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Palestine ( ar, فلسطين, Filasṭīn), officially the State of Palestine ( ar, دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn) is a ''de jure'' sovereign state 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
, which is officially governed by the
Palestine Liberation Organization The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; ar, منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية, ') is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine. It is recognized as the sole legitimate ...
(PLO) and claims 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 ...
and
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.. ...
; however, ''de facto'' administrative control over the 165 Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank is held by the
Palestinian National Authority The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; ar, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية '), commonly known as the Palestinian Authority and officially the State of Palestine,
, while Gaza is ruled by
Hamas Hamas (, ; , ; an acronym of , "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian territories, Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and Religious nationalism, nationalist organization. It has a social serv ...

Hamas
. Although Palestine claims
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
as its capital, the city is under the control 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
; Palestine and Israel's claims to the city are not recognized by the international community. The territory claimed by Palestine has been occupied by Israel since the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
in 1967. Palestine has a population of 5,051,953 as of February 2020, ranked 121st in the world. After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, in 1947, the UN adopted a Partition Plan for
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) ', where "E.Y." indicates ''Ērētz Yīśrā'ēl'', the Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefini ...
recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. This partition plan was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs. Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly, a civil war broke outArticle "History of Palestine", ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' (2002 edition), article section written by Walid Ahmed Khalidi and Ian J. Bickerton. and the plan was not implemented. The day after the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab armies
invaded An invasion is a Offensive (military), military offensive in which large numbers of combatants of one geopolitics, geopolitical Legal entity, entity aggressively enter territory (country subdivision), territory owned by another such entity, gene ...
the former British mandate and fought the Israeli forces. Later, the
All-Palestine Government , image = , caption = Flag of the All-Palestine Government , date = 22 September 1948 , state = All-Palestine Protectorate , address = Gaza City, All-Palestine Protectorate (Sep.–Dec. 1948) ...

All-Palestine Government
was established by the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
on 22 September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except . Though jurisdiction of the Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective jurisdiction was limited to the Gaza Strip.Gelber, Y. ''Palestine, 1948''. pp. 177–78 Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other ...

Sinai Peninsula
from Egypt, the West Bank (including
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/ ...

East Jerusalem
) from
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...

Jordan
, and the
Golan Heights The Golan Heights ( ar, هَضْبَةُ الْجَوْلَانِ, Haḍbatu l-Jawlān or , he, רמת הגולן, ), or simply the Golan, is a region in the Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region ...
from
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
in June 1967 during the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
. On 15 November 1988 in
Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; 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 ...

Algiers
,
Yasser Arafat Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini ( , ; ar, محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yass ...

Yasser Arafat
, Chairman of the PLO, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the
Oslo Accords The Oslo Accords are a pair of agreements between the Government of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִי ...
in 1993, the
Palestinian National Authority The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; ar, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية '), commonly known as the Palestinian Authority and officially the State of Palestine,
was formed to govern (in varying degrees) areas A and B in the West Bank, comprising 165 "islands", and 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.. ...
. After Hamas became the PNA parliament's leading party in the most recent elections (2006), a
conflict Conflict may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Conflict'' (1936 film), an American boxing film starring John Wayne * ''Conflict'' (1938 film), a French drama film directed by Léonide Moguy * ''Conflict'' (1945 film), ...
broke out between it and the
Fatah Fatah ( ar, فتح '), formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist Palestinian nationalism is the Nationalism, national movement of the Palestinian people for self-determination in and sovereignty ov ...

Fatah
party, leading to Gaza being taken over by Hamas in 2007 (two years after the Israeli disengagement). The State of Palestine has been recognized by 138 of the 193 UN members and since 2012 has had a status of a non-member observer state in the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
. Palestine is a member of the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
, the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC; ar, منظمة التعاون الإسلامي, Munaẓẓama at-Taʿāwun al-ʾIslāmiyy; french: Organisation de la coopération islamique), formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference ...
, the G77, the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, m ...
, as well as
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
,
UNCTAD The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as an intergovernmental organization intended to promote the interests of developing states in world trade. UNCTAD is the part of the dealing with trade ...
and the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
.


