Portal:Palestine

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Coat of Arms of the State of Palestine
Palestinian flag
State of Palestine (including Gaza Strip)
The State of Palestine (Arabic: دولة فلسطين‎‎ Dawlat Filasṭin) is a state that was proclaimed on 15 November 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO's) National Council (PNC) in exile in Algiers, which unilaterally adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. Since November 2012, State of Palestine is a non-member state, having an observer status in the UN, and controlling 40% of the West Bank. Though recognized by more than 130 countries worldwide, it has not yet received a recognition by France, United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

The State of Palestine claims the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, defined according to the pre-1967 borders, and has designated Jerusalem as its capital. Areas constituting the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967. The 1974 Arab League summit designated the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and reaffirmed "their right to establish an independent state of urgency." The PLO held observer status at the United Nations as a "non-state entity" from 22 November 1974, which entitled it to speak in the UN General Assembly but not to vote. After the Declaration of Independence, the UN General Assembly officially "acknowledged" the proclamation and voted to use the designation "Palestine" instead of "Palestine Liberation Organization" when referring to the Palestinian permanent observer. In spite of this decision, the PLO did not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestine's government. On 29 November 2012 the UN General Assembly passed resolution 67/19, upgrading Palestine from an "observer entity" to a "non-member observer state" within the United Nations system, and implicitly recognizing PLO's sovereignty.

In 1993, in the Oslo Accords, Israel acknowledged the PLO negotiating team as "representing the Palestinian people", in return for the PLO recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace, acceptance of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and its rejection of "violence and terrorism". As a result, in 1994 the PLO established the Palestinian National Authority(PNA or PA) territorial administration, that exercises some governmental functions[iii] in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In 2007, the Hamas takeover of Gaza Strip politically and territorially divided the Palestinians, with Abbas's Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority, while Hamas has secured its control over the Gaza Strip. In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of reconciliation, but its implementation has stalled since.

On November 29, 2012, in a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstentions and 5 absences). General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to "non-member observer state" status in the United Nations. The new status equates Palestine's with that of the Holy See; similarly, Switzerland was a non-member observer state for more than 50 years (until 2002). The UN has permitted Palestine to title its representative office to the UN as 'The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations' and Palestine has instructed its diplomats to officially represent 'The State of Palestine', and no longer the 'Palestine National Authority.' On 17 December 2012, UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon declared that 'the designation of "State of Palestine" shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents', thus recognizing the title 'State of Palestine' as the nation's official name for all UN purposes. As of 14 September 2015, 136 (70.5%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognized the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people". The PLO's executive committee is empowered by the PNC to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine.

Historical boundaries of Palestine.svg

Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين‎‎ Filasṭīn, Falasṭīn, Filisṭīn; Greek: Παλαιστίνη, Palaistinē; Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: פלשתינה Palestina) is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. The region is also known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ־ישראל Eretz-Yisra'el) Holy Land and the Southern Levant, and historically has been known by other names including Canaan, Zion, Syria Palaestina, Southern Syria, Jund Filastin and Outremer.

The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history, and were first defined in modern times by the Franco-British boundary agreement (1920) and the Transjordan memorandum of 16 September 1922, during the mandate period. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.

Selected article

View of Bethlehem, 1898

Bethlehem is a city located in the central West Bank and approximately 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David was from and the location where he was crowned as the king of Israel. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has shrunk due to emigration. The city was sacked by the Samaritans in 529, but rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The British wrested control of the city from the Ottomans during World War I and it was to be included in an international zone under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. It was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since 1995, Bethlehem has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority. Bethlehem has a Muslim majority, but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism which peaks during the Christmas season when Christian pilgrims throng to the Church of the Nativity.

Selected picture

Palestinian costume
Credit: American colony photographers (edited by Durova)

A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.

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The airliners on the ground during the PFLP-hosted press conference

Selected quote

Yasser Arafat
Our basic aim is to liberate the land from the Mediterranean Seas to the Jordan River. We are not concerned with what took place in June 1967 or in eliminating the consequences of the June war. The Palestinian revolution's basic concern is the uprooting of the Zionist entity from our land and liberating it.
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Selected biography

Edward Wadie Saïd (Arabic pronunciation: [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd] Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد‎‎, Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was an American-Palestinian literary theorist, and University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He was a founding figure of the critical field of post-colonialism. Saïd was a Palestinian Arab born in Jerusalem (then in the British Mandate of Palestine), and held an American passport through his father who was a Palestinian U.S. citizen with Protestant origins. Said was an advocate for the human rights of the Palestinian people, whom the commentator Robert Fisk described as the Palestinians' most powerful voice. As an influential cultural critic, academic, and writer, Edward Saïd was known best for the book Orientalism (1978), a critical analysis of the ideas that are the bases of Orientalism — the Western study of Eastern cultures. As a public intellectual, he discussed contemporary politics, music, culture, and literature, in lectures, newspaper and magazine articles, and books. Drawing from his family experiences as a Palestinian Christian in the Middle East, at the time of the establishment of Israel (1948), Saïd argued for the establishment of a Palestinian state, equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel — including the right of return — and for increased U.S. political pressure upon Israel to recognize, grant, and respect said rights; he also criticized the political and cultural politics of Arab and Muslim régimes. He received a Western education in the U.S., where he resided from adolescence until his death in 2003; as such, in his memoirs, Out of Place (1999), Saïd applied his dual cultural heritage to narrow the gap of political and cultural understanding between The West and the Middle East, to improve Western understanding of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. His decade-long membership in the Palestinian National Council, and his pro–Palestinian political activism, made him a controversial public intellectual.

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Palestine

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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