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Palestine ( ar, فلسطين , , ; el, Παλαιστίνη, ''Palaistinē''; la, Palaestina; he, פלשתינה ''Palestina'') is a geographic region in
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
usually considered to include
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
, the
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
, and in some definitions, parts of western
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
. The name was used by
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
writers, and it was later used for the Roman province
Syria Palaestina Syria Palaestina (literally, "Palestinian Syria";Trevor Bryce, 2009, ''The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia''Roland de Vaux, 1978, ''The Early History of Israel'', Page 2: "After the revolt of Bar Cochba in A. ...
, the Byzantine
Palaestina Prima Palæstina Prima or Palaestina I was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ...
, and the Islamic provincial district of
Jund Filastin Jund Filasṭīn ( ar, جُنْد فِلَسْطِيْن, "the jund, military district of Palestine (region), Palestine") was one of the military districts of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid province of Bilad al-Sham ...
. The region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...

Land of Israel
( he, ארץ־ישראל ''Eretz-Yisra'el''), the
Holy Land The Holy Land (: , la, Terra Sancta; : or ) is an area roughly located between the and the Eastern Bank of the . Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical and with the . The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory ro ...

Holy Land
or
Promised Land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litter ...
, and represents the southern portion of wider regional designations such as
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
,
ash-Sham The region of Syria ( ar, ٱلشَّام, '; Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία), known in modern literature as Greater Syria (, '), "Syria-Palestine", or the Levant, is an area in Western Asia east of the Mediterranean Sea. The re ...
, and the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
. Located at the junction of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
, and
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
, and being the birthplace of
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, the region has a tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. It has been controlled by numerous peoples, including
Ancient Egyptians Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to descri ...
,
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ites,
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
and
Judeans Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is the ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it' ...
,
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
,
Babylonians Babylonia () was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ...
,
Achaemenids The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offic ...

Achaemenids
,
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, the
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...

Jewish
Hasmonean Kingdom The Hasmonean dynasty ( audio
; he, חַשְׁמוֹנַּאִים, ''Ḥašmona'īm'') was a ruling ...

Hasmonean Kingdom
,
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
,
ParthiansParthian may be: Historical * A demonym "of Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ...

Parthians
,
Sasanians The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imper ...

Sasanians
,
Byzantines
Byzantines
, the Arab
Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and executi ...
,
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
,
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasid
and
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s,
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
,
Ayyubids The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; Kurdish: ئەیووبیەکان Eyûbiyan) was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوس ...

Ayyubids
,
Mamluks Mamluk (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Stre ...
,
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
,
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
, the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
, and modern
Israelis Israelis ( he, ישראלים, translit=Yiśraʾelim, ar, الإسرائيليين, translit=al-ʾIsrāʾīliyyin) are the citizens and nationals of the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...

Israelis
, Jordanians,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
and
Palestinians The Palestinian people ( ar, الشعب الفلسطيني, ''ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī''), also referred to as Palestinians ( ar, الفلسطينيون, links=no, ''al-Filasṭīniyyūn''; he, פָלַסְטִינִים) or Palestinian A ...
. The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the politically defined region comprises the states of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
and
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
(i.e. the
Palestinian territories The term "Palestinian territories" has been used for many years to describe the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 within the former Mandatory Palestine, British Mandate for Palestine, namely the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and t ...

Palestinian territories
).


History of the name

Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording likely cognates of Hebrew ''Pelesheth''. The term "Peleset" (
transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or symbols, or that repertoire * Script (styles of ha ...
from
hieroglyphs A hieroglyph (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million ...
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#REDIRECT Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt 20 (twenty; Roman numeral XX) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is ...
. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
in
Ramesses III Usermaatre Meryamun Ramesses III (also written Ramses and Rameses) was the second Pharaoh of the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt, Twentieth Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. He is thought to have reigned from 26 March 1186 to 15 April 1155 BC and is considered ...
's reign, and the last known is 300 years later on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with
Adad-nirari III Adad-nirari III (also Adad-narari) was a King of Assyria from 811 to 783 BC. Family Adad-nirari was a son and predecessor of king Shamshi-Adad V, and was apparently quite young at the time of his accession, because for the first five years of his ...
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. The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
was in 5th century BCE
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
, when
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
wrote of a "district of Syria, called ''Palaistinê''" ( grc, Συρίη ἡ Παλαιστίνη καλεομένη) in '' The Histories'', which included the
Judean mountains The Judaean Mountains, or Judaean Hills ( he, הרי יהודה ''Harei Yehuda'', ar, جبال الخليل ''Jibal Al Khalil'' (lit. "Hebron Mountains")), is a mountain range in Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْ ...

