Israel is a fascinating and multifaceted country that captures the imaginations of many.
Not only does it have an incredible history spanning thousands of years, but its sites also hold legendary sacred significance to Christians and Muslims alike – from Jerusalem’s iconic Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) in Judaism to Islam’s Al-Aqsa mosque.
Whether you’re curious about where exactly Israel lies on the map or want more information regarding what happened before 1948, when it first became a nation, this article will help answer your questions!
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What continent is Israel in?
If you are wondering what continent Israel is in, here is your answer.
Israel is a small country in Asia, relatively close to Africa and Europe. Israel is positioned between the Mediterranean Sea facing the west. Asia covers regions ranging from Turkey in the far west, through Japan and Russia, to the islands of Indonesia in the south.
The Asia continent ranges from Turkey in the western region to Russia and runs down to Russia and the Southern Indonesian islands. Are you also asking ‘where Israel is on the map?
First, you will have to locate Asia. Then, trace your fingers to the far-left side of the Asian continent on the map. With carefulness and complete focus, you will find the small nation there.
Although Israel is on the far-right end of Asia, the country has no political connection with Asia. This lack of affiliation is even more peculiar to the Middle East. Since Israel gained its independence in 1948, it has been in continuous conflict with the surrounding Arabic nations in the Middle East.
However, Israel has a stronger connection with Europe regarding culture, history, and economy. This strong connection is one of the reasons people ask ‘where Israel is located on the map? Or which continent is Israel located in?’
Since the 1990s, Israel has been a significant participant and competitor in the European Sporting competition. Also, Israel joined the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
Apart from Israel’s affiliation with the European nations despite being in Asia, Israel shares its boundary with a large African country. Hence, the question, ‘which continent is Israel located in?’ It became a puzzle to solve.
This puzzle became even more confusing when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel published an article in 2013 declaring that Israel is in the location of the three continents: Africa, Europe, and Asia.
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Where historically was Israel located?
Nowadays, Israel lies between Lebanon and Syria, facing the North, the Gaza strip and Egypt facing the Southwest, and Jordan facing the East.
In the past, the Israelite Kingdom covered some areas of the Mediterranean Sea called the Levant. The Levant is slightly similar to the State of Israel in modern Israel. In the past, the Levant was known to be a fraction of Canaan, Palestine, Phoenicia, Yehud Medinata, and Judea. But after the Romans, these areas in 136 CE were known as Syria-Palaestina.
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Some misconceptions regarding the question ‘where is Israel located?’
There are common mistakes when considering where Israel is located on the map or to which continent Israel belongs. Here are two of them
The first mistake is that Israel is on the continent of Europe. This mistake arises because most of the Jews in Israel lived in Europe, or their ancestors stayed in Europe before they returned to Israel. As we stated earlier, Israel has strong ties with the political organization of the European Union.
Another mistake is that Israel is on the continent of Africa. This debate stems from the biblical description of Israel’s history. And the replacement of Canaan for Israel in several chapters in the Bible.
In the Bible, Canaan came from the rescue of Ham, the father of Africa. Therefore, it was only logical that people would count Israel among the Africans.
Not only does this debate revolve around the origin of Israel, but it also comes from the geographical state of Israel. Israel shares its borders with Egypt, an influential country in Africa and Asia.
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The Division of Israel
The nation of Israel was divided during the reign of King David, who ruled Israel in 1000 BC. Around 931 BC, Israel was divided into two major Kindoms-Israel by the North and Judah by the south.
In 722 BC, the Assyrians went to war and defeated Northern Israel. And in 568 BC, the armies of Babylon conquered Jerusalem, destroying the first temple; however, after the destruction of the first temple. A second one was erected around 516 BC.
During this age, different groups ruled the land occupied by the present Israelites. This group included the Greeks, Arabs, and Persians. Mamelukes, Fatimids, Egyptians, Islamists, Crusaders, and Seljuk Turks, to mention a few
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Further history of Israel: The Zionistic movement
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Jews developed a structured political and religious movement called Zionism. This sect of people sought to rebuild the Jewish homeland In Palestine. As a result, many Jews immigrated to the former holy land to construct homes. From 1882 to 1903, a recorded number of 35,000 Jews moved to Palestine. And from 1904 to 1914, another 40 000 Jews immigrated.
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What was Israel before 1948?
From 1517 to 1917, the Ottoman Empire governed present-day Israel and a large part of the Middle East. However, the first world war altered the structure of the Geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.
In 1917, at the peak of the world war, Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, sent a notice stating his intention to support the founding of a Jewish birthplace in Palestine. In 1918, the first world war ended, and the Ottoman dynasty’s reign ended after 400 years.
After the ottoman dynasty, the Britain Government took over the regions of Palestine, which happens to be Jordan, Israel, and Palestine today. Britain Governed the Palestine region until a few years after the second world war when Israel gained independence in 1948. So, until 1948, Israel was not a state
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In 1948, the United Nations accepted the proposition to divide Palestine into an Arab, Jewish, and Arab region. The Arabs opposed this proposition.
However, in May 1948, Israel officially gained its independence. Israel gained its independence under David Ben-Gurion, who was then, the head of the Jewish council as its prime minister. This independence was a massive feat for Israel. However, it opened Israel to more conflict with the Arabs.
As a result, five countries- Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria- came together to attack Israel. This attack resulted in the 1948 Arab-Israelite war.
As the war continued all over Israel, damaging lives and properties, these countries reached a cease-fire operation in 1949. As part of the agreement, the western Bank was joined with Jordan, and the Gaza strip bonded with the Egyptian region
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Why are Israel and Hamas fighting
From the early days of the Israelites to the present day, there has been ongoing tension between Hamas and Israel. You may ask, ‘why are Israel and Hamas fighting? The conflict started when Israel and Hamas inhabited the same area and named it holy.
The Israelites and the Hama both believe Jerusalem city is holy. This holy city carries sacred sites such as the Western wall, al-Aqsa mosque, and others. So, why are Israel and Hamas fighting? The conflict has always been a result of who occupies these areas:
Gaza Strip: this is a small land that you can find in the country of Egypt and present-day Israel
Golan heights: This area is somewhat rocky. You can find this rocky area between Syria and present-day Israel.
West Bank: This region divides some areas of Jordan and Israel
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Where is Israel today?
Well, conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians are still ongoing. Significant areas were divided, but both groups owned some regions. For example, both Israelites and Palestinians believe Jerusalem is their state capital.
Also, both sects accuse the other of attacking and killing civilians. Even though Israel doesn’t see Palestine as a state, over 135 United Nations countries do
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To sum it up
the history of Israel is both captivating and complex. While many know the name of this nation and its modern geographical borders, far fewer people understand the richness and complexity of Israeli history — both ancient and contemporary.
To learn more about its past, including its division thousands of years ago, its Zionist movement before independence, or recent events unfolding in Gaza with Hamas, extensive research will give you an even deeper appreciation for this small but mighty country.
Whether you are researching for educational reasons or perhaps looking to visit one day, knowledge regarding Israel’s nations is a must-have.