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State of Palestine
دولة فلسطين‎
Dawlat Filasṭin
Israel and territories after 1979
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: فدائي‎
"My Redemption"
Patron Saint(s): Saint George
CapitalJerusalem (proclaimed)
Ramallah and Gaza (administrative)
Official language(s) Arabic, Hebrew, English
Demonym Palestinian
Government Parliamentary democracy
 -  President;
Chairman of Executive Committee
Mahmoud Abbas
 -  Speaker of Parliament Salim Zanoun
Legislature National Council
Disputed with Israel 
 -  Declared 15 November 1988 
 -  Effective not yet - territory claimed still under Israeli control 
 -  2010 (July) estimate 4,260,636 (124th)
 -  Density 667/km2 (13)
1,296/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $11.95 billion 
 -  Per capita $2,900 
HDI (2007) Template:Decrease 0.731 (medium) (106th)
Currency Jordanian dinar, Egyptian Pound, Israeli shekel[a] (JOD, EGP, ILS)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EET (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .ps
Calling code +970
a. ^ The Jordanian dinar is official in the West Bank only.
b. ^ +972 is used as well.

Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين, Filasṭīn; Hebrew: פלשתינה, Palestina; Greek: Παλαιστίνη, Palaistinē; Latin: Palæstina) is the Anglicization of the Latin Palæstina, the name given by the Romans to Judaea, Samaria, Galilee, and Peraea.[1] It derives from Philistia and properly refers only to the coastal strip once occupied by the Philistines.[2]

Within the 20th and 21st centuries the region of Palestine has been a bitterly contested area, now separated into Israel as a democratic country and two areas of land called the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) governs parts of the West Bank—with few administratively controlled areas by Israel—and Hamas, a designated terrorist organization by the United States, is the elected government of Gaza.[3]



The first presence of the ancient Israelite people in the land of Canaan can be seen in the biblical account of the Israelite invasion of Canaan around 1200 BC.[4][5] Historians generally concur, that ancestors of the Israelite people migrated into the area of the Fertile Crescent (ancient regions of Mesopotamia, the Levant with Anatolia to the north) thousands of years earlier.

Eventually as the Roman Empire took hold, the First Jewish-Roman War erupted, in which Romans viewed it as a revolt. The last Bar Kochba revolt (132–136 AD[6]) made a determined Roman emperor named Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus, initially thought to be accommodating to the Jews, rebuild the destroyed Jewish temple of 70 AD into a pagan place of worship. Hadrian was also the Roman emperor who renamed the region of conquered Roman Judæa into Syria Palæstina in an attempt to erase the history of Jewish presence in the region.[1] The last pagan Roman Emperor around 360 AD, Julian the Apostate, allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. He encouraged the Jews to commence with rebuilding their Temple until the earthquake of 363 AD affected most of Palestine and Jordan hampering their efforts.


After centuries passed of differing emperors and degrees of totalitarian rule in the region of Palestine, the 7th century (600-699 AD) brings about the figure named Muhammad, founder of Islam. Along with Islam, a tremendous volume of Arab converts were introduced into the region that before were predominately pagan. Introducing a shift of demographics that leads to an almost complete displacement and upheaval of Jewish people, culture and customs within Palestine. The land of Palestine and that of even the greater region was successively brought under Islamic rule including Jerusalem in 638 AD pushing back not only ancient Jewish communities but the ruling Byzantine Empire as well.[7] The Crusaders attempted to wrestle the Holy Land from Muslim opposition under Saladin in the Levant until he recaptured Palestine after the victory at the Battle of Hattin in July of 1187.[8] The notable long lasting Muslim rule and conquest developed into the Ottoman Empire, founded by Osman I (born within the dominate Oguz tribe, forefathers of the Osmanli or Ottoman Turks). Osman was born in 1258 and died in 1326, while the empire lasted from 1299 AD until November 1, 1922 being succeeded by the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923 until present day.

UN Partition Plan For Palestine 1947.

By the 1800s, Jews had managed to build a plurality of the population in Jerusalem. The Zionist movement began in the later part of the 1800s inspired by Theodor Herzl (1860 to 1904), father of modern political Zionism, with the aim of establishing a homeland for the Jews. At the end of the First World War (1914-1918), Palestine was governed by the British under a League of Nations mandate. During 1917, the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Lord Balfour, wrote the Balfour Declaration, a letter to Lord Rothschild expressing sympathy for the Zionist movement and announcing for the first time political support from a superpower.[9]

As Jews in greater numbers migrate to the region of Palestine where their ancient ancestors once were, a sense of nationalism transforms into an intense pursuit. Co-existence between Jews and Arabs decades prior was relatively peaceful. However from the 1920 incitement to terrorize Jews in protest of the The Balfour Declaration, the 1929 Palestine riots (Western Wall Uprising or the Buraq Uprising) can be seen directed by the same hand of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1921 to 1948, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (or Amin al-Husseini).[10] Al-Husayni inspired Muslims by declaring that Jews are endangering mosques and other holy sites of Islam. Al-Husayni's powerful influence lead not only to riots against the Jews sporadically for many years but eventually to an unacceptable alliance with the Nazis in 1937.[11] In addition the lack of British response to a general tone of uprising Arab militancy necessitates Jewish self-defense in the region.