Judean mountains
and the
Jordan Rift Valley The Jordan Rift Valley, also Jordan Valley ( he, בִּקְעָת הַיַרְדֵּן Bik'at HaYarden, ar, الغور Al-Ghor or Al-Ghawr), also called the Syro-African Depression, is an elongated Depression (geology), depression located in mo ...
. Approximately a century later,
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
used a similar definition for the region in ''
Meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the f ...
'', in which he included the
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت , lit. ''the Dead Sea'',The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot") is a ...

Dead Sea
. Later Greek writers such as Polemon and
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
also used the term to refer to the same region, which was followed by Roman writers such as
Ovid Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom ...

Ovid
,
Tibullus Albius Tibullus ( BC19 BC) was a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

Tibullus
,
Pomponius Mela Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer ;Pre-Hellenistic Classical Greece *Homer *Anaximander *Hecataeus of Miletus *Massaliote Periplus *Scylax of Caryanda (6th century BC) *Herodotus ;Hellenistic period *Pyt ...
,
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
,
Dio Chrysostom Dio Chrysostom (; el, wikt:Δίων, Δίων Χρυσόστομος ''Dion Chrysostomos''), Dion of Prusa or Dio Cocceianus (c. 40 – c. 115 AD), was a Greece, Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the 1st centu ...
,
Statius Publius Papinius Statius (; ) was a Roman poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience. ...
,
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
as well as Roman Judean writers
Philo of Alexandria Philo of Alexandria (; grc, Φίλων, Phílōn; he, , Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the ...
and
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
. The term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the , following the suppression of the
Bar Kokhba Revolt The Bar Kokhba revolt ( he, מֶרֶד בַּר כּוֹכְבָא, links=no; ''Mered Bar Kokhba'') was a rebellion of the Jews of the , led by , against the . Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major , so it is also known as T ...
, combined
Iudaea Province Judaea ( la, Iudaea; el, Ἰουδαία ) was a Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under th ...
with
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
and the Paralia to form "
Syria Palaestina Syria Palaestina (literally, "Palestinian Syria";Trevor Bryce, 2009, ''The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia''Roland de Vaux, 1978, ''The Early History of Israel'', Page 2: "After the revolt of Bar Cochba in A. ...
". There is
circumstantial evidence Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—such as a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need f ...

circumstantial evidence
linking
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

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 cognate of the biblical name ''Peleshet'' ( ''Pəlésheth'', usually transliterated as
Philistia Philistia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek langua ...
). The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in
Masoretic The Masoretic Text (MT or 𝕸; he, נוסח המסורה, Nusakh Ham'mas'sora) is the authoritative Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic text of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh in Rabbinic Judaism. The Masoretic ...
-derived versions of the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
, of which 10 uses are in the
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
, with undefined boundaries, and almost 200 of the remaining references are in the
Book of Judges The Book of Judges (, ') is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language ...
and the
Books of Samuel The Book of Samuel is a book in the Hebrew Bible and two books (1 Samuel and 2 Samuel) in the Christian Old Testament. The book is part of the narrative history of Ancient Israel called the Deuteronomistic history, a series of books (Book of Joshu ...
.Robinson, 1865, p.15: "Palestine, or Palestina, now the most common name for the Holy Land, occurs three times in the English version of the Old Testament; and is there put for the
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
name פלשת, elsewhere rendered Philistia. As thus used, it refers strictly and only to the country of the
Philistines The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of th ...
, in the southwest corner of the land. So, too, in the Greek form, Παλαςτίνη, it is used by
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Roman Jews, Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for ''The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Judea (Roman province), Roman ...

Josephus
. But both Josephus and
Philo Philo of Alexandria (; grc, Φίλων, Phílōn; he, , Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is t ...

