Biblical Canaan : Region, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea: Since the beginning of the 20th century it has been the object of conflicting claims by Jewish and Arab national movements. The region is sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Settled since early prehistoric times, mainly by Semitic groups, it was occupied in biblical times by the kingdoms of Israel, Judah, and Judaea. It was subsequently held by virtually every power of the Middle East, including the Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, and Ottomans. It was governed by Britain under a League of Nations mandate from the end of World War I (1914-1918) until 1948, when based on Nazi Germany's Holocaust in Europe, Palestinians were expelled from their homeland and the State of Israel was founded. (Wikipedia) - Palestine This article is about the historical geographic region. For the sovereign state (country), see State of Palestine. For the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, see Palestinian territories. For other uses, see Palestine (disambiguation). Boundaries of Roman Syria Palaestina, where dashed green line shows the boundary between Byzantine Palaestina Prima (later Jund Filastin) and Palaestina Secunda (later Jund al-Urdunn), as well as Palaestina Salutaris (later Jebel et-Tih and the Jifar) Borders of Mandatory Palestine Borders of the State of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza Strip)
Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn, Falasṭīn, Filisṭīn; Greek: Παλαιστίνη, Palaistinē; Latin: Palaestina; Hebrew: פלשתינה Palestina) is a geographic region in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is sometimes considered to include adjoining territories. The name was used by Ancient Greek writers, and was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima and the Umayyad and Abbasid province of Jund Filastin. The region is also known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ־ישראל Eretz-Yisra''el), the Holy Land or Promised Land, and historically has been known as the Southern portion of wider regional designations such as the Levant, Canaan, Syria and as-Sham.
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, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. The modern definition of the region was fixed in the North and East by the 1920-23 Paulet–Newcombe Agreement and British Mandate for Palestine, and on the South by the 1906 Turco-Egyptian boundary agreement. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Contents
Etymology Further information: Timeline of the name "Palestine"
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Overview
- 2.2 Ancient period
- 2.3 Classical antiquity
- 2.4 Middle Ages
- 2.5 Modern period
- 3 Boundaries
- 4 Demographics
- 4.1 Early demographics
- 4.2 Late Ottoman and British Mandate periods
- 4.3 Current demographics
- 5 Modern politics
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
- 8.1 Works written or compiled since 1945
- 8.2 Works written before 1918
- 9 Further reading
- 9.1 External links
- 9.2 Maps
The term Peleset (transliterated from hieroglyphs as P-r-s-t) is found in numerous Egyptian documents referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt. The first mention is thought to be in texts of the temple at Medinet Habu, which record a people called the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III''s reign, followed later by an inscription on Padiiset''s Statue. The Assyrians called the same region Palashtu or Pilistu, beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to emperor Sargon II, in his Annals approximately a century later.
The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece. Herodotus wrote of a ''district of Syria, called Palaistinê in The Histories, the first historical work clearly defining the region, which included the Judaean Mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley. and formed part of the 5th Persian satrapy (νομός). Approximately a century later, Aristotle used a similar definition in Meteorology, writing "Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake (λίμνη) in Palestine, such that if you bind a man or beast and throw it in it floats and does not sink, this would bear out what we have said. They say that this lake is so bitter and salt that no fish live in it and that if you soak clothes in it and shake them it cleans them," understood by scholars to be a reference to the Dead Sea. Later writers such as Polemon, and Pausanias also used the term to refer to the same region. This usage was followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Tibullus, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Statius, as well as Roman-era Greek writers such as Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom and Roman-era Judean writers such as Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. Other writers, such as Strabo, a prominent Roman-era Greek geographer, referred to the region as Coele-Syria around 10–20 CE, and the Gospel of Matthew''s description of the Flight into Egypt refers to the region as "the land of Israel" , the only time in the New Testament such a reference is made. The term was first used to denote an official province of the Roman Empire in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and other surrounding cities such as Ashkelon to form Syria Palaestina. There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, although the precise date is not certain, and the interpretation of some scholars that the name change may have been intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed.
The Hebrew name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth) – usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible more than 250 times. The Greek word Palaistinē (Παλαιστίνη, Palaistine) is generally accepted to be a translation of the Semitic name for Philistia; however another term – land of the Philistieim (γῆ τῶν Φυλιστιεἰμ, transliteration from Hebrew ארץ פלשתים ''Eretz Pəlishtím, land of the Philistines) – was used in the Septuagint, the second century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, to refer to Philistia. In the Torah / Pentateuch, the term Philistia is used 10 times and its boundaries are undefined. The later Historical books (see Deuteronomistic history) include most of the biblical references, almost 200 of which are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel; in these cases, the word refers to the lands around the several Philistine city-states along the Mediterranean coast, west of the Judean mountains, from Gaza in the south to Ekron in the north.
