PGR = Palestine Grid Reference. This grid can be related to the longitude and latitude, which are noted on Palestine 1:100,000 series.It can be also transformed into the modern UTM, Zone 36, centered on 330 East Longitude, which is assigned the value of 500 km. PGR is 6 digits: a b c x y z, the first three (a, b, c) for Easting and the next three (x, y, z) for Northing.

The latitude for any PGR is: 30034’47” N+(xyz/1.83) minutes. The longitude for any PGR is: 33026’17” E+(abc/1.60) minutes.

PGR is located in the centre of the locality; for a village, it is the centre of a small area, for a city, the centre of a larger area and for a tribal land, the centre of a very large area. Thus, for a village, the error in location may be 1 km. Cities are well-defined and there should be no problem in defining their location. For tribes, PGR is the centre of the tribal land or at the largest population concentration.Tribal lands are well-defined by “Customary Law”.

For more fertile areas, i.e., north and west of Beer Sheba, a tribe’s land ownership is confined to a particular well-defined location. In less fertile areas, more than one location is shared by more than one tribe, while keeping private property separate. In grazing area (least fertile), south of gridline 40 roughly, large tracts are assigned to each tribe.


Arab (Palestinian, non-Jewish) Population in 1948. This is an upgraded figure from Village Statistics of 1944 prepared by the Palestine Government. J. Abu-Lughod examined the Mandate figures for the natural growth of Muslims, Christians and Jews. W. Khalidi assumed reasonably that the natural growth for the refugees is that of the Moslems since they were both the majority of the population and larger majority of those who became refugees. Thus, Col. 14 is 1944 figures multiplied by 1.16 (i.e. 3.8% annual increase).

For Beer Sheba, the number of the population is obtained as follows :first, the number of District population was estimated from Arif, augmented by Dajani and correlated with other sources. Second, the numbers of those remaining in Israel are collated from Israeli and other sources. The figures shown in Col. 14 are the difference between the two, i.e. refugees outside Israel. The total number of 1948 refugees is therefore 804,465 as per AS list of villages in Col. 5, 6.The excluded villages are already indicated in notes to Col. 1 to 4. So this is not the total number of refugees. For further information on this point, see notes to Col. 20, 21, 22.


The total land area of the locality, both Arab and Jewish, according to ‘Village Statistics’. The total of this column is 17,184,463 donums, which is the total land of depopulated villages, as defined in Col. 1-4. From this, we must subtract the Jewish land inside these Palestinian villages and add the following: (1) land of the Palestinian villages whose inhabitants remained in Israel (two-thirds of whose lands are now confiscated by Israel), (2) the village lands that came under Israel’s control while the village houses were in Gaza Strip and the West Bank (border villages), and (3) Palestinian land inside Jewish areas.

The most accurate and logical way to determine the area of Palestinian land is to subtract the area of Jewish land from the part of Palestine that became Israel. The Jewish land consists of:

Full possession: 1,449,958 donums. About half this land is officially registered. The rest has incomplete records such as a two-party sale agreement, Promise to Sale or mortgage foreclosure.

Partial possession: 56,628 donums. This represents a Jewish share in undivided land. Obviously the Jewish share-owner cannot identify his share. This means the land is in joint ownership and the Palestinians have an equal legal right of access to it.

Concessions granted by the British government: 175,000 donums.

The lease term for these lands has expired, not only because of lapse of time, but because the grantor, the British mandate government, has been dissolved. This matter was raised during Jordan river diversions in al Hula concession in 1951, at which time the British government determined that the concession has expired. These lands must therefore revert to the Palestinian people.

The Zionist invasion of Palestine was intended to occupy as much as land as possible and remove its people by expulsion and other means. Thus the first stage of Plan Dalet was to occupy Palestinian land located between Jewish colonies. After gaining such continuity, occupation extended to areas allotted to the Jewish state (54% compared to 6% Jewish ownership). This was extended further, particularly towards Jerusalem, leaving only 22% of Palestine in Arab hands. If the land occupied is plotted against dates of Israeli occupation, the following is observed:

Thus Israel took control of 78% of Palestine within the Armistice Line classified as follows:

  • Before hostilities began, Jews had possession of about 1,500 km2, excluding public land, that is, Jewish property is 5.5% of Palestine. The Jewish land includes concessions granted by the British Government and shared land. The registered Jewish land is 3% of Palestine.
  • By the end of the Mandate and while Palestine was under the protection of the British Government, Jews occupied a total of 3,700 km2, or 14% of Palestine. On this land, the state of Israel was declared on 14 May 1948. Israel was given de facto recognition by some Western countries on this land only. Any further expansion was inadmissible conquest.
  • By the Second Truce on 18 July 1948, Jews occupied a further 9% of Palestine; in Galilee, Central Sector (Lydda and Ramle) and South of Jaffa.
  • By 31 October 1948, the Jews got bolder and made a thrust against the Egyptian-defended South and occupied a further 13% of Palestine.
  • Thereafter, the Jews completed the occupation of Galilee and entered Lebanon. A truce was signed with Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria (in order). After signing the Armistice with Egypt, the Jews attacked the south and occupied 42% of Palestine.
  • Land of remaining Palestinians 1,474,169 d. Total Jewish land:1,682,000 d(8%) Total Israel:20,323,000 (100%)(donum = 1000 m2)

Total Palestinian land: 18,641,000 donums(92%). Which is, Land of depopulated villages 17,166,831 d.