Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn, Falasṭīn, Filisṭīn; Greek: Παλαιστίνη, Palaistinē; Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: פלשתינה Palestina) is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan.
The name was used by ancient Greek writers, and it was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, and the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin. The region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ־ישראל Eretz-Yisra'el), the Holy Land or Promised Land. Historically, it has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, Syria, ash-Sham, and the Levant.
Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites and Judeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Achaemenids, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Romans, Parthians, Sasanians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Mongols, Ottomans, the British, and modern Israelis, Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians.
The name is found throughout recorded history. Examples shown above are (1) Pomponius Mela (Latin, c.43 CE); (2) Notitia Dignitatum (Latin, c.410 CE); (3) Tabula Rogeriana (Arabic, 1154 CE); (4) Cedid Atlas (Ottoman Turkish, 1803 CE)
Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording likely cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth. The term "Peleset" (transliterated from hieroglyphs as P-r-s-t) is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, and the last known is 300 years later on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term.[i]
The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" (Ancient Greek: Συρίη ἡ Παλαιστίνη καλεομένη) in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.[ii] Approximately a century later, Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Later Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias also used the term to refer to the same region, which was followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Tibullus, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Statius, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. The term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed.
The term is generally accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth, usually transliterated as Philistia). The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, and almost 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel. The term is rarely used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim (Γῆ τῶν Φυλιστιείμ) different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē (Παλαιστίνη).
The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" (άλλόφυλοι, "other nations") throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson, Saul and David, and Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis.
During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, and an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration generally continued to be used in Arabic. The use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem[iii] and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael or Ha'aretz),[iv] the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Judea, Coele-Syria,[v] "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Zion, Retenu (Ancient Egyptian), Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina.
Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Achaemenids, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Parthians, Sasanians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Mongols, Ottomans, the British, and modern Israelis and Palestinians. Modern archaeologists and historians of the region refer to their field of study as Levantine archaeology.
The region was among the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities and civilization. During the Bronze Age, independent Canaanite city-states were established, and were influenced by the surrounding civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Minoan Crete, and Syria. Between 1550 and 1400 BCE, the Canaanite cities became vassals to the Egyptian New Kingdom who held power until the 1178 BCE Battle of Djahy (Canaan) during the wider Bronze Age collapse. The Israelites emerged from a dramatic social transformation that took place in the people of the central hill country of Canaan around 1200 BCE, with no signs of violent invasion or even of peaceful infiltration of a clearly defined ethnic group from elsewhere.
During the Iron Age the Israelites established two related kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The Kingdom of Israel emerged as an important local power by the 10th century BCE before falling to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE. Israel's southern neighbor, the Kingdom of Judah, emerged in the 8th or 9th century BCE and later became a client state of first the Neo-Assyrian and then the Neo-Babylonian Empire before a revolt against the latter led to its destruction in 586 BCE.
The region became part of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from c. 740 BCE, which was itself replaced by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in c. 627 BCE. According to the Bible, a war with Egypt culminated in 586 BCE when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II and the king and upper class of the Kingdom of Judah were deported to Babylon. In 539 BCE, the Babylonian empire was replaced by the Achaemenid Empire. According to the Bible and implications from the Cyrus Cylinder, the exiled population of Judah was allowed to return to Jerusalem. Southern Palestine became a province of the Achaemenid Empire, called Idumea, and the evidence from ostraca suggests that a Nabataean-type society, since the Idumeans appear to be connected to the Nabataeans, took shape in southern Palestine in the 4th century B.C.E., and that the Qedarite Arab kingdom penetrated throughout this area through the period of Persian and Hellenistic dominion.
