It’s not just Israel and Palestine fighting for a sliver of land in the Middle East. Tiny—and largely unknown—Akhziv Land is also among the states claiming a piece of the small Middle Eastern nation.
Israel has been the battleground of staked land claims since most of the global population can remember. But what isn’t as well known is that a third party has been fighting for a share of the contentious land since 1952, when a young Israeli soldier claimed a section of abandoned ground for himself.
Twenty-four-year-old Eli Avivi, fresh from fighting in Israel’s navy during the War for Independence, decided he was fed up with his home nation and wanted to build his own country. He stumbled upon Akhziv, a deserted former Arab fishing village on Israel’s northern shore. After taking over an abandoned hilltop house—the only structure left in the settlement—Avivi proclaimed Akhziv Land’s independence, and thus was born his own sovereign nation within one of the world’s most disputed countries.