Etymology

Although the concept of the Palestine region and its geographical extent has varied throughout history, it is now considered to be composed by the modern State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. General use of the term "Palestine" or related terms to the area at the southeast corner of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
beside
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
has historically been taking place since the times of
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 ...
, with
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 ...
being the first historian writing in the 5th century BC in '' The Histories'' of a "district of Syria, called Palaistine" in which
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
interacted with other maritime peoples. The term "Palestine" (in
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 power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
, ''Palæstina'') is thought to have been a term coined by the Ancient Greeks for the area of land occupied by 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 ...
, although there are other explanations.


Terminology

This article uses the terms "Palestine", "State of Palestine", "occupied Palestinian territory" (oPt or OPT) interchangeably depending on context. Specifically, the term "occupied Palestinian territory" refers as a whole to the geographical area of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967. In all cases, any references to land or territory refer to land claimed by the State of Palestine.


History

In 1947, the UN adopted a partition plan for a two-state solution in the remaining territory of the mandate. The plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab leaders, and Britain refused to implement the plan. On the eve of final British withdrawal, the
Jewish Agency for Israel The Jewish Agency for Israel ( he, הסוכנות היהודית לארץ ישראל, translit=HaSochnut HaYehudit L'Eretz Yisra'el) is the largest Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people ...
declared the establishment of the
State 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 ...
according to the proposed UN plan. The
Arab Higher Committee The Arab Higher Committee ( ar, اللجنة العربية العليا) or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine ( ar, فلسطين '; he, פָּ ...

Arab Higher Committee
did not declare a state of its own and instead, together with ,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, and the other members of the
Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, '), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Africa and Western Asia. The Arab L ...

Arab League
of the time, commenced military action resulting in the
1948 Arab–Israeli War The 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war, 1947–49 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli ...
. During the war, Israel gained additional territories that were designated to be part of the Arab state under the UN plan. Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Transjordan occupied and then annexed the West Bank. Egypt initially supported the creation of an
All-Palestine Government , image = , caption = Flag of the All-Palestine Government , date = 22 September 1948 , state = All-Palestine Protectorate , address = Gaza City, All-Palestine Protectorate (Sep.–Dec. 1948) ...

All-Palestine Government
but disbanded it in 1959. Transjordan never recognized it and instead decided to incorporate the West Bank with its own territory to form
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...

Jordan
. The annexation was ratified in 1950 but was rejected by the international community. The
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
in 1967, when Israel fought against Egypt, Jordan, and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, ended with Israel occupying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, besides other territories. In 1964, when the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, the Palestine Liberation Organization was established there with the goal to confront Israel. The Palestinian National Charter of the PLO defines the boundaries of Palestine as the whole remaining territory of the mandate, including Israel. Following the Six-Day War, the PLO moved to Jordan, but later relocated to
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
in 1971. The October
1974 Arab League summit The 1974 Arab League summit was a meeting of Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations) ...
designated the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" and reaffirmed "their right to establish an independent state of urgency." In November 1974, the PLO was recognized as competent on all matters concerning the question of Palestine by the
UN General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
granting them
observer status Observer status is a privilege granted by some organizations to non-members to give them an ability to participate in the organization's activities. Observer status is often granted by intergovernmental organizations (IGO) to non-member parties and ...
as a "non-state entity" at the UN. After the 1988 Declaration of Independence, the UN General Assembly officially acknowledged the proclamation and decided to use the designation "Palestine" instead of "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the UN. In spite of this decision, the PLO did not participate at the UN in its capacity of the State of Palestine's government. In 1979, through the
Camp David Accords The Camp David Accords were a pair of political agreements signed by President of Egypt, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret ne ...
, Egypt signaled an end to any claim of its own over the Gaza Strip. In July 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank—with the exception of guardianship over
Haram al-Sharif The Temple Mount (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ; "Mount of the House f God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem), known to Muslims as the (Arabic: , , "the Noble Sanctuary", or , , "the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem") and the Compound, is a hill in ...
—to the PLO. In November 1988, the PLO legislature, while in exile, declared the establishment of the "State of Palestine". In the month following, it was quickly recognised by many states, including Egypt and Jordan. In the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, the State of Palestine is described as being established on the "Palestinian territory", without explicitly specifying further. Because of this, some of the countries that recognised the State of Palestine in their statements of recognition refer to the "1967 borders", thus recognizing as its territory only the , and not Israel. The UN membership application submitted by the State of Palestine also specified that it is based on the "1967 borders". During the negotiations of the Oslo Accords, the PLO recognised Israel's right to exist, and Israel recognised the PLO as representative of the Palestinian people. The 1988
Palestinian Declaration of Independence The Palestinian Declaration of Independence is a statement written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish and proclaimed by Yasser Arafat on 15 November 1988 (5 Rabi' al-Thani 1409) in Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber langua ...
included a PNC call for multilateral negotiations on the basis of
UN Security Council Resolution 242 United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations ( ...
later known as "the Historic Compromise", implying acceptance of a two-state solution and no longer questioning the legitimacy of the
State 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 ...
.Quigley, 2005, p. 212. After Israel captured and occupied of the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza Strip from Egypt, it began to establish
Israeli settlement Israeli settlements, or Israeli colonies, are civilian communities inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity, built International law and Israeli settlements, in violation of international law on Israeli-occupied te ...
s there. Administration of the Arab population of these territories was performed by the
Israeli Civil Administration The Civil Administration ( he, המנהל האזרחי, '; ar, الإدارة المدنية الإسرائيلية) is the Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israe ...
of the
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is a Military unit, unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense (Israel), Ministry of Defense that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the Cabinet of Israel, Government o ...
and by local municipal councils present since before the Israeli takeover. In 1980, Israel decided to freeze elections for these councils and to establish instead Village Leagues, whose officials were under Israeli influence. Later this model became ineffective for both Israel and the Palestinians, and the Village Leagues began to break up, with the last being the Hebron League, dissolved in February 1988. In 1993, in the
Oslo Accords The Oslo Accords are a pair of agreements between the Government of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִי ...
, Israel acknowledged the PLO negotiating team as "representing the Palestinian people", in return for the PLO recognizing Israel's right to exist in peace, acceptance of
UN Security Council resolution The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...
s
242 Year 242 ( CCXLII) 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 ...
and 338, and its rejection of "violence and terrorism". As a result, in 1994 the PLO established the
Palestinian National Authority The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; ar, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية '), commonly known as the Palestinian Authority and officially the State of Palestine,
(PNA or PA) territorial administration, that exercises some governmental functions in parts 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 ...
and 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.. ...
. In 2007, the
Hamas Hamas (, ; , ; an acronym of , "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian territories, Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and Religious nationalism, nationalist organization. It has a social serv ...