In the 330s BCE, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the region, which changed hands several times during the wars of the Diadochi and later Syrian Wars. It ultimately fell to the Seleucid Empire between 219–200 BCE. In 116 BCE, a Seleucid civil war resulted in the independence of certain regions including the Hasmonean principality in the Judaean Mountains. From 110 BCE, the Hasmoneans extended their authority over much of Palestine, creating a Judaean–Samaritan–Idumaean–Ituraean–Galilean alliance. The Judaean (Jewish, see Ioudaioi) control over the wider region resulted in it also becoming known as Judaea, a term that had previously only referred to the smaller region of the Judaean Mountains. Between 73–63 BCE, the Roman Republic extended its influence into the region in the Third Mithridatic War, conquering Judea in 63 BCE, and splitting the former Hasmonean Kingdom into five districts. In around 40 BCE, the Parthians conquered Palestine, deposed the Roman ally Hyrcanus II, and installed a puppet ruler of the Hasmonean line known as Antigonus II. By 37 BCE, the Parthians withdrew from Palestine. The three-year Ministry of Jesus, culminating in his crucifixion, is estimated to have occurred from 28–30 CE, although the historicity of Jesus is disputed by a minority of scholars.[vi] In 70 CE, Titus sacked Jerusalem, resulting in the dispersal of the city's Jews and Christians to Yavne and Pella. In 132 CE, Hadrian joined the province of Iudaea with Galilee and the Paralia to form new province of Syria Palaestina, and Jerusalem was renamed "Aelia Capitolina". Between 259–272, the region fell under the rule of Odaenathus as King of the Palmyrene Empire. Following the victory of Christian emperor Constantine in the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy, the Christianization of the Roman Empire began, and in 326, Constantine's mother Saint Helena visited Jerusalem and began the construction of churches and shrines. Palestine became a center of Christianity, attracting numerous monks and religious scholars. The Samaritan Revolts during this period caused their near extinction. In 614 CE, Palestine was annexed by another Persian dynasty; the Sassanids, until returning to Byzantine control in 628 CE.
Palestine was conquered by the Islamic Caliphate, beginning in 634 CE. In 636, the Battle of Yarmouk during the Muslim conquest of the Levant marked the start of Muslim hegemony over the region, which became known as Jund Filastin within the province of Bilâd al-Shâm (Greater Syria). In 661, with the Assassination of Ali, Muawiyah I became the Caliph of the Islamic world after being crowned in Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock, completed in 691, was the world's first great work of Islamic architecture.
The majority of the population was Christian and was to remain so until the conquest of Saladin in 1187. The Muslim conquest apparently had little impact on social and administrative continuities for several decades.[vii] The word 'Arab' at the time referred predominantly to Bedouin nomads, though Arab settlement is attested in the Judean highlands and near Jerusalem by the 5th century, and some tribes had converted to Christianity. The local population engaged in farming, which was considered demeaning, and were called Nabaț, referring to Aramaic-speaking villagers. A ḥadīth, brought in the name of a Muslim freedman who settled in Palestine, ordered the Muslim Arabs not to settle in the villages, "for he who abides in villages it is as if he abides in graves".
The Umayyads, who had spurred a strong economic resurgence in the area, were replaced by the Abbasids in 750. Ramla became the administrative centre for the following centuries, while Tiberias became a thriving centre of Muslim scholarship. From 878, Palestine was ruled from Egypt by semi-autonomous rulers for almost a century, beginning with the Turkish freeman Ahmad ibn Tulun, for whom both Jews and Christians prayed when he lay dying and ending with the Ikhshidid rulers. Reverence for Jerusalem increased during this period, with many of the Egyptian rulers choosing to be buried there. However, the later period became characterized by persecution of Christians as the threat from Byzantium grew. The Fatimids, with a predominantly Berber army, conquered the region in 970, a date that marks the beginning of a period of unceasing warfare between numerous enemies, which destroyed Palestine, and in particular devastating its Jewish population. Between 1071 and 1073, Palestine was captured by the Great Seljuq Empire, only to be recaptured by the Fatimids in 1098, who then lost the region to the Crusaders in 1099. The latter set up the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099–1291). Their control of Jerusalem and most of Palestine lasted almost a century until their defeat by Saladin's forces in 1187, after which most of Palestine was controlled by the Ayyubids, except for the years 1229–1244 when Jerusalem and other areas were retaken by the Acre-based Kingdom of Jerusalem (1191-1291), but, despite seven further crusades, the Crusaders were no longer a significant power in the region. The Fourth Crusade, which did not reach Palestine, led directly to the decline of the Byzantine Empire, dramatically reducing Christian influence throughout the region.
The Mamluk Sultanate was indirectly created in Egypt as a result of the Seventh Crusade. The Mongol Empire reached Palestine for the first time in 1260, beginning with the Mongol raids into Palestine under Nestorian Christian general Kitbuqa, and reaching an apex at the pivotal Battle of Ain Jalut, where they were routed by the Mamluks.
