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Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين, romanizedFilasṭīn), officially the State of Palestine (دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn), is a state located in Western Asia. It is officially governed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and claims the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, its claimed territory has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967. As a result of the Oslo Accords of 1993–1995, the West Bank is currently divided into 165 Palestinian enclaves that are under partial Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rule; the remainder, including 200 Israeli settlements, is under full Israeli control. The Gaza Strip has been ruled by the militant Islamic group Hamas and has been subject to a long-term blockade by Egypt and Israel since 2007.

After World War II, in 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine, which recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. This Partition Plan was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs. Immediately after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the plan as Resolution 181, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. The day after the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighbouring Arab countries invaded the former British Mandate and engaged Israeli forces in the First Arab–Israeli War. Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the All-Palestine Protectorate in the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan, which had occupied and later annexed the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Palestine is currently recognized by 138 of the 193 United Nations (UN) member states. Though jurisdiction of the All-Palestine Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective jurisdiction was limited to the Gaza Strip. Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in June 1967.

On 15 November 1988 in Algiers, then-Chairman of the PLO Yasser Arafat proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the PNA was formed to govern (in varying degrees) areas A and B in the West Bank, comprising 165 enclaves, and the Gaza Strip. After Hamas became the PNA parliament's leading party in the most recent elections (2006), a conflict broke out between it and the Fatah party, leading to Gaza being taken over by Hamas in 2007 (two years after the Israeli disengagement).

Palestine has a population of 5,051,953 , ranked 121st in the world.[better source needed] Although Palestine claims Jerusalem as its capital, the city is under the control of Israel; both Palestine's and Israel's claims to the city are mostly not recognized by the international community. Palestine is a member of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the G77, the International Olympic Committee, as well as UNESCO, UNCTAD and the International Criminal Court. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. (Full article...)

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Skyline of Gaza, 2007

Gaza is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. In 635 CE, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a centre of Islamic law. As a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory and several improvements were undertaken in the city. Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. Following the 2006 election, conflict broke out as the Fatah party seemed unwilling to transfer power to Hamas, resulting in Hamas taking power in Gaza by force. Most of Gaza's inhabitants are Muslim, although there exists a Christian minority.

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Ottoman surrender of Jerusalem, 1917
Credit: American Colony

The Mayor of Jerusalem Hussein al-Husayni (centre) meets with soldiers of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force on December 9, 1917, under the white flag of surrender. The Battle of Jerusalem had begun the day before, but the Turkish forces in the city were no match against the British forces. A Turkish counterattack on December 25 was also repulsed, confirming the capture of Jerusalem by the Allies.

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Mustafa Barghouthi

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Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation, one who gave his entire life to the cause of the Palestinian people. — Nelson Mandela

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Finkelstein giving a talk at Suffolk University in 2005
Norman Gary Finkelstein (born December 8, 1953) is an American political scientist, activist and author. His primary fields of research are the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust, an interest motivated by the experiences of his parents who are Jewish Holocaust survivors. He is a graduate of Binghamton University and received his Ph.D in Political Science from Princeton University. He has held faculty positions at Brooklyn College, Rutgers University, Hunter College, New York University, and, most recently, DePaul University, where he was an assistant professor from 2001 to 2007. In 2007, after a highly publicized row between Finkelstein and a notable opponent of his, Alan Dershowitz, Finkelstein's tenure bid at DePaul was denied. Finkelstein was placed on administrative leave for the 2007–2008 academic year, and on September 5, 2007, he announced his resignation after coming to a settlement with the university on generally undisclosed terms.

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Topics

Demographics: Definitions · State of Palestine · History · Name · People · Diaspora  · Refugee camps · Arab citizens of Israel

Politics: Arab Higher Committee · All-Palestine Gov-t · PLO · PFLP · Depopulated villages

Today: Fatah · Hamas · Islamic Jihad · Political parties in the PNA · PNA · Hamas gov-t · Districts · Governorates · Cities · Arab localities in Israel · PNC · PLC ·

General: Palestinian flag · Law

Palestine: West Bank · Gaza Strip · E. Jerusalem

Religion: Islam · Christianity · Judaism · Dome of the Rock· Al-Aqsa Mosque · Great Mosque of Gaza · Cave of the Patriarchs · Church of the Holy Sepulchre · Basilica of the Annunciation · Church of the Nativity · Joseph's Tomb · Rachel's Tomb · Lot's Tomb · Nabi Samwil

Culture: Art · Costume and embroidery · Cinema · Cuisine · Dance · Handicrafts · Language · Literature · Music

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