Monday, January 8, 2018

State of Palestine

The State of Palestine, دولة فلسطينis the de jure sovereign state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  All of the Palestinian territory combined is a bit smaller than Delaware and it is all located in Israel.  The West Bank borders Jordan and the Gaza Strip borders Egypt.

Along with the Vatican, Palestine is recognised by the United Nations as a non-member observer state.

Palestine is home to over 4,5 million people.  It's administrative centre is in Ramallah but its capital is East Jerusalem which was annexed by Israel in 1980.  East Jerusalem has 456,000 people of which about 60% are Palestinian and 40% are Israeli.

Arabic is the official language.  As it doesn't have a currency of its own, people rely on the Israeli shekel, Jordanian dinar and Egyptian pound.

There has never been a country called Palestine.  The area was ruled for centuries by the Ottoman Empire and after WWI, the League of Nations placed the area under British mandate.

In 1947, the United Nations recommended the British Mandate for Palestine be divided to create two countries - Israel and Palestine.  The Jews accepted the recommendation but the Arabs didn't.  On 14 May 1948, the Israeli State was proclaimed and the very next day the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq all invaded.  Israel won and ended up claiming more land.

I'm planning on another trip to Israel in February.  Hopefully, there won't be any rocket attacks coming out of the Gaza Strip like last time.  On one of the days I hope to enter the West Bank and visit Bethlehem.

Here are a couple of short videos I found out on YouTube that gives a bit more background.

©Test Tube News
©Test Tube News

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