In 1486, hostilities broke out between the Mamluks and the Ottoman Empire in a battle for control over western Asia, and the Ottomans conquered Palestine in 1516. Between the mid-16th and 17th centuries, a close-knit alliance of three local dynasties, the Ridwans of Gaza, the Turabays of al-Lajjun and the Farrukhs of Nablus, governed Palestine on behalf of the Porte (imperial Ottoman government).
In the 18th century, the Zaydani clan under the leadership of Zahir al-Umar ruled large parts of Palestine autonomously until the Ottomans were able to defeat them in their Galilee strongholds in 1775–76. Zahir had turned the port city of Acre into a major regional power, partly fueled by his monopolization of the cotton and olive oil trade from Palestine to Europe. Acre's regional dominance was further elevated under Zahir's successor Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar at the expense of Damascus.
In 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali's invasion, the Porte transferred control of the sanjaks of Jerusalem and Nablus to Abdullah Pasha, the governor of Acre. According to Silverburg, in regional and cultural terms this move was important for creating an Arab Palestine detached from greater Syria (bilad al-Sham). According to Pappe, it was an attempt to reinforce the Syrian front in face of Muhammad Ali's invasion. Two years later, Palestine was conquered by Muhammad Ali's Egypt, but Egyptian rule was challenged in 1834 by a countrywide popular uprising against conscription and other measures considered intrusive by the population. Its suppression devastated many of Palestine's villages and major towns.
In 1840, Britain intervened and returned control of the Levant to the Ottomans in return for further capitulations. The death of Aqil Agha marked the last local challenge to Ottoman centralization in Palestine, and beginning in the 1860s, Palestine underwent an acceleration in its socio-economic development, due to its incorporation into the global, and particularly European, economic pattern of growth. The beneficiaries of this process were Arabic-speaking Muslims and Christians who emerged as a new layer within the Arab elite. From 1880 large-scale Jewish immigration began, almost entirely from Europe, based on an explicitly Zionist ideology. There was also a revival of the Hebrew language and culture.
Christian Zionism in the United Kingdom preceded its spread within the Jewish community. The government of Great Britain publicly supported it during World War I with the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
Palestine passport and Palestine coin. The Mandatory authorities agreed a compromise position regarding the Hebrew name: in English and Arabic the name was simply "Palestine" ("فلسطين"), but the Hebrew version "(פלשתינה)" also included the acronym "(א״י)" for Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel).
The British began their Sinai and Palestine Campaign in 1915. The war reached southern Palestine in 1917, progressing to Gaza and around Jerusalem by the end of the year. The British secured Jerusalem in December 1917. They moved into the Jordan valley in 1918 and a campaign by the Entente into northern Palestine led to victory at Megiddo in September.
The British were formally awarded the mandate to govern the region in 1922. The non-Jewish Palestinians revolted in 1920, 1929, and 1936. In 1947, following World War II and The Holocaust, the British Government announced its desire to terminate the Mandate, and the United Nations General Assembly adopted in November 1947 a Resolution 181(II) recommending partition into an Arab state, a Jewish state and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. The Jewish leadership accepted the proposal, but the Arab Higher Committee rejected it; a civil war began immediately after the Resolution's adoption. The State of Israel was declared in May 1948.
In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Israel captured and incorporated a further 26% of the Mandate territory, Jordan captured the region of Judea and Samaria, renaming it the "West Bank", while the Gaza Strip was captured by Egypt. Following the 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as al-Nakba, the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were driven from their homes were not allowed to return following the Lausanne Conference of 1949.
In the course of the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the rest of Mandate Palestine from Jordan and Egypt, and began a policy of establishing Jewish settlements in those territories. From 1987 to 1993, the First Palestinian Intifada against Israel took place, which included the Declaration of the State of Palestine in 1988 and ended with the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords and the creation of the Palestinian National Authority.
