Basic Facts about Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Focus: Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 17: : Everyone has the right to access reliable information 

Value: Wisdom

Here you will learn a little about the land and the people who live there.  

Learning Intention: I am learning facts about Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.  

Success Criteria: I can use my critical thinking skills in separating fact from opinion, thereby gaining a clearer understanding of the background to the conflict.  

Map showing Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory
Map showing relative size in relation to UK

Activity 1

Complete the table, Facts About Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory using the Fact Cards and maps.

Activity 2

Note any other information you found interesting or surprising or any questions you would like to ask.

Activity 3

Using the facts, write a report about Palestine and Israel.


Working in two groups, divide the cards between you. Each group will make a quiz for the other.

Fact Cards

The occupied Palestinian territory and Israel are in the Middle East on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea.
Their neighbours are Lebanon and Syria to the north, Jordan to the east and Egypt to the south east.
The climate is quite warm and good for growing vegetables and fruit, including oranges, olives, fresh herbs, and avocados. There is little rainfall in summer making water an issue.
The state of Israel was recognised by the UN in 1948. Most Jewish people, particularly religious Jews, feel they have a religious connection to the land including Jerusalem. The state of Palestine was recognised by the
United Nations in 2013.
Palestine is an ancient land and Palestinians have lived there for thousands of years. Most Palestinians have a religious connection to the land including Jerusalem.
Palestine is divided into two separate parts: Gaza and the West Bank which includes East Jerusalem. This is often referred to as the occupied Palestinian territory. In the state of Israel, approximately 20% of the population are Palestinian (both Muslim and Christian).
In the state of Israel, 75% of the population are Jewish, 21% are Palestinian (18% Muslim and 2% Christian) and 4% other. Palestinians are mostly Muslim but around 2% are Christian.
The European Union External Action Service reported in July 2018 that there were over 600,000 settlers living in 143 settlements in the West Bank and 11 settlements in East Jerusalem. In 2016 the UN Security Council declared these settlements illegal under international law.
There are approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN and living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory are subject to a mix of Jordanian law, laws from the old Ottoman empire and Israeli Military Orders, while Israeli settlers living in the same area are subject to Israeli civil law.

Palestinian Flag

Fact Cards

Israel is one of the world’s main exporters of military equipment.
Other industries include cut diamonds, high-tech equipment and pharmaceuticals. Tourism is important, almost 4 million visited in 2018.
The occupied Palestinian territory has a small manufacturing industry producing textiles, soap and olive wood carvings.
The main agricultural crops are olives and citrus fruits. Tourism is encouraged.
For Christians, Jerusalem is a sacred city.
Important sites include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Way of the Cross (the Via Dolorosa).
For Jews, Jerusalem is a sacred city. Important sites include the Western Wall and Temple Mount.
For Muslims, Jerusalem is a sacred city.
Important sites include the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Modern Bethlehem is in the West Bank area of Palestine.
All Israeli citizens who are Jewish, Druze or Circassian, begin two years of national service when they are 18.
This entitles them to certain state benefits and privileges. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has around 3 million people available for military service at any time.
The occupied Palestinian territory does not have an army, navy or air force. It has no airports. It has a police force for law enforcement.
Israelis speak Hebrew. Palestinians are Arabs and speak Arabic. Palestinians living in Israel also speak Hebrew.

Israeli Flag

Facts About Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Clue Israel Occupied Palestinian territory Both
Main religion      
Neighbouring countries      
Importance of Jerusalem      
State recognised by United Nations      
Main industries and agriculture      
Military force      
Other Interesting Facts – Israel
Other Interesting Facts – occupied Palestinian territory