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Palestine is a name sometimes given to part of the land that generally comprises the Promised Land given to the Israelites / Jews in the Bible. Though historically Jews did reside there, it is not directly associated with the Jewish promise, as it is a geopolitical designation more than a religious one. Palestine was a later name for the province of Judea in the Roman Empire, who ruled the Jewish people at that time.
After the Romans renamed Israel as Syria Palestina in 132-135 CE, Palestine (from Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: פלשת Pleshet, פלשתינה Palestina; Arabic: فلسطين Filastīn, Falastīn) is one of many names for the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. Many different definitions of the region have been in usage in the past three thousand years.
- Main Article: History of Israel
Originally inhabited by a loose bonding of Canaanite tribes, the Israelites settled into the area after the Exodus from Egypt and were partially succesful in driving out the Canannites and making it their home. Migrations from the 'Peoples of the Sea' led to a strong Phillistine presence on the coastline, but they were generally subdued by King David and Solomon during the height of ancient Israel. The kingdom was subsequently divided into the Northern Kingdom and Judea upon the death of Solomon. The Northern Kingdom, and the remenants of the Philistine kingdoms, were conqured by the Assyrians in the late 8th century B.C. and the kingdom of Judea fell under Babylonian control in the late 7th century and lost their independence completely in 586 B.C. with the fall of Jerusalem, their capital. The Jews were allowed to return under the Persian Empire and the entire area was conqured by Alexander the Great around 330 B.C. When his empire broke apart at his death and consolidated into four different regions, it was the Ptolemies centered in Egypt who controlled the region for the better part of the next two centuries, but conquest by the Seleucids led to a harsh religious persecution on the Jews in the region. The Jews revolted and had their independence for almost 100 years before a civil war courted Roman intervention and the area came under Roman control and eventually became the province of Palestine. Byzantine rule was forcefully removed by the great Islamic waves of the 7th century A.D. Portions of Palestine were reclaimed under Crusader control from the late 11th century until the mid 13th century, but the overall region was under Islamic control for over 1000 years.
The breakup of the Ottoman Empire after their defeat in World War I saw the region come under the control of Great Britain. While there was always a Jewish remnant who never left, Jewish re-emigration to the area increased under the tolerant eyes of the British. This increased after the atrocities of World War II and the areas were given their independence with Palestine being divided into separate Jewish and Arab nations, the Jewish nation being called Israel and the Arab Palestine. A war broke out in which the Jews expanded their borders and the Arab nation of Palestine was absorbed by Jordan. Hostility between the Arabs and Jews continued and in 1967 Israel conquered the West Bank from Jordan, taking the bulk of the Jewish land that had been the "Palestinian state". UN resolution 242 called for the Israeli removal from that land, but it did not occur. Attempts to hold Israel accountable were vetoed in the Security Council by the United States. Although the land was part of Jordan, Jordan relinquished its rights in the 1980s telling the Israelis to speak with the Palestinian Arabs directly.
The Palestinian Intifada from the late 1980s tried to regain Arab control of the West Bank region of Israel. While first clamping down harshly, Israel did sign an accord to grant the Palestinian Arabs autonomy in the West Band and the Gaza Strip, but not full independence. The borders of a future Palestinian state has been a stumbling block to a final solution with the Arabs wanting to control all of the area captured in the 1967 War and Israel claiming part of the land for the Jewish people. A continuing series of violent actions on the part of the Palestinian Arabs and an inability to find a comprise has prevented any type of permanent solution. The short term solution is bleak. With Hamas having the majority of the control in the Palestinian legislature, a terrorist entity that does not even recognize Israel's right to exist in its own land (seeks to ethnic cleanse all Jews in the area and create a radical oppressive Islamic state, its head in Damascus Osama Hamdan supports Ahmadinejad's genocide call to "wipe off Israel off map"  and Hamas Cleric Muhsen Abu 'Ita said: "The Annihilation of the Jews in Palestine is One of The Most Splendid Blessings for Palestine", the government of Israel has refused to talk further.
Culture of Palestine
The dialect of Palestinian Arabs and their culture is essentially the same as that of Jordanian Arabs. The flag of the Palestinians is also almost identical to the Jordanians. To this day the second biggest concentration of Palestinian Arabs is in Jordan, partly due to their fleeing of Israel during the 1948 and 1967 wars.
- ↑ http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early_palestine_name_origin.php
- ↑ http://www.peacefaq.com/palestinians.html
- ↑ http://www.meforum.org/article/522
- ↑ http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/osama_hamdan0807e.htm
- ↑ http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD208708
- Wikipedia article about the State of Palestine.
- Wikitravel article about the Palestinian Territories.
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