In 2000, the Second Intifada (also called al-Aqsa Intifada) began, and Israel built a separation barrier. In the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza, Israel withdrew all settlers and military presence from the Gaza Strip, but maintained military control of numerous aspects of the territory including its borders, air space and coast. Israel's ongoing military occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues to be the world's longest military occupation in modern times.[viii][ix]
The boundaries of Palestine have varied throughout history.[xi][xii] The Jordan Rift Valley (comprising Wadi Arabah, the Dead Sea and River Jordan) has at times formed a political and administrative frontier, even within empires that have controlled both territories. At other times, such as during certain periods during the Hasmonean and Crusader states for example, as well as during the biblical period, territories on both sides of the river formed part of the same administrative unit. During the Arab Caliphate period, parts of southern Lebanon and the northern highland areas of Palestine and Jordan were administered as Jund al-Urdun, while the southern parts of the latter two formed part of Jund Dimashq, which during the 9th century was attached to the administrative unit of Jund Filastin.
The boundaries of the area and the ethnic nature of the people referred to by Herodotus in the 5th century BCE as Palaestina vary according to context. Sometimes, he uses it to refer to the coast north of Mount Carmel. Elsewhere, distinguishing the Syrians in Palestine from the Phoenicians, he refers to their land as extending down all the coast from Phoenicia to Egypt. Pliny, writing in Latin in the 1st century CE, describes a region of Syria that was "formerly called Palaestina" among the areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Since the Byzantine Period, the Byzantine borders of Palaestina (I and II, also known as Palaestina Prima, "First Palestine", and Palaestina Secunda, "Second Palestine"), have served as a name for the geographic area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Under Arab rule, Filastin (or Jund Filastin) was used administratively to refer to what was under the Byzantines Palaestina Secunda (comprising Judaea and Samaria), while Palaestina Prima (comprising the Galilee region) was renamed Urdunn ("Jordan" or Jund al-Urdunn).
Nineteenth-century sources refer to Palestine as extending from the sea to the caravan route, presumably the Hejaz-Damascus route east of the Jordan River valley. Others refer to it as extending from the sea to the desert. Prior to the Allied Powers victory in World War I and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, which created the British mandate in the Levant, most of the northern area of what is today Jordan formed part of the Ottoman Vilayet of Damascus (Syria), while the southern part of Jordan was part of the Vilayet of Hejaz. What later became Mandatory Palestine was in late Ottoman times divided between the Vilayet of Beirut (Lebanon) and the Sanjak of Jerusalem. The Zionist Organization provided its definition of the boundaries of Palestine in a statement to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
The British administered Mandatory Palestine after World War I, having promised to establish a homeland for the Jewish people. The modern definition of the region follows the boundaries of that entity, which were fixed in the North and East in 1920–23 by the British Mandate for Palestine (including the Transjordan memorandum) and the Paulet–Newcombe Agreement, and on the South by following the 1906 Turco-Egyptian boundary agreement.
The region of Palestine is the eponym for the Palestinian people and the culture of Palestine, both of which are defined as relating to the whole historical region, usually defined as the localities within the border of Mandatory Palestine. The 1968 Palestinian National Covenant described Palestine as the "homeland of the Arab Palestinian people", with "the boundaries it had during the British Mandate".
However, since the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the term State of Palestine refers only to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This discrepancy was described by the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as a negotiated concession in a September 2011 speech to the United Nations: "... we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967."
The term Palestine is also sometimes used in a limited sense to refer to the parts of the Palestinian territories currently under the administrative control of the Palestinian National Authority, a quasi-governmental entity which governs parts of the State of Palestine under the terms of the Oslo Accords.[xiii]
|First half 1st century CE||Majority||–||–||~2,500|
|5th century||Minority||Majority||–||>1st C|
|End 12th century||Minority||Minority||Majority||>225|
|14th century before Black Death||Minority||Minority||Majority||225|
|14th century after Black Death||Minority||Minority||Majority||150|
|Historical population table compiled by Sergio DellaPergola. Figures in thousands.|
Estimating the population of Palestine in antiquity relies on two methods – censuses and writings made at the times, and the scientific method based on excavations and statistical methods that consider the number of settlements at the particular age, area of each settlement, density factor for each settlement.
The Bar Kokhba revolt in the 2nd century CE saw a major shift in the population of Palestine. The sheer scale and scope of the overall destruction has been described by Dio Cassius in his Roman History, where he notes that Roman war operations in the country had left some 580,000 Jews dead, with many more dying of hunger and disease, while 50 of their most important outposts and 985 of their most famous villages were razed to the ground. "Thus," writes Dio Cassius, "nearly the whole of Judaea was made desolate."