Philo
apply the name to the whole land of the Hebrews ; and Greek and Roman writers employed it in the like extent."
Lewis, 1993, p. 153. The term is rarely used in the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
, 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,: "Our names 'Philistia' and 'Philistines' are unfortunate obfuscations, first introduced by the translators of the LXX and made definitive by Jerome's Vg. When turning a Hebrew text into Greek, the translators of the LXX might simply—as Josephus was later to do—have Hellenized the Hebrew פְּלִשְׁתִּים as Παλαιστίνοι, and the toponym פְּלִשְׁתִּ as Παλαιστίνη. Instead, they avoided the toponym altogether, turning it into an ethnonym. As for the ethnonym, they chose sometimes to transliterate it (incorrectly aspirating the initial letter, perhaps to compensate for their inability to aspirate the sigma) as φυλιστιιμ, a word that looked exotic rather than familiar, and more often to translate it as άλλόφυλοι. Jerome followed the LXX's lead in eradicating the names, 'Palestine' and 'Palestinians', from his Old Testament, a practice adopted in most modern translations of the Bible." 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,: "The LXX's regular translation of פְּלִשְׁתִּים into άλλόφυλοι is significant here. Not a proper name at all, allophyloi is a generic term, meaning something like 'people of other stock'. If we assume, as I think we must, that with their word allophyloi the translators of the LXX tried to convey in Greek what p'lištîm had conveyed in Hebrew, we must conclude that for the worshippers of Yahweh p'lištîm and b'nê yiśrā'ēl were mutually exclusive terms, p'lištîm (or allophyloi) being tantamount to 'non-Judaeans of the Promised Land' when used in a context of the third century BCE, and to 'non-Israelites of the Promised Land' when used in a context of Samson, Saul and David. Unlike an ethnonym, the noun פְּלִשְׁתִּים normally appeared without a definite article." and Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the
Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis,, "''Bərēšīṯ''", "In hebeginning" the first book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including th ...

Book of Genesis
. During the
Byzantine period The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...

Byzantine period
, the region of Palestine within
Syria Palaestina Syria Palaestina (literally, "Palestinian Syria";Trevor Bryce, 2009, ''The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia''Roland de Vaux, 1978, ''The Early History of Israel'', Page 2: "After the revolt of Bar Cochba in A. ...
was subdivided into
Palaestina Prima Palæstina Prima or Palaestina I was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ...
and Secunda, and an area of land including the
Negev The Negev or Negeb (; he, הַנֶּגֶב; ar, ٱلنَّقَب ') is a desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in th ...

Negev
and became
Palaestina Salutaris Palaestina Salutaris or Palaestina Tertia was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Midd ...
. Following the
Muslim conquest The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأن ...
,
place names Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of '' toponyms'' (proper names A proper noun is a noun A noun (from Latin ''nōmen'', literally ''name'') is a word that functio ...
that were in use by the Byzantine administration generally continued to be used in Arabic.Marshall Cavendish, 2007, p. 559. The use of the name "Palestine" became common in
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or EME) is the stage of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient th ...
, was used in English and Arabic during the
Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem The Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem ( ota, مُتَصَرِّف قدسی مُتَصَرِّفلغ, ; ar, متصرفية القدس الشريف, ), also known as the Sanjak of Jerusalem, was an Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic ma ...
and was revived as an official place name with the
British Mandate for Palestine The Mandate for Palestine was a League of Nations mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I World War I or the First Wo ...
. Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
,
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical ...

Land of Israel
(Eretz Yisrael or Ha'aretz), the
Promised Land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litter ...
,
Greater Syria The historic region of Syria ( ar, الـشَّـام, ash-Shām, Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία; in modern literature called Greater Syria, Syria-Palestine, or the Levant) is an area located east of the Mediterranean sea. ...
, the
Holy Land The Holy Land (: , la, Terra Sancta; : or ) is an area roughly located between the and the Eastern Bank of the . Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical and with the . The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory ro ...