Amin al-Husayni guided the Arab-Israeli conflict against Israel in the Middle East region via encouragement by propaganda and development through expertise provided from the Nazis. The appeasement toward Hitler by Arab leadership during the years of the Third Reich plants the seed of the modern Holy War or Third Jihad of Islam and fuels its popularity today.

Palestinian Arabs

Main Article: Arabs

The term Palestinian is accurate when referring to Jews as it is to Arabs because they live in a region called Palestine. Palestinians are Arabs that migrated from surrounding Muslim majority countries in the Middle East, this is what originally brought the need to partition Palestine in the first place. It is important to realize that the Palestinians as they are commonly referred to today within the mainstream of academia and media, are a new ethnicity that since 1948 have been systematically persecuted by a national Israel. This false depiction is inconsistent with history, a narrative exploited by Islamists to demonize the very existence and legitimate acts of self-defense by Israel.[12]

Arab-Jewish Conflict

It was not until the State of Israel was proclaimed along with Arab land in 1948 by United Nations mandate drawing down British forces that a transfer of governing responsibility was achieved and an essential homeland for the Jews created. The mandate supported both Arab and Jewish land to constitute the entirety of the Palestine region with Jerusalem as a United Nations administered area. The first and current Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, accepted this equal allocation of land however neighboring Arab nations refused violently and initiated what is the first of the so-called Arab-Israeli Wars (1948-1949; 1956; 1967; 1969-1970; 1973; 1982).[13] In the Israeli War of Independence five Arab countries invaded the land of Israel until driven out with Israel gaining significantly more territory than originally partitioned in 1948. It was then annexed to Jordan and ruled until 1967[14] until Egypt and Syria were defeated in the Six Day War and Jerusalem was once again united.

On March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization named Zahir Muhsein who died in 1979. He describes the Arabs in Palestine as a tactical and political matter to conquer all of Palestine.

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.[15][16]

Israel as a nation has defined borders agreed upon by the international community and has a right to defend itself. It is this posturing that Israel has continued throughout its history. The once leader of the PLO and thus the Arabs in Palestine Yasser Arafat (1929 to 2004), signed the Declaration of Principles (also called the Oslo Accords[17]) on the White House lawn in 1993. He explained his actions on Jordan TV in this way;

Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.[18]

The current leader of the Palestinians Arabs of the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas, casts doubt regarding their historical right over not just Jews but even practicing Christians and long established churches. Abbas believes Christian churches in Palestine predate that of Arabs;

... murdering, executing people on the street, throwing fighters from tall buildings, and looting security headquarters, public facilities and Christian houses of worship. [Indeed,] even the churches were not spared. One of the oldest churches in Palestine, which stood long before our arrival [in the region], was looted and set on fire. There are Christians among us, and they are our brothers, and now we discover that [according to Hamas] they are enemies and must leave [Palestine]?![19]

The establishment of Israel had been achieved, because prophetically it was important and established long ago. Israel has always aroused strong hostility by merely existing. A political agenda that supports the ultimate destruction of Israel, and Jews specifically, is widely documented in history. The understatement and lack of focus on the history of the region of Palestine enables the international community to shape current tensions as Israels fault, rather then in defense of itself and mostly go unchallenged by academia and the media.

See Also

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Hadrian Biography By Biography Base
  2. Origin of the Name Palestine; EARLY HISTORY PALESTINE ORIGIN By Palestine Facts
  3. Foreign Terrorist Organizations By Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism; January 19, 2010
  4. Catholic Van Kasteren, J.P. (1908). Cana, Canaanites. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 12, 2010 from New Advent:
  5. The Conquest of Canaan By Quartz Hill School of Theology
  6. History Crash Course #37 - Bar Kochba Revolt By Rabbi Ken Spiro
  7. Timeline of Jewish history By Wikipedia
  8. Battle of Hattin By Wikipedia
  9. The Balfour Declaration By Arthur James Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild
  10. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni By Wikipedia
  11. BRITISH MANDATE GRAND MUFTI: Who was the Grand Mufti, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini? By Palestine Facts
  12. Israel's defense minister defends raid on aid flotilla By the CNN Wire Staff. August 10, 2010
  13. "Arab-Israeli Wars".Britannica Concise Encyclopedia pg. 92
  14. There Is No Such Thing as a Pre-1967 Israeli Border Posted by Jeff Dunetz
  15. James Dorsey, Wij zijn alleen Palestijn om politieke reden, Trouw, 31 March 1977 (translation unverified), as cited in Zuheir Mohsen by Wikipedia. (Permanent link)
  16. Palestinian people do not exist By Joseph Farah for ; Posted: July 11, 2002
  17. Oslo Accords By Palestine Facts
  18. Sound the alarm by Jan Willem van der Hoeven for Israel Insider. June 20, 2002
  19. Abbas Admits Palestinian Arabs Not Original Inhabitants Of Israel by Zionist Organization of America

External Links