According to Israeli archaeologists Magen Broshi and Yigal Shiloh, the population of ancient Palestine did not exceed one million. By 300 CE, Christianity had spread so significantly that Jews comprised only a quarter of the population.
[T]he first half century of Ottoman rule brought a sharp increase in population. The towns grew rapidly, villages became larger and more numerous, and there was an extensive development of agriculture, industry, and trade. The two last were certamly helped to no small extent by the influx of Spanish and other Western Jews.
From the mass of detail in the registers, it is possible to extract something like a general picture of the economic life of the country in that period. Out of a total population of about 300,000 souls, between a fifth and a quarter lived in the six towns of Jerusalem, Gaza, Safed, Nablus, Ramle, and Hebron. The remainder consisted mainly of peasants, living in villages of varying size, and engaged in agriculture. Their main food-crops were wheat and barley in that order, supplemented by leguminous pulses, olives, fruit, and vegetables. In and around most of the towns there was a considerable number of vineyards, orchards, and vegetable gardens.:487
|Historical population table compiled by Sergio DellaPergola. Figures in thousands.|
According to Alexander Scholch, the population of Palestine in 1850 was about 350,000 inhabitants, 30% of whom lived in 13 towns; roughly 85% were Muslims, 11% were Christians and 4% Jews.
According to Ottoman statistics studied by Justin McCarthy, the population of Palestine in the early 19th century was 350,000, in 1860 it was 411,000 and in 1900 about 600,000 of whom 94% were Arabs. In 1914 Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews. McCarthy estimates the non-Jewish population of Palestine at 452,789 in 1882; 737,389 in 1914; 725,507 in 1922; 880,746 in 1931; and 1,339,763 in 1946.
In 1920, the League of Nations' Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine described the 700,000 people living in Palestine as follows:
Of these, 235,000 live in the larger towns, 465,000 in the smaller towns and villages. Four-fifths of the whole population are Moslems. A small proportion of these are Bedouin Arabs; the remainder, although they speak Arabic and are termed Arabs, are largely of mixed race. Some 77,000 of the population are Christians, in large majority belonging to the Orthodox Church, and speaking Arabic. The minority are members of the Latin or of the Uniate Greek Catholic Church, or—a small number—are Protestants.
The Jewish element of the population numbers 76,000. Almost all have entered Palestine during the last 40 years. Prior to 1850, there were in the country only a handful of Jews. In the following 30 years, a few hundreds came to Palestine. Most of them were animated by religious motives; they came to pray and to die in the Holy Land, and to be buried in its soil. After the persecutions in Russia forty years ago, the movement of the Jews to Palestine assumed larger proportions.
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2015, the total population of Israel was 8.5 million people, of which 75% were Jews, 21% Arabs, and 4% "others." Of the Jewish group, 76% were Sabras (born in Israel); the rest were olim (immigrants)—16% from Europe, the former Soviet republics, and the Americas, and 8% from Asia and Africa, including the Arab countries.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics evaluations, in 2015 the Palestinian population of the West Bank was approximately 2.9 million and that of the Gaza Strip was 1.8 million. Gaza's population is expected to increase to 2.1 million people in 2020, leading to a density of more than 5,800 people per square kilometre.
Both Israeli and Palestinian statistics include Arab residents of East Jerusalem in their reports. According to these estimates the total population in the region of Palestine, as defined as Israel and the Palestinian territories, stands approximately 12.8 million.
The World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions is widely used in recording the distribution of plants. The scheme uses the code "PAL" to refer to the region of Palestine – a Level 3 area. The WGSRPD's Palestine is further divided into Israel (PAL-IS), including the Palestinian territories, and Jordan (PAL-JO), so is larger than some other definitions of "Palestine".