Holy Land
,
Iudaea Province Judaea ( la, Iudaea; el, Ἰουδαία ) was a Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under th ...
,
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judea
,
Coele-Syria Coele-Syria (, also spelt Coele Syria, Coelesyria, Celesyria) alternatively Coelo-Syria or Coelosyria (; grc-gre, Κοίλη Συρία, ''Koílē Syría'', 'Hollow Syria'; lat, Cœlē Syria or ), was a region of Syria Syria ( ar, ...
, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel,
Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middl ...
,
Zion Zion ( he, צִיּוֹן ''Ṣīyyōn'', , also variously ''Sion'', ''Tzion'', ''Tsion'', ''Tsiyyon'') is a placename in the used as a synonym for as well as for the as a whole (see ). The name is found in (5:7), one of the books of the ...

Zion
, ''
Retenu Retjenu ('' rṯnw; Reṯenu, Retenu''), was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). ...
'' (Ancient Egyptian),
Southern Syria Southern Syria (سوريا الجنوبية, ''Suriyya al-Janubiyya'') is the southern part of the Syria region, roughly corresponding to the Southern Levant. Typically it refers chronologically and geographically to the southern part of Ottoman ...

Southern Syria
,
Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the envir ...

Southern Levant
and
Syria Palaestina Syria Palaestina (literally, "Palestinian Syria";Trevor Bryce, 2009, ''The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia''Roland de Vaux, 1978, ''The Early History of Israel'', Page 2: "After the revolt of Bar Cochba in A. ...
.


History


Overview

Situated at a strategic location between
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
and
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
, and the birthplace of
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

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 Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to descri ...
,
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ites,
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
,
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
,
Babylonians Babylonia () was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ...
,
Achaemenids The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offic ...

Achaemenids
,
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
,
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
,
ParthiansParthian may be: Historical * A demonym "of Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ...

Parthians
,
Sasanians The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imper ...

Sasanians
, , the Arab
Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and executi ...
,
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
,
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...

Abbasid
and
Fatimid The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Ismaili Shia Ismāʿīlism ( ar, الإسماعيلية, ''al-ʾIsmāʿīlīyah''; fa, اسماعیلیان, ''E ...

Fatimid
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s,
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
,
Ayyubids The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; Kurdish: ئەیووبیەکان Eyûbiyan) was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوس ...

Ayyubids
,
Mamluks Mamluk (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Stre ...
,
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
,
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
, the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
, and modern
Israelis Israelis ( he, ישראלים, translit=Yiśraʾelim, ar, الإسرائيليين, translit=al-ʾIsrāʾīliyyin) are the citizens and nationals of the State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...

Israelis
and
Palestinians The Palestinian people ( ar, الشعب الفلسطيني, ''ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī''), also referred to as Palestinians ( ar, الفلسطينيون, links=no, ''al-Filasṭīniyyūn''; he, פָלַסְטִינִים) or Palestinian A ...
.


Ancient period

The region was among the earliest in the world to see human habitation, agricultural communities and
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
. During the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
, independent
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ite city-states were established, and were influenced by the surrounding civilizations of ancient Egypt,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
,
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
,
Minoan The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 3000 BC to c. 1450 BC and, after a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC, during the early Greek Da ...
Crete, and Syria. Between 1550 and 1400 BCE, the Canaanite cities became vassals to the Egyptian
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
who held power until the 1178 BCE Battle of Djahy (Canaan) during the wider
Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
. 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 Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...
and
Judah Judah may refer to: Historical ethnic, political and geographic terms The name was passed on, successively, from the biblical figure of Judah, to the Israelite tribe; its territorial allotment and the Israelite kingdom emerging from it, with the ...
. The Kingdom of Israel emerged as an important local power by the 10th century BCE before falling to the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disam ...

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 The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

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 Nebuchadnezzar II (Babylonian cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until ...
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 The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
. According to the Bible and implications from the
Cyrus Cylinder The Cyrus Cylinder or Cyrus Charter is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several pieces, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian language, Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of Persia's Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid king Cyrus the ...

Cyrus Cylinder
, the exiled population of Judah was allowed to return to Jerusalem. Southern Palestine became a province of the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

Achaemenid Empire
, called
Idumea Edom (; Edomite language, Edomite: ; he, Wiktionary:אדום, אֱדוֹם , lit.: "red"; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan (region), Transjordan located between Mo ...

