population and only 1/3 of those gained Palestinian Citizenship!

Share of Palestinian vs. Jewish land ownership as of April 1st, 1943

Click here to see a similar map show same exact data located at the United Nation's website.

Ownership of land in Palestine, Share of Palestinian Arabs and Jews as of April 1st, 1943

Category of land
(Fiscal categories)

Palestinians & others Jews Total

Dunums (1000 sq. meters)

Urban 76,662 70,111 146,773
Citrus 145,572 141,188 286,760
Bananas 2,300 1,430 3,730
Rural built-on area 36,851 42,330 79,181
Plantation 1,079,788 95,514 1,175,302
Cereal land (taxable) 5,503,183 814,102 6,317,285
Cereal land (not taxable) 900,294 51,049 951,343
Uncultivable 16,925,805 298,523 17,224.328

Total area:

24,670,455 1,514,247 26,184,702


94.22% 5.8% 100%
Roads, railways, rivers, and lakes 135,803

Total Area including roads, railways, etc.


Source: A Survey of Palestine prepared by the British Mandate for the UN, p. 566.. If you are interested a detailed study; we urge you to examine our Village Statistics Project.

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Thanks for the useful information but I like to draw your attention to the pie chart given to illustrate the ownership of Palestine land in 1946. It is very clear that graph is erroneous since it divides the circle into three equal portions(areas).
After WWI, when the Ottoman Empire fell apart, the European powers tried to create nations/homelands for the different distinct ethnic groups in the Empire. This effort created most of the countries in the Middle East. The Jews were one of these groups. They constituted 3.7% of the population of the Empire. For well over a 1000 years they were a persecuted minority, landless, dispossessed and without any political representation. They were called dhimmis in the Empire and entire region. They were prohibited by law from buying land or living in their ancestral home for most of this time. My questions are; 1] Were the Jews not a distinct ethnic group, perhaps the most distinct in the region? 2] Did they not have as much right and more need for self rule than any of the other groups? 3] Given the Jews were 3.7% of the population, what percent of the Empire did the deserve as their homeland? 4] Why?
Why palestinians systematically commited the same mistake over the years? There was no land robbery. The League of nations granted the land of palestine to the jews to make their jewish national home, to rebuild their old nation and recognized the connection between palestine and the jews. As the predecesor of the United Nation and in the same way that other arab countries were created, Israel belong tho jews and is part of the international law from the 24 of july of 1922, when the mandate of palestine was approved. Ottoman empire laws and ownership was over when this empire desapeaer.
When it comes to public/state owned land in Palestine prior to the creation of Israel, it must be remembered that such land was owned by the citizenry and only 30% of the Jewish immigrants had taken out citizenship.
to Fred, since the land was stolen FROM the Palestinians and not FROM the zionists then its only fair that it returns to being Palestine under Palestinian rule. And that doesnt rule out that immigrated jews cant become Palestinians via citizenship.
Christian Democrat - I'd hardly call Palestine/Israel a safe place. It seems you didn't get my point. By 'sharing the land' I refer to democratic political institutions, not the actual land ownership which should of course be retained by it's rightful owners, or they should be appropriately compensated for confiscated land.
The plunder of Native Americans' land was much worse in many ways than the dismemberment of Palestine, since the North Americans were completely overwhelmed my sheer numbers of Europeans. Here in Palestine of course we almost have demographic parity. However despite the issues of restitution, return, compensation etc - democracy will need to prevail. There is no successful democratic state that is defined by a single ethnic or religious group. We certainly shouldn't replace the Zionist ethnocracy with a Muslim or Palestinian Ethnocracy.
You're right Fred Schlomka. I'm glad we made Native Americans "share" their land at the end of a bayonette. It's easy to say things from the comfort of a safe place when you have millions of ignorant southern Evangelical Christians who believe the Jews are God's "chosen people" instead of a people who lump Protestant Christian Arabs with Muslim Arabs when carpet bombing refugee camps. But hey, you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, right?
It is perhaps unfortunate that both Jews and Palestinian Arabs seem to equate ownership with sovereignty. In modern democracies, ownership of land by different ethnic/religious groups is largely separate from the sovereignty over the land which is a civic and secular matter. Justice and restitution for Palestinians who lost their land in 1948 is, of course, an inalienable right. However claims of sovereignty based on land ownership need to be tempered with some good democratic notions of sharing the land based on civic and political equality.
You wouldn't have an updated map handy would you?