Judah's reason(s) for submitting to Assyrian hegemony, at least superficially, require explanation, while at the same time indications of its read-but-disguised resistance to Assyria must be uncovered... The political and military sprawl of the Assyrian empire during the late Iron Age in the southern Levant, especially toward its outer borders, is not quite akin to the single dominating hegemony envisioned by most discussions of hegemony and subversion. In the case of Judah it should be reiterated that Judah was always a vassal state, semi-autonomous and on the periphery of the imperial system, it was never a fully-integrated provincial territory. The implications of this distinction for Judah's relationship with and experience of the Assyrian empire should not be underestimated; studies of the expression of Assyria's cultural and political powers in its provincial territories and vassal states have revealed notable differences in the degree of active involvement in different types of territories. Indeed, the mechanics of the Assyrian empire were hardly designed for direct control over all its vassals' internal activities, provided that a vassal produced the requisite tribute and did not provoke trouble among its neighbors, the level of direct involvement from Assyria remained relatively low. For the entirety of its experience of the Assyrian empire, Judah functioned as a vassal state, rather than a province under direct Assyrian rule, thereby preserving at least a certain degree of autonomy, especially in its internal affairs. Meanwhile, the general atmosphere of Pax Assyriaca in the southern Levant minimized the necessity of (and opportunities for) external conflict. That Assyrians, at least in small numbers, were present in Judah is likely – probably a qipu and his entourage who, if the recent excavators of Ramat Rahel are correct, perhaps resided just outside the capital – but there is far less evidence than is commonly assumed to suggest that these left a direct impression of Assyria on this small vassal state... The point here is that, despite the wider context of Assyria's political and economic power in the ancient Near East in general and the southern Levant in particular, Judah remained a distinguishable and semi-independent southern Levantine state, part of but not subsumed by the Assyrian empire and, indeed, benefitting from it in significant ways.
The desert served as an eastern boundary in times when Transjordan was occupied. But when Transjordan became an unsettled region, a pasturage for desert nomads, then the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea formed the natural eastern boundary of Western Palestine.
Up until this date the Bar Kokhba documents indicate that towns, villages and ports where Jews lived were busy with industry and activity. Afterwards there is an eerie silence, and the archaeological record testifies to little Jewish presence until the Byzantine era, in En Gedi. This picture coheres with what we have already determined in Part I of this study, that the crucial date for what can only be described as genocide, and the devastation of Jews and Judaism within central Judea, was 135 CE and not, as usually assumed, 70 CE, despite the siege of Jerusalem and the Temple's destructionISBN 978-0-19-955448-5
Arab Liberation Front (Arabic: جبهة التحرير العربية Jabhet Al-Tahrir Al-'Arabiyah) is a minor Palestinian political party, previously controlled by the Iraqi-led Ba'ath Party, formed in 1969 by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr and then headed by Saddam Hussein. ALF is a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).As-Sa'iqa
For the Libyan Special Forces see: Al-Saiqa (Libya)
As-Sa'iqa (also transliterated as al-Saika, Saeqa, etc., from Arabic: الصاعقة (lit. storm or thunderbolt (meaning “shock troops”); also known as the Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War) is a Palestinian Ba'athist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria. It is linked to the Palestinian branch of the Syrian-led Ba'ath Party, and is a member of the broader Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), although it is no longer active in the organization. Its Secretary-General is Farhan Abu Al-Hayja and the president of the political wing of the organization is Dr Mohammed Qais.Auja al-Hafir
Auja al-Hafir (Arabic: عوجة الحفير, also Auja), was an ancient road junction close to water wells in the western Negev and eastern Sinai. It was the traditional grazing land of the 'Azazme tribe. The border crossing between Egypt and Ottoman/British Palestine, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Gaza, was situated there. Today it is the site of Nitzana and the Ktzi'ot military base in the Southern District of Israel.Eli Smith
Eli Smith (1801–1857) was an American Protestant Missionary and scholar, born at Northford, Conn. He graduated from Yale in 1821 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1826. He worked in Malta until 1829, then in company with H. G. O. Dwight traveled through Armenia and Georgia to Persia. They published their observations, Missionary Researches in Armenia in 1833 in two volumes. Eli Smith settled in Beirut in 1833.
Along with Edward Robinson, he made two trips to the Holy Land in 1838 and 1852, acting as an interpreter for Robinson in his quest to identify and record biblical place names in Palestine, which was subsequently published in Robinson's Biblical Researches in Palestine.
He is known for bringing the first printing press with Arabic type to Syria. He went on to pursue the task which he considered to be his life's work: translation of the Bible into Arabic. Although he died before completing the task, the work was completed by C. V. Van Dyck of the Syrian Mission and published in 1860 to 1865.