Idumea
, and the evidence from
ostraca , an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens ...
suggests that a
Nabataean The Nabataeans, also Nabateans (; Nabataean Aramaic Nabataean Aramaic was the Western Aramaic The Western Aramaic languages represent a specific group of Aramaic languages, once spoken widely throughout the ancient Levant The Levant ...
-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.


Classical antiquity

In the 330s BCE, Macedonian ruler
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
conquered the region, which changed hands several times during the
wars of the Diadochi The Wars of the Diadochi ( grc, Πόλεμοι τῶν Διαδὀχων, '), or Wars of Alexander's Successors, were a series of conflicts that were fought between the generals (Diadochi) of Alexander the Great. They disputed over the rule of h ...
and later
Syrian Wars The Syrian Wars were a series of six wars between the Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Any ...
. It ultimately fell to the
Seleucid Empire The Seleucid Empire (; grc, Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, ''Basileía tōn Seleukidōn'') was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), off ...
between 219 and 200 BCE. In 116 BCE, a Seleucid civil war resulted in the independence of certain regions including the principality in the
Judaean Mountains The Judaean Mountains, or Judaean Hills ( he, הרי יהודה ''Harei Yehuda'') or the Hebron Mountains ( ar, جبال الخليل ''Jibal Al Khalil'' (lit. "The Khalil Mountains")), is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountai ...
. From 110 BCE, the Hasmoneans extended their authority over much of Palestine, creating a
Judaea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judaea
n–
Samaritan Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites of historical History of ancient Israel a ...

Samaritan
IdumaeanIturaean
Galilean Generically, a Galilean (; he, גלילי; grc, Γαλιλαίων; la, Galilaeos) is an inhabitant of Galilee, a region of Israel surrounding the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret).The New Testament notes that the Apostle Saint Peter, Peter's accent ...
alliance. The Judaean (Jewish, see
Ioudaioi ''Ioudaios'' ( grc, Ἰουδαῖος; pl. ''Ioudaioi''). is an Ancient Greek ethnonym An ethnonym (from the el, ἔθνος, ''éthnos'', "nation" and , ''ónoma'', "name") is a name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided ...
) control over the wider region resulted in it also becoming known as
Judaea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judaea
, a term that had previously only referred to the smaller region of the Judaean Mountains. Between 73 and 63 BCE, the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
extended its influence into the region in the
Third Mithridatic War The Third Mithridatic War (73–63 BC), the last and longest of the three Mithridatic Wars The Mithridatic Wars were three conflicts fought by Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...
, conquering Judea in 63 BCE, and splitting the former Hasmonean Kingdom into five districts. In around 40 BCE, the
ParthiansParthian may be: Historical * A demonym "of Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ...

Parthians
conquered Palestine, deposed the Roman ally
Hyrcanus II John Hyrcanus II (, ''Yohanan Hurqanos'') (died 30 BCE), a member of the Hasmonean dynasty, was for a long time the Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an i ...

Hyrcanus II
, and installed a puppet ruler of the Hasmonean line known as . By 37 BCE, the Parthians withdrew from Palestine. The three-year
Ministry of Jesus In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan by John the Baptist, and ends in Jerusalem in Christianity, Jerusalem, following the Last Supper ...
, culminating in his
crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the ...
, is estimated to have occurred from 28 to 30 CE, although the
historicity of Jesus The question of the historicity of Jesus is part of the study of the historical Jesus The term "historical Jesus" refers to the reconstruction of the life and teachings of Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Y ...
is disputed by a minority of scholars. Palestine is generally considered the "cradle of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
". In 70 CE,
Titus Titus Caesar Vespasianus ( ; 30 December 39 – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thro ...

