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Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين, romanizedFilasṭīn), officially the State of Palestine (دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn), is a state in the Southern Levant region of West Asia. Founded on 15 November 1988 and officially governed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), it claims the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip as its territory, all of which have been Israeli-occupied territories since the 1967 Six-Day War. The West Bank contains 165 Palestinian enclaves that are under partial Palestinian rule, but the remainder, including 200 Israeli settlements, is under full Israeli control. The Gaza Strip was governed by Egypt but conquered by Israel in 1967. Israel governed the region until it withdrew in 2005. The United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and various human-rights organizations still consider Gaza to be held under Israeli military occupation, due to what they regard as Israel's effective military control over the territory; Israel disputes this. Hamas seized power after winning the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. This has since been ensued by a blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel and Egypt.

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. Immediately after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the plan as Resolution 181, a civil war broke out in Palestine, and the plan was not implemented. The day after the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab countries invaded the former British Mandate and engaged Israeli forces in the 1948 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. During the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

On 15 November 1988 in Algiers, Yasser Arafat, as Chairman of the PLO, issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, which established the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority (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 the Gaza Strip being taken over by Hamas in 2007 (two years after the Israeli disengagement).

The State of Palestine's mid-year population in 2021 was 5,227,193. Although Palestine claims Jerusalem as its capital, the city is under the control of Israel; both Palestinian and Israeli claims to the city are mostly unrecognized 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. Following a failed attempt in 2011 to secure full United Nations member state status, the United Nations General Assembly voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. On 26 February 2024, the Palestinian government collapsed, with the entire Palestinian government resigning, including the prime minister. (Full article...)

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A display of Hebron glass at a shop in Hebron.

Hebron glass (Arabic: زجاج الخليل, zajaj al-Khalili or azaz al-Khalili) refers to glass produced in Hebron as part of a flourishing art industry established in the city during Roman rule in Palestine. Hebron's Old City still contains a quarter named the "Glass-Blower Quarter" and Hebron glass continues to serve as a tourist attraction for the city. Traditionally, the glass was melted using local raw materials, including sand from neighbouring villages, sodium carbonate (from the Dead Sea), and coloring additives such as iron oxide and copper oxide. Nowadays, recycled glass is often used instead. Glass production in Hebron is a family trade, the secrets of which have been preserved and passed down by a few Palestinian families who operate the glass factories located just outside the city. The products made include glass jewellery, such as beads, bracelets, and rings, as well as stained glass windows, and glass lamps. However, due to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, glass production has suffered a decline.

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Jerusalem Railway Station, 1900
Jerusalem Railway Station, 1900
Credit: American Colony; Restoration: Michel Vuijlsteke

The Jerusalem Railway Station c. 1900. The locomotive on the turntable is "Ramleh" (J&J No. 3), a Baldwin 2-6-0. The station was the terminus of the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway until its closure in 1998. Today, the station is abandoned and suffering from neglect and vandalism, although it is one of 110 buildings selected for preservation in Jerusalem.

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Sir Charles Burnett in RAF full dress

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Both the Germans and the Zionists wanted as many Jews as possible to move to Palestine. The Germans preferred to have them out of Western Europe, and the Zionists themselves wanted the Jews in Palestine to outnumber the Arabs as quickly as possible. (...) In both cases, the purpose was a kind of 'ethnic cleansing', that is, a violent change in the ratio of ethnic groups in the population.
Slavoj Žižek, discussing a meeting between Feivel Polkes and Adolf Eichmann

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Muhammad 'Izzat Darwaza (Arabic: محمد عزت دروزة; 1888–1984) was a Palestinian politician, historian, and educator from Nablus. Early in his career, he worked as an Ottoman bureaucrat in Palestine and Lebanon. Darwaza had long been a sympathizer of Arab nationalism and became an activist of that cause following the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1916, joining the nationalist al-Fatat society. As such, he campaigned for the union of Greater Syria (modern-day Levant) and vehemently opposed Zionism and foreign mandates in Arab lands. From 1922 to 1927, he served as an educator and as the principal at the an-Najah National School where he implemented a pro-Arab nationalist educational system, promoting the ideas of Arab independence and unity. Darwaza's particular brand of Arab nationalism was influenced by Islam and his beliefs in Arab unity and the oneness of Arabic culture. Later, Darwaza co-founded the nationalist Istiqlal party in Palestine and was a principal organizer of anti-British demonstrations. In 1937, he was exiled to Damascus as a result of his activities and from there he helped support the Arab revolt in the British Mandate of Palestine. He was incarcerated in Damascus by French authorities for his involvement in the revolt, and while in prison he began to study the Qur'an and its interpretations. In 1945, after he was released, Darwaza eventually compiled his own interpretation entitled al-Tafsir al-Hadith. In 1946, he joined the Arab Higher Committee led by Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, but resigned the next year after being disenfranchised by al-Husayni's methods. He left for Syria afterward and briefly aided in the unity talks between Syria and Egypt in the mid-1950s. By the time of his death in 1984, Darwaza had written over thirty books and published numerous articles on the Palestinian question, Arab history, and Islam.

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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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