His wife was Hetty Butler Smith, also a missionary. His daughter Mary Elizabeth Smith, was educated at the Female Seminaries in Hartford, Connecticut and Ipswich, Massachusetts and taught at the Female Seminary at Mt. Auburn, Cincinnati. She was listed In the Women's Who's Who of America by John William Leonard 1914-1915.Greater Syria
Greater Syria (Arabic: سُوِرِيَّة الْكُبْرَى, translit. Sūriyyah al-Kubrá), also "Natural Syria" (Arabic: سُوْرِيَّة الطَّبِيْعِيَّة, translit. Sūriyyah aṭ-Ṭabī‘iyyah) or "Northern Country" Arabic: بِلَاد الشَّام, translit. Bilād ash-Shām, is a Levantine region which extends roughly over the medieval Arab Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham. The Hellenistic name of the region, "Syria", was used by the Ottomans in the Syria Vilayet until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The wave of Arab nationalism in the region evolved towards the creation of a new "Great Syria" over French-governed Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, declared as Hashemite Kingdom on March 1920, claiming extent over the entire Levant. Following the Franco-Syrian War, in July 1920, French armies defeated the newly proclaimed Arab Kingdom of Syria and captured Damascus, aborting the Arab state. The area was consequently partitioned under French and British Mandates into Greater Lebanon, various Syrian states, Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. Syrian states were gradually unified as the State of Syria and became the independent Republic of Syria in 1946.Islam in Palestine
Islam is a major religion in Palestine, being the religion of the majority of the Palestinian population. Muslims comprise 80-85% of the population of the West Bank, when including Israeli settlers, and 99% of the population of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Muslims primarily practice Shafi'i Islam, which is a branch of Sunni Islam.Jewish Palestinian Aramaic
Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (abbreviated JPA) was a Western Aramaic language spoken by the Jews during the Classic Era in Judea and the Levant, specifically in Hasmonean, Herodian and Roman Judea and adjacent lands in the late first millennium BCE and later in Syria Palaestina and Palaestina Secunda in the early first millennium CE. A dialect of this language (Galilean Aramaic) was spoken by Jesus. The Son of God Text (4Q246), found in Qumran is written in this language as well.
There were some differences in dialect between Judea and Galilee, and most surviving texts are in the Galilean dialect: Michael Sokoloff has published separate dictionaries of the two dialects.Journal of Palestine Studies
The Journal of Palestine Studies is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal established in 1971. It is published by University of California Press on behalf of the Institute for Palestine Studies. The editor-in-chief is Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University). The journal covers Palestinian affairs and the Arab–Israeli conflict.Judaean Desert
The Judaean Desert or Judean Desert (Hebrew: מִדְבַּר יְהוּדָה Midbar Yehuda, both Desert of Judah or Judaean Desert; Arabic: صحراء يهودا Sahara Yahudan) is a desert in Israel and the West Bank that lies east of Jerusalem and descends to the Dead Sea. It stretches from the northeastern Negev to the east of Beit El, and is marked by natural terraces with escarpments. It ends in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The Judaean Desert is crossed by numerous wadis from northeast to southeast and has many ravines, most of them deep, from 1,200 feet in the west to 600 feet in the east. The Judaean Desert is an area with a special morphological structure along the east of the Judaean Mountains.
It is sometimes known as יְשִׁימוֹן Yeshimon, meaning desert or wildland, or yet Wilderness of Judah or Wilderness of Judaea, among others.List of Palestinian dishes
The following is a list of Palestinian dishes. For the cuisine, see Palestinian cuisine,(Arabic: الطعام الفلسطيني).List of airlines registered with the Palestinian National Authority
This is a list of airlines registered with the Palestinian National Authority.Nabi Rubin
Al-Nabi Rubin (Arabic: النبي روبين, transliteation: an-Nabî Rûbîn) was a Palestinian village in central Palestine region, what is now Israel, located 14.5 kilometers (9.0 mi) west of Ramla, just northeast of Yibna and 18 kilometers (11 mi) south of Jaffa. The village was situated on the southern banks of Wadi al-Sarar, known in Hebrew as Sorek Stream, at an elevation of 25 meters (82 ft) above sea level. Nabi Rubin is named after a shrine in the village, believed by Muslims to be the tomb of Reuben. It was captured by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the inhabitants were expelled.Occupied Enemy Territory Administration
The Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA) was a joint British and French military administration over Levantine and Mesopotamian provinces of the former Ottoman Empire between 1918–20, set up following the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. It was initially set up via the 1918 Anglo–French Modus Vivendi.