Titus
sacked Jerusalem, resulting in the dispersal of the city's Jews and Christians to
Yavne Yavne ( he, יַבְנֶה) or Yavneh is a city in the Central District (Israel), Central District of Israel. In many English translations of the Bible, it is known as Jabneh . During Greco-Roman times, it was known as Jamnia ( grc, Ἰαμνία ...
and
Pella Pella ( el, Πέλλα) is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia Central Macedonia ( el, Κεντρική Μακεδονία, Kentrikí Makedonía, ) is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, consisting of the central ...
. In 132 CE,
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

Hadrian
joined the province of Iudaea with
Galilee Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
and the Paralia to form new province of
Syria Palaestina Syria Palaestina (literally, "Palestinian Syria";Trevor Bryce, 2009, ''The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia''Roland de Vaux, 1978, ''The Early History of Israel'', Page 2: "After the revolt of Bar Cochba in A. ...
, and Jerusalem was renamed "
Aelia Capitolina Aelia Capitolina (Traditional English Pronunciation: ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Thr ...
". Between 259 and 272, the region fell under the rule of
Odaenathus Septimius Odaenathus ( Palmyrene: ; ar, أذينة ; 220 – 267) was the founder king ( ''Mlk'') of the Palmyrene Kingdom who ruled from Palmyra Palmyra (; Palmyrene dialect, Palmyrene: ''Tadmor''; ar, تَدْمُر ''Tadmur'') is a ...
as King of the
Palmyrene Empire The Palmyrene Empire was a short-lived breakaway state from the Roman Empire resulting from the Crisis of the Third Century. Named after its capital city, Palmyra, it encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Arabia Petraea, and Egypt ...

Palmyrene Empire
. Following the victory of Christian emperor
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
in the
Civil wars of the Tetrarchy The Civil wars of the Tetrarchy were a series of conflicts between the co-emperors of the Roman Empire, starting in 306 AD with the usurpation of Maxentius and the defeat of Severus and ending with the defeat of Licinius at the hands of Constan ...
, the Christianization of the Roman Empire began, and in 326, Constantine's mother
Saint Helena Saint Helena () is a British possession in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island west of the coast of south-western Africa, and east of Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ;), or simply Rio, is the List of larges ...
visited
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

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 The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, '), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last before the in the mid-7th century AD. Named after the , it endured for over four centuri ...
, until returning to Byzantine control in 628 CE.


Early Muslim period

Palestine was conquered by the
Islamic Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad a ...
, beginning in 634 CE. In 636, the
Battle of Yarmouk The Battle of the Yarmuk (also spelled Yarmouk) was a major battle between the army of the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim forces of the Rashidun Caliphate. The battle consisted of a series of engagements that lasted for six days in August 636, ne ...

Battle of Yarmouk
during the
Muslim conquest of the Levant The Muslim conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ الْإٍسْـلَامِيُّ لِـلـشَّـامِ, ''Al-Fatḥ ul-Islāmiyyu lish-Shām''), also known as the Arab conquest of the Levant ( ar, اَلْـفَـتْـحُ ...
marked the start of Muslim hegemony over the region, which became known as
Jund Filastin Jund Filasṭīn ( ar, جُنْد فِلَسْطِيْن, "the jund, military district of Palestine (region), Palestine") was one of the military districts of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid province of Bilad al-Sham ...
within the province of Bilâd al-Shâm (Greater Syria). In 661, with the
Assassination of Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Rashidun caliph and first Shia Imam was assassinated by a '' Kharijite'' called Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Amr ibn Muljam al-Muradi on 26 January 661, at the Great Mosque of Kufa, Great Mosque of Kufah in present-day ...
,
Muawiyah I Mu'awiya I ( ar, معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Muʿāwiya ibn Abī Sufyān; –April 680) was the founder and first caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name ...
became the Caliph of the Islamic world after being crowned in Jerusalem. The
Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock ( ar, قبة الصخرة, Qubbat aṣ-Ṣakhra) is an Islam, Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City (Jerusalem), Old City of Jerusalem. Its initial construction was undertaken by the Umayyad Caliphate o ...

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. 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 Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
-speaking villagers. A , 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 The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads () were the ruling family of the Muslim Umayyad Caliphate, caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Al-Andalus, Islamic Iberia in Europe between 7 ...
, who had spurred a strong economic resurgence in the area, were replaced by the
Abbasids The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office governing a territory under I ...

Abbasids
in 750.
Ramla Ramla ( he, רַמְלָה, ''Ramla''; ar, الرملة, ''ar-Ramlah''), also spelled Ramle, Ramlah, Remle and historically sometimes Rama, is a city in the Central District (Israel), Central District of Israel. Ramla was founded in the earl ...