I find the date that this was posted rather curious. The next day the zionist worldwide would begin their attempt to conquer not only Palestine but the entire world. Zionism is part of the racist ideology and not limited to religion or political affiliation.
Shameful that UN, US, UK,France just to name a frew, with powerplay created this mess and put the Palestinian in the verge of being wiped out.
In a UNCCP document dated July 4, 1947, oral evidence were presented at a public meeting were Ben-Gurion was present. Ben-Gurion was discussing the ؟disparities between Jews and Arabs؟ in Palestine. He stated: ؟I shall mention only a few [referring to the disparities between Arabs and Jews]. There is the disparity in numbers. There are some 600,000 Jews in Palestine and some 1,100,000 Arabs. There are no reliable figures in this respect. There is an even greater disparity than that. The Arabs own 94% of the land, the Jews only 6%. The Arabs have seven States, the Jews none. The Arabs have vast underdeveloped territories-Iraq alone is three times as large as England؟؟ So, Ben-Gurion himself admitted that the Arabs of Palestine owned 94 percent of the land while the Jews owned 6 percent of it, according to this UNCCP document.
UN document dated 3 September 1947 the Report of the General assembly was discussing several issues relating to the Palestine question such as the elements of the conflict, religious sites, and different proposed solutions. Among the issues discussed was ؟the conflicting claims؟ in which both the Arab and the Jewish claim to the issue is presented, followed by an appraisal by the U.N. expressing it؟s opinion and analysis of each claim. Under the appraisal of the Arab claim Paragraph 164 the following is stated: "The Arab population, despite the strenuous efforts of Jews to acquire land in Palestine, at present remains in possession of approximately 85 per cent of the land. The provisions of the land transfer regulations of 1940, which gave effect to the 1939 White Paper policy, have severely restricted the Jewish efforts to acquire new land."
In a UN document dated 16 June 1947, Annex B: Oral Evidence Presented by the Private Meetings RECORD OF THE SIXTH MEETING (PRIVATE) Held at the Y.M.C.A. Building, Jerusalem, Palestine, Monday, 16 June 1947, at 4 p.m., Mr.Blom from Holland asked about public ownership in Palestine; Sir Henry GURNEY answered: "The Government of Palestine took over from the Turkish Administration what was state domain؟it belonged to the sovereignty of Turkey. I think the present area of state domain is just over a million dunums." In other words, of Palestine's total area of about 26,300,000, only about 1 million was state land according to this UN private meeting
According to the Progress Report of the UNCCP 20 November 1951: "The total extent of the abandoned land which has passed to Jewish hands is estimated by the Commission's Refugee Office at 16,324 square kilometres and its total value at £P 100 million." Concerning the Negev: "In the Negev, 12,138 square kilometres have changed hands[land formely held by Arabs, now by jews], of which 10,303 square kilometres are uncultivable and 1,835 square kilometres are cultivable"
The British Mandate records afferm that 12,600,000 Dunums of Negev land belonged to the Bedouins. (Mandate records 1937. See Penny Maddrell, The Beduin of the Negev, Minority Rights Group, Report no.81 (1990) p.5)
According to this U.N. document, paragraph 15: the link shows that although only around 2 million dunums of the Negev was considered fit for cultivation, the other unfit for cultivation 10 million dunums wad owned by arabs.
؟The CCP Refugee Office estimated that although only a little more than a quarter was considered cultivable, more than 80 percent of Israel's total area of 20,850 km.sq. represented land abandoned by the Arab refugees. Three-quarters of the former Arab land was sub-marginal land or semi-desert in the Negeb." Subcommittee 2 of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestine Question stated in its report to the United Nations General Assembly the following: Closely connected with the distribution of population is the factor of land ownership in the proposed Jewish State. The bulk of the land in the Arab State, as well as in the proposed Jewish State, is owned and possessed by Arabs. This is clear from the following statistics furnished to the Sub-Committee by the United Kingdom representative, showing the respective percentages of Arab and Jewish ownership of land in the various sub-districts of Palestine.
According to the above table scanned directly from the Survey of Palestine, Arab land ownership was 94.22%; in other words, the Negev area (which some claim was state land) was actually owned by arabs it is almost 50% of Palestine. Also, "The Custodian of Absentee Property does not choose to discuss politics. But when asked how much of the land of the state of Israel might potentially have two claimants - an Arab and a Jew holding respectively a British Mandate and an Israeli deed to the same property - Mr. Manor [the Custodian in 1980] believes that 'about 70 percent' might fall into that category (Robert Fisk, 'The Land of Palestine, Part Eight: The Custodian of Absentee Property', The Times, 24 December, 1980)؟