The administration ended following the assignment of the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and British Mandate for Palestine at the 19–26 April 1920 San Remo conference.Palestinian
Palestinian is typically referring to a person belonging to the Palestinian people, an Arab ethnonational group defined in the Palestinian National Charter of 1968, also referred to as Palestinians (Arabic: الفلسطينيون, al-Filasṭīniyyūn).
It may also refer to:
Religious groupsPalestinian Muslims, an ethnoreligious group native to the area of Palestine, in the Levant
Palestinian Christians, an ethnoreligious group native to the area of Palestine, in the Levant
Palestinian Jews, an ethnoreligious group native to the area of Palestine, in the LevantCommunities outside the State of PalestinePalestinians in Iraq
Palestinians in Jordan
Palestinians in Lebanon
Palestinians in Syria
Palestinian refugeeGeographic areasState of Palestine, a state in the Middle East
Mandatory Palestine, a British Mandate established from 1920 - 1948Political bodiesAll-Palestine Government, the administration in Gaza from 1948 - 1959
Palestinian Central Council, a policy decision arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an organization founded in 1964 to liberate Palestine
Palestinian National Authority, an interim self-government body administering the Gaza strip from 1994 - 2013
Palestine National Council, the legislative body of the PLO
PLO Executive Committee, the highest executive body of the PLOFor specific persons, see List of PalestiniansPhilistia
Philistia (Hebrew: פלשת, Pleshet) was a geo-political region occupied by the Philistines. Its northern boundary was the Yarkon River with the Mediterranean on its the west, Judah to the east and the Wadi El-Arish to the south. Philistia was comprised ofthe Five Lords of the Philistines, described in Joshua 13:3 and 1 Samuel 6:17, comprising Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza, in the south-western Levant.The Five Lords of the Philistines are described in the Hebrew Bible as being in constant struggle and interaction with the neighbouring Israelites, Canaanites and Egyptians, being gradually absorbed into the Canaanite culture. They ruled major parts of southern Canaan at the peak of its expansion, but were eventually conquered and subdued by neighbouring Israelites.The Philistines were not mentioned following the conquest of the Levant by the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC). Also, until nowadays, historians are arguing the origins of the Philistines and whether they were natives of Ancient Canaan or immigrants from North Africa, Anatolia, or Crete.Targum Neofiti
Targum Neofiti (or Targum Neophyti) is the largest of the Western Targumim on the Torah, or Palestinian Targumim. It consists of 450 folios covering all books of the Torah, with only a few damaged verses.
More than a mere Aramaic translation of the Hebrew text, Neofiti offers lengthy expansions on the biblical text at several places. It is often more expansive than Targum Onkelos, but less so than Targum Pseudo-Jonathan.Timeline of the name "Judea"
This article presents a timeline of the name "Judea" through an incomplete list of notable historical references to the name through the various time periods of the region.Via Maris
Via Maris is the modern name for an ancient trade route, dating from the early Bronze Age, linking Egypt with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia — modern day Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Turkey and Syria. In Latin, Via Maris means "way of the sea." It is a historic road that runs along the Israeli Mediterranean coast. It was the most important route from Egypt to Syria (the Fertile Crescent) which followed the coastal plain before crossing over into the plain of Jezreel and the Jordan valley.
Its earlier name was "Way of the Philistines", a reference to a passageway through the Philistine Plain (which today consists of Israel's southern coastal plain and the Gaza Strip). The name "Via Maris" is not ancient and academic researchers prefer other names, for instance "International Trunk Road".Together with the King's Highway, the Via Maris was one of the major trade routes connecting Egypt and the Levant with Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The Via Maris was crossed by other trading routes, so that one could travel from Africa to Europe or from Asia to Africa. It began in al-Qantara and went east to Pelusium, following the northern coast of Sinai through el-Arish and Rafah. From there it followed the coast of Canaan through Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Joppa, and Dor before turning east again through Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley until it reached Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Again turning northward along the shore, the Via Maris passed through Migdal, Capernaum, and Hazor. From Hazor it crossed the northern River Jordan at Jacob's Daughters' Bridge then climbed sharply over the Golan Heights and wound its way northeast into Damascus. Here travelers could continue on the King's Highway as far as the Euphrates River or proceed northward into Anatolia.