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 Ahmad ibn Tulun ( ar, أحمد بن طولون, translit=Aḥmad ibn Ṭūlūn; ca. 20 September 835 – 10 May 884) was the founder of the Tulunid The Tulunids (), were a mamluk List of Turkic dynasties and countries, dynasty of Turkic origin ...

Ahmad ibn Tulun
, for whom both Jews and Christians prayed when he lay dying and ending with the
Ikhshidid The Ikhshidid dynasty () was a mamluk Mamluk (Arabic: ''mamlūk'' (singular), ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated literally as "thing possessed", meaning " slave", also transliterated as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke'', ''mameluk'', ''m ...
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 The Fatimid Caliphate ( ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْفَاطِمِيَّة , al-Ḫilāfa al-Fāṭimiyya) was an Isma'ilism, Ismaili Shia caliphate of the 10th to the 12th centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it range ...

Fatimids
, with a predominantly
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

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 The Great Seljuk Empire or the Seljuk Empire, was a high medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark A ...
, only to be recaptured by the Fatimids in 1098.


Crusader/Ayyubid period

The Fatimids again lost the region to the
Crusaders The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
in
1099 Year 1099 ( MXCIX) was a common year starting on Saturday A common year starting on Saturday is any non-leap year A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or wikt:bissextile, bissextile year) is a calendar year that contains an addition ...
. The Crusaders set up the
Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middl ...
(1099–1291). Their control of Jerusalem and most of Palestine lasted almost a century until their defeat by
Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ku, سەلاحەدینی ئەییووبی, Selahedînê Eyûbî; ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوسف بن أيوب, an-Nāṣir Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb; 11374 March 1193), better k ...

Saladin
's forces in 1187, after which most of Palestine was controlled by the
Ayyubids The Ayyubid dynasty ( ar, الأيوبيون '; Kurdish: ئەیووبیەکان Eyûbiyan) was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub ( ar, الناصر صلاح الدين يوس ...

Ayyubids
, except for the years 1229–1244 when Jerusalem and other areas were retaken by the Second Kingdom of Jerusalem, by then ruled from Acre, Israel, Acre (1191–1291), but, despite seven further crusades, the Franks 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.


Mamluk period

The Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk Sultanate was created in Egypt as an indirect 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 pushed back by the Mamluks.


Ottoman period

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 Ridwan dynasty, Ridwans of Gaza City, Gaza, the Al-Lajjun#Early rule and the Tarabay family, Turabays of al-Lajjun and the Farrukh Pasha#Legacy, Farrukhs of Nablus, governed Palestine on behalf of the Sublime Porte, Porte (imperial Ottoman government). In the 18th century, the al-Zayadina, 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 Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
strongholds in 1775–76. Zahir had turned the port city of Acre, Israel, 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 Jazzar Pasha, Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar at the expense of Damascus. In 1830, on the eve of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Muhammad Ali's invasion, the Porte transferred control of the sanjaks of Jerusalem and Nablus to Abdullah Pasha ibn Ali, 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 Peasants' Revolt of 1834 (Palestine), 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 of the Ottoman Empire, 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, 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.


British mandate and partition

The British began their Sinai and Palestine Campaign in 1915. The war reached Sinai and Palestine Campaign#Southern Palestine Campaign begins, southern Palestine in 1917, progressing to Gaza and around Sinai and Palestine Campaign#Jerusalem Campaign November–December 1917, Jerusalem by the end of the year. The British Battle of Jerusalem (1917), secured Jerusalem in December 1917. They moved into the Jordan valley British occupation of the Jordan Valley, in 1918 and a campaign by the Entente into northern Palestine led to victory at Battle of Megiddo (1918), Megiddo in September. The British were formally awarded Mandatory Palestine, the mandate to govern the region in 1922. The non-Jewish Palestinians revolted in 1920 Nebi Musa riots, 1920, 1929 Palestine riots, 1929, and 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, 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 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, 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 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, civil war began immediately after the Resolution's adoption. The State of Israel was Israeli Declaration of Independence, declared in May 1948.


Post–1948

In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Israel captured and incorporated a further 26% of the Mandate territory, Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, Jordan captured the region of
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrolog ...