Hamas
takeover In business, a takeover is the purchase of one company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, ...
of Gaza Strip politically and territorially divided the Palestinians, with 's
Fatah Fatah ( ar, فتح '), formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist Palestinian nationalism is the Nationalism, national movement of the Palestinian people for self-determination in and sovereignty ov ...

Fatah
left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official
Palestinian Authority The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; ar, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية ') is the interim self-government body that exercises partial civil control over the Gaza Strip and West Bank bantustans, 167 islands in the Wes ...

Palestinian Authority
, while Hamas secured its control over the Gaza Strip. In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of
reconciliation Reconciliation may refer to: Sociology and politics * Conflict resolution Conflict resolution is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Committed group members ...
, but its implementation had stalled until a unity government was formed on 2 June 2014. As envisioned in the Oslo Accords, Israel allowed the PLO to establish interim administrative institutions in the Palestinian territories, which came in the form of the PNA. It was given civilian control in
Area B The divided the into three administrative divisions: Areas A, B and C. The distinct areas were given different statuses, according to their governance pending a final status accord: Area A is exclusively administered by the ; Area B is administ ...
and civilian and security control in Area A, and remained without involvement in
Area C Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional Region (mathematics), region, shape, or planar lamina, in the Plane (geometry), plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional Surface (topology), surface of a solid ...
. In 2005, following the implementation of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, the PNA gained full control of the Gaza Strip with the exception of its borders, airspace, and
territorial waters The term territorial waters is sometimes used informally to refer to any area of water over which a state has jurisdiction, including internal waters, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and potentially the ...
. Following the inter-Palestinian conflict in 2006, Hamas took over control of the Gaza Strip (it already had majority in the PLC), and Fatah took control of the West Bank. From 2007, the Gaza Strip was governed by Hamas, and the West Bank by Fatah.