During the Byzantine period, the entire region (Syria Palestine, Samaria, and the Galilee) was named Palaestina, subdivided into provinces Palaestina I and II. The Byzantines also renamed an area of land including the Negev, Sinai, and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III. The Arabic word for Palestine is فلسطين (commonly transcribed in English as Filistin, Filastin, or Falastin). Moshe Sharon writes that when the Arabs took over Greater Syria in the 7th century, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration before them, generally continued to be used. Hence, he traces the emergence of the Arabic form Filastin to this adoption, with Arabic inflection, of Roman and Hebrew (Semitic) names. The use of the name "Palestine" in English became more common after the European renaissance. It was officially revived by the British after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and applied to the territory that was placed under the Palestine Mandate.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Greater Israel, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Judea, Israel, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael or Ha''aretz), Zion, Retenu (Ancient Egyptian), Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. History Main article: History of Palestine Further information: Time periods in the region of Palestine Overview
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, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and modern Israelis and Palestinians. Modern archaeologists and historians of the region refer to their field of study as Syro-Palestinian archaeology.
Ancient periodDepiction of Biblical Palestine in c. 1020 BCE according to George Adam Smith''s 1915 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land. Smith''s book was used as a reference by Lloyd George during the negotiations for the British Mandate for Palestine.
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 1550–1400 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 Philistines arrived and mingled with the local population, and according to Biblical tradition, the United Kingdom of Israel was established in 1020 BCE and separated within a century to form the northern Kingdom of Israel, and the southern Kingdom of Judah. Modern archaeologists dispute parts of the Biblical tradition, the latest thinking being that 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.
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 local leaders of the region of Judea were deported to Babylonia. 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 Judea was allowed to return to Jerusalem. Classical antiquityHerod''s Temple in Jerusalem functioned as the spiritual center of Judaism until it was destroyed in 70CE
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. 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. 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 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. Middle AgesThe Dome of the Rock, the world''s first great work of Islamic architecture, constructed in 691.Minaret of the White Mosque in Ramla, constructed in 1318Arab architecture in the Middle Ages
Palestine was conquered by the Islamic Empire, beginning in 634 CE. In 636 CE, the Battle of Yarmouk during the Muslim conquest of Syria marked the new Muslim hegemony over the region, which was classified as Bilâd al-Shâm (Greater Syria). The majority of the population was Christian and was to remain so until the conquest of Saladin in 1187. The invasion appears to have had little impact on social and administrative continuities for several decades. 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, were called Nabaț, referring to Aramaic-speaking villagers. An ḥadīth, brought in the name of a Muslim freedman who settled in Palestine ordered them not to settle in the villages, for he who abides in villages it is as if he abides in graves.'' In 661 CE, with the assassination of Ali, Muawiyah I became the uncontested 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 Umayyads, who had spurred a strong economic resurgence in the area, were replaced by the Abbasids in 750. Ramla, the major city, became the administrative centre for the following centuries. 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, characterized by persecution of Christians as the threat from Byzantium grew. The Fatimids, with a predominantly Berber army, invaded 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.The 12th-century Crusader fortress in Acre
In 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. Their control of Jerusalem and most of Palestine lasted almost a century until defeat by Saladin''s forces in 1187, after which most of Palestine was controlled by the Ayyubids. A rump crusader state in the northern coastal cities survived for another century, but, despite seven further crusades, the crusaders were no longer a significant power in the region. The Fourth Crusade 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. In 1486, hostilities broke out between the Mamluks and the Ottoman Turks in a battle for control over western Asia, and the Ottomans captured Palestine in 1516. Modern periodThe new era in Palestine. The arrival of Herbert Samuel as the first High Commissioner for Palestine in 1920. Samuel had promoted Zionism within the British Cabinet, beginning with his 1915 memorandum entitled The Future of Palestine. Beside him are Lawrence of Arabia, Emir Abdullah, Air Marshal Salmond and Wyndham Deedes.Further information: History of Zionism and History of IsraelPalestine passport and Palestine coin from Mandatory Palestine
In 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali''s invasion, the Ottoman 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 Syria (bilad al-Shams). According to Pappe, it was an attempt to reinforce the Syrian front in face of Muhammad Ali''s invasion. Two years later, in 1832, Palestine was conquered by Muhammad Ali''s Egypt, but in 1840, Britain intervened and returned control of the Levant to the Ottomans in return for further capitulations. The end of the 19th century saw the beginning of Zionist immigration and the Revival of the Hebrew language. The movement was publicly supported by Great Britain during World War I with the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
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 a resolution 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, and the establishment of the State of Israel was declared in 1948.
