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Palestine (Arabic: فلسطينFilasṭīn), recognized officially as the State of Palestine[i] (Arabic: دولة فلسطينDawlat Filasṭīn) by the United Nations and other entities, is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt) with East Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah.[ii] The entirety of territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied since 1948, first by Egypt and Jordan and then by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestine has a population of 5,051,953 as of February 2020, ranked 121st in the world.

After World War II, in 1947, the UN adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. After the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate on the next day and fought the Israeli forces. Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan. Though jurisdiction of the 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 (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria in June 1967 following the Six-Day War.

On 15 November 1988, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be ruled by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

The State of Palestine is recognized by 138 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations. Palestine is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies. Read more...

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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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View of Bethlehem, 1898
Credit: NicFer

Beit Sahour (lit. Place of the Night Watch) is a Palestinian town east of Bethlehem under the administration of the Palestinian National Authority. The population of 12,367, is Christian and Muslim.

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A display of Hebron glass at a shop in Hebron.

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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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Yasser Arafat in 1999
Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATES FOR 1994 IN OSLO. (cropped).jpg

Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini (/ˈærəfæt/ ARR-ə-fat, also US: /ˈɑːrəfɑːt/ AR-ə-FAHT; Arabic: محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني‎‎; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yasser Arafat (Arabic: ياسر عرفات‎, romanizedYāsir ʿArafāt) or by his kunya Abu Ammar (Arabic: أبو عمار‎, romanized: ʾAbū ʿAmmār), was a Palestinian political leader. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1969 to 2004 and President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) from 1994 to 2004. Ideologically an Arab nationalist, he was a founding member of the Fatah political party, which he led from 1959 until 2004.

Arafat was born to Palestinian parents in Cairo, Egypt, where he spent most of his youth and studied at the University of King Fuad I. While a student, he embraced Arab nationalist and anti-Zionist ideas. Opposed to the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, he fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Returning to Cairo, he served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956. In the latter part of the 1950s he co-founded Fatah, a paramilitary organisation seeking the disestablishment of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state. Fatah operated within several Arab countries, from where it launched attacks on Israeli targets. In the latter part of the 1960s Arafat's profile grew; in 1967 he joined the PLO and in 1969 was elected chair of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). Fatah's growing presence in Jordan resulted in military clashes with King Hussein's Jordanian government and in the early 1970s it relocated to Lebanon. There, Fatah assisted the Lebanese National Movement during the Lebanese Civil War and continued its attacks on Israel, resulting in it becoming a major target of Israel's 1978 and 1982 invasions. Read more...

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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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