Maps printed in Israel do not present the Green Line separating Israel’s sovereign territory from the territories it occupied in 1967. This is the result of secret resolutions made by the Israeli government several months after the war. Transcripts of the Security Cabinet discussions and related documents are presented here.
Excerpt from the transcripts of Ministerial Committee on Security session, October 18, 1967
This is the first of two sessions the Ministerial Committee for Security Affairs held to discuss the erasure of the Green Line from maps. Minister Allon explained that with the occupation of the Territories in the Six Day War, the government declared that the 1949 armistice had been revoked, and that this had to be expressed in the maps. “Issuing a new map according to the  Armistice Lines”, Allon said, “would not reflect the political reality and would be taken to mean that we still consider these lines an eventual possibility”. Minister of Foreign Affairs Abba Eban asked not to emphasize the distinction between the now-annexed Jerusalem and the remaining West Bank on the map, while Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan proposed the 1949 Armistice Lines appear on the map alongside the 1967 Ceasefire Lines and the international borders. “A map isn’t a policy program”, Dayan said.
The ministers also discussed what colors to give the various parts of the territories on the map; whether the map would be titled State of Israel or Israel and whether to mark the areas of the military government inside the occupied territories. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to reach a consensual decision and so, after the cabinet approved the changes to the map, he “ordered” an appeal from Minister of Health Yisrael Barzilai in order to reopen the discussion.
18 Oct 1967: Resolution B/9 of the Ministerial Committee on Security
Depiction of borders on maps of the country
Hereby resolved to approve the printing of maps of the country in accordance with the following parameters:
- Title: Israel;
- Subheading in parenthesis: Ceasefire Line, June 11, 1967;
- With the exception of historical maps, the borders of the British Mandate or the 1949 Armistice line shall not be marked;
- If necessary, the border of the military government will be marked.
(1 vote in favor of marking military government border on all maps.)
Minister Y. Barzilai states his intention to appeal the above resolution before the government plenum.”
Minister Alon's lettor to Yosef Alster, 30 October 1967
“From this day forward, maps of Israel should be printed as follows:
- The heading will appear as “Israel” with a sub-heading “Ceasefire Lines.”
- The Mandate border and  Armistice lines will not be printed in the new ordinary use map.
- In maps displaying the administrative boundaries, united Jerusalem should be displayed in accordance with the government resolution. In the districts included in the area of the military government, the words “Military Government” should be added in parentheses below the name of the district.
The ceasefire lines should be coordinated with the appropriate IDF official.
Since I must present this decision to the cabinet this coming Sunday, it will come into effect in a telephone conversation between us – so I hope – immediately after the cabinet meeting.”
Document courtesy of Gershom Gorenberg
3 November 1967: Draft Resolution ahead of Government meeting
Ahead of the 5 November 1967 government meeting, scheduled to discuss Minister Barzilai’s appeal of Resolution B/9, Minister Alon submitted a draft resolution adopting the Committee’s resolution.
We do not know if the government discussed the appeal or voted on the draft resolution. The issue was brought back to the agenda of the Ministerial Committee’s on Security a week later, on 12 November.
Ministerial Committee on Security session, November 12, 1967
The second discussion on this issue was held on November 12, 1967, also in the security cabinet, with ministers debating the demarcation of the Green Line on future maps at length. Minister Allon suggested censoring publication of the decision to print maps that do not show the Armistice Lines and the discussion then veered toward the status of the Latrun area. The ministers ultimately reaffirmed the decision to stop marking the Green Line on government printed maps and to issue a media blackout on the decision itself.
12 November 1967: Resolution B/21 of the Ministerial Committee on Security
Depiction of borders on the map of the country
- To approve Resolution No. B/9 of the Ministerial Committee on Security, dated 18 October 1967, to the effect that maps of Israel shall be henceforth printed according to the 1967 Ceasefire line, omitting the Armistice line and the borders of the British Mandate.
For special needs, maps shall depict the borders of the military government or the administrative division of the country.
Map shall be printed with the title “Israel” and the subheading “Map of Ceasefire Line”.
The map shall be published after the end of current session of the UN General Assembly.
10 September 1967: "in favor of ‘obscuring’ the border"
An indication of the government’s mindset at the time can be found in a handwritten comment, by Ministry of Interior Executive Director Meir Silverstone:
“The Defense Minister (and perhaps other ministers[)] are in favor of ‘obscuring’ the border between the state and the administered territory, and for this reason, prefer us not to highlight the issue with border control under the Entry into Israel Law”.