Following what is known as the 1948 Palestinian exodus, the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were driven from their homes were unable to return following the Lausanne Conference of 1949. In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Israel captured and incorporated a further 26% of the Mandate territory, Jordan captured the region today known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was captured by Egypt. 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 Israeli settlements. 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. In 2000, the Second or Al-Aqsa Intifada began, and Israel built a security barrier. Following Israel''s unilateral disengagement plan of 2004, it withdrew all settlers and most of the military presence from the Gaza strip, but maintained control of the air space and coast. In 2012, the State of Palestine replaced the PLO as UN observer following United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19.Evolution of Mandate Palestine and modern Palestinian Territories1916–22 Proposals: Three proposals for the post World War I administration of Palestine. The red line is the "International Administration" proposed in the 1916 Sykes–Picot Agreement, the dashed blue line is the 1919 Zionist Organization proposal at the Paris Peace Conference, and the thin blue line refers to the final borders of the 1923–48 Mandatory Palestine.1947 (Actual): Mandatory Palestine, showing Jewish-owned regions in Palestine as of 1947 in blue, constituting 6% of the total land area, of which more than half was held by the JNF and PICA. The Jewish population had increased from 83,790 in 1922 to 608,000 in 1946.1947 (Proposal): Proposal per the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine (UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (II), 1947), prior to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The proposal included a Corpus Separatum for Jerusalem, extraterritorial crossroads between the non-contiguous areas, and Jaffa as an Arab exclave.1948–67 (Actual): The Jordanian occupied West Bank and Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip (note the dotted lines between the territories and Jordan / Egypt), after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, showing 1949 armistice lines.1993–Present: Extant region administered by the Palestinian National Authority (under Oslo 2).BoundariesSatellite image of the region of Palestine, 2003.
The boundaries of Palestine have varied throughout history. 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 ninth century was attached to the administrative unit of Jund Filasteen (Arabic: جند فلسطين).
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 part of British Mandate Palestine was in 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. On the basis of a League of Nations mandate, the British administered Palestine after World War I, promising to establish a Jewish homeland.
The Palestinian National Charter describe the boundaries of the "homeland of the Arab Palestinian people" as those of Mandate Palestine, that is, excluding the Transjordan. Demographics Main article: Demographics of Palestine Early demographics
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.
According to Magen Broshi, an Israeli archaeologist "... the population of Palestine in antiquity did not exceed a million persons. It can also be shown, moreover, that this was more or less the size of the population in the peak period—the late Byzantine period, around AD 600" Similarly, a study by Yigal Shiloh of The Hebrew University suggests that the population of Palestine in the Iron Age could have never exceeded a million. He writes: "... the population of the country in the Roman-Byzantine period greatly exceeded that in the Iron Age... If we accept Broshi''s population estimates, which appear to be confirmed by the results of recent research, it follows that the estimates for the population during the Iron Age must be set at a lower figure." Late Ottoman and British Mandate periods
In the middle of the 1st century of the Ottoman rule, i.e. 1550 AD, Bernard Lewis in a study of Ottoman registers of the early Ottoman Rule of Palestine reports:
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.
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 stated that there were 700,000 people living in Palestine:
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. —
By 1948, the population had risen to 1,900,000, of whom 68% were Arabs, and 32% were Jews (UNSCOP report, including bedouin). Current demographics See also: Demographics of Israel, Demographics of the Palestinian territories and Demographics of Jordan
According to Israel''s Central Bureau of Statistics, as of May 2006, of Israel''s 7 million people, 77% were Jews, 18.5% Arabs, and 4.3% "others". Among Jews, 68% were Sabras (Israeli-born), mostly second- or third-generation Israelis, and the rest are olim (immigrants) — 22% from Europe,the former Soviet republics, Russia, and the Americas, and 10% from Asia and Africa, including the Arab countries.
Of Israel''s 7 million citizens, 516,569 Jewish ones live in enclaves referred to as Israeli settlements and outposts in various lands adjacent to the state of Israel occupied by Israel during the Six Day War.
According to Palestinian evaluations, the West Bank is inhabited by approximately 2.4 million Palestinians and the Gaza Strip by another 1.4 million. According to a study presented at The Sixth Herzliya Conference on The Balance of Israel''s National Security, there are 1.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank. This study was criticised by demographer Sergio DellaPergola, who estimated 3.33 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip combined at the end of 2005. The Israeli Civil Administration put the number of Palestinians in the West Bank at 2,657,029 as of May 2012.
According to these Israeli and Palestinian estimates, the total population in Israel and the Palestinian territories stands between 9.8 and 10.8 million.
Jordan has a population of around 6,000,000 (2007 estimate). Long term Palestinian war refugees constitute approximately half of this number.
A report was released by the UN in August 2012 and Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory, explained at the launch of the publication: “Gaza will have half a million more people by 2020 while its economy will grow only slowly. In consequence, the people of Gaza will have an even harder time getting enough drinking water and electricity, or sending their children to school”. Gaylard present alongside Jean Gough, of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Robert Turner, of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The report projects that Gaza’s population will increase from 1.6 million people to 2.1 million people in 2020, leading to a density of more than 5,800 people per square kilometre. Modern politics Main articles: Palestinian people, Palestinian territories, State of Palestine and Palestinian National AuthorityThe region of Palestine gave its name to the historical mandate region, the State of Palestine as declared in 1988 and the areas of modern Palestinian government control.
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.
However, since the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the term State of Palestine refers only to the West Bank and Gaza. This discrepancy was described by 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.