Judea
and Samaria, renaming it the "
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
", while the
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
was Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt, 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 Prevention of Infiltration Law, 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 Israeli settlement, Jewish settlements in those Palestinian territories, territories. From 1987 to 1993, the First Intifada, 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 Israeli West Bank barrier, 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 List of military occupations, longest military occupation in modern times. In November 2012, the status of Palestinian delegation in the United Nations was upgraded to United Nations General Assembly observers#Non-member observers, non-member observer state as the State of Palestine.


Boundaries


Pre-modern

The boundaries of Palestine have varied throughout history. The
Jordan Rift Valley The Jordan Rift Valley, also Jordan Valley ( he, בִּקְעָת הַיַרְדֵּן Bik'at HaYarden, ar, الغور Al-Ghor or Al-Ghawr), also called the Syro-African Depression, is an elongated Depression (geology), depression located in mo ...
(comprising Wadi Arabah, the
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت , lit. ''the Dead Sea'',The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot") is a ...

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 and Kingdom of Jerusalem, Crusader states for example, as well as during the Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy), biblical period, territories on both sides of the river formed part of the same administrative unit. During the Arab people, Arab Caliphate period, parts of southern Lebanon and the northern highland areas of Palestine and Jordan were administered as ''Jund al-Urdunn, 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 Jund Filasṭīn ( ar, جُنْد فِلَسْطِيْن, "the jund, military district of Palestine (region), Palestine") was one of the military districts of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid province of Bilad al-Sham ...
''. The boundaries of the area and the ethnic nature of the people referred to by
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
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 the Elder, Pliny, writing in Latin language, 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 Galilee (; he, הַגָּלִיל, ha-galil; ar, الجليل, al-jalīl) is a region located in northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (, ; , ) and Lower Galil ...

Galilee
region) was renamed ''Urdunn'' ("Jordan" or ''Jund al-Urdunn'').


Modern period

Nineteenth-century sources refer to Palestine as extending from the sea to the caravan route, presumably the Hejaz Railway, Hejaz-Damascus route east of the Jordan River valley. Others refer to it as extending from the sea to the desert. Prior to the Allies of World War I, Allied Powers victory in World War I and the Partition of the Ottoman Empire, 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 Empire, 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 World Zionist Organization, Zionist Organization provided its definition of the boundaries of Palestine in a statement to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, 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 The Mandate for Palestine was a League of Nations mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I World War I or the First Wo ...
(including the Transjordan memorandum) and the Paulet–Newcombe Agreement, and on the South by following the 1906 Turco-Egyptian boundary agreement.


Current usage

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 Palestinian enclaves, the parts of the Palestinian territories currently under the administrative control of the Palestinian National Authority, a quasi-governmental entity which governs West Bank Areas in the Oslo II Accord, parts of the State of Palestine under the terms of the Oslo Accords.


Administration


Demographics


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. 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 Judea (Roman province), Judaea was made desolate." According to Israeli archaeology, 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.


Late Ottoman and British Mandate periods

In a study of Ottoman Empire, Ottoman registers of the early Ottoman rule of Palestine, Bernard Lewis reports:
[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 Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, Gaza City, Gaza, Safed, Nablus, Ramla, 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 (American historian), 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:


Current demographics

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, , 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 Sabra (person), Sabras (born in Israel); the rest were Aliyah, olim (immigrants)—16% from Europe, the former Soviet republics, and the Americas, and 8% from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, Arab countries. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics evaluations, in 2015 the Palestinian population of the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
was approximately 2.9 million and that of the
Gaza Strip The Gaza Strip (;The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p.761 "Gaza Strip /'gɑːzə/ a strip of territory under the control of the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, on the SE Mediterranean coast including the town of Gaza.. ...
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.


Flora and fauna


Flora distribution

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".


Birds


See also

* Levantine archaeology (a.k.a. Palestinian archaeology) * Palestine Exploration Fund * Place names of Palestine


Notes


References


Bibliography

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External links

* * * {{good article Palestine (region), Divided regions Geography of Western Asia Geography of the State of Palestine Historical regions Geography of Israel Geography of Jordan