International recognition

The State of Palestine has been recognized by 138 of the 193 UN members and since 2012 has had a status of a non-member observer state in the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
. On 29 November 2012, in a 138–9 vote (with 41 abstentions and 5 absences), the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
passed resolution 67/19, upgrading Palestine from an "observer entity" to a " non-member observer state" within the
United Nations system The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to a ...
, which was described as recognition of the PLO's sovereignty. and Palestine's new status is equivalent to that of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. The UN has permitted Palestine to title its representative office to the UN as "The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations", and Palestine has instructed its diplomats to officially represent "The State of Palestine"—no longer the Palestinian National Authority. On 17 December 2012, UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon declared that "the designation of 'State of Palestine' shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents", thus recognising the title 'State of Palestine' as the state's official name for all UN purposes; on 21 December 2012, a UN memorandum discussed appropriate terminology to be used following GA 67/19. It was noted therein that there was no legal impediment to using the designation Palestine to refer to the geographical area of the Palestinian territory. At the same time, it was explained that there was also no bar to the continued use of the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem" or such other terminology as might customarily be used by the Assembly. () of the member states of the United Nations have International recognition of the State of Palestine, recognised the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people". The PLO's Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Executive Committee is empowered by the Palestinian National Council to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine. "The Palestinian National Council also empowered the central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, executive committee to perform the functions of government until such time as a government-in-exile was established."


Geography

The Palestinian territories, areas claimed by the State of Palestine lie in the Levant. The Gaza Strip borders the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Egypt to the south, and Israel to the north and east. 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 ...
is bordered by Jordan to the east, and Israel to the north, south, and west. Thus, the two enclaves constituting the area claimed by State of Palestine have no geographical border with one another, being separated by Israel. These areas would constitute the world's 163rd largest country by land area. Palestine has a number of environmental issues; issues facing the Gaza Strip include desertification; Biosalinity, salination of fresh water; sewage treatment; water-borne diseases; soil degradation; and depletion and contamination of underground water resources. In the West Bank, many of the same issues apply; although fresh water is much more plentiful, access is restricted by the ongoing Palestinian territories#Political status and sovereignty, dispute. Three terrestrial ecoregions are found in the area: Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests, Arabian Desert, and Mesopotamian shrub desert.


Climate

Temperatures in Palestine vary widely. The climate in the West Bank is mostly Mediterranean, slightly cooler at elevated areas compared with the shoreline, west to the area. In the east, the West Bank includes much of the Judean Desert including the western shoreline of the Dead Sea, characterised by dry and hot climate. Gaza has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen: BSh) with mild winters and dry hot summers. Spring arrives around March–April and the hottest months are July and August, with the average high being . The coldest month is January with temperatures usually at . Rain is scarce and generally falls between November and March, with annual precipitation rates approximately at .


Government and politics

The State of Palestine consists of the following institutions that are associated with the
Palestine Liberation Organization The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; ar, منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية, ') is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine. It is recognized as the sole legitimate ...
(PLO): * President of the State of Palestine – appointed by the Palestinian Central Council PLO Body Elects Abbas 'President of Palestine'
25 November 2008. Agence France-Presse (via ''MIFTAH''). Retrieved 12 August 2017. "'I announce that the PLO Central Council has elected Mahmud Abbas president of the State of Palestine. He takes on this role from this day, November 23, 2008,' the body's chairman Salem al-Zaanun told reporters."
* Palestinian National Council – the legislature that established the State of Palestine * Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization – performs the functions of a government in exile, maintaining an extensive foreign-relations network These should be distinguished from the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and Palestinian government of June 2007, PNA Cabinet, all of which are instead associated with the
Palestinian National Authority The Palestinian National Authority (PA or PNA; ar, السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية '), commonly known as the Palestinian Authority and officially the State of Palestine,
. The State of Palestine's founding document is the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, and it should be distinguished from the unrelated PLO Palestinian National Covenant and PNA Palestine Basic Law.


Administrative divisions

The State of Palestine is divided into governorates of Palestine, sixteen administrative divisions. a. Data from Jerusalem includes occupied
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/ ...

East Jerusalem
with its Israeli population The governorates in the West Bank are grouped into West Bank Areas in the Oslo II Accord, three areas per the Oslo II Accord. Area A forms 18% of the West Bank by area, and is administered by the Palestinian government. Area B forms 22% of the West Bank, and is under Palestinian civil control, and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control.
Area C Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional Region (mathematics), region, shape, or planar lamina, in the Plane (geometry), plane. Surface area is its analog on the two-dimensional Surface (topology), surface of a solid ...
, except
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/ ...

East Jerusalem
, forms 60% of the West Bank, and is administered by the
Israeli Civil Administration The Civil Administration ( he, המנהל האזרחי, '; ar, الإدارة المدنية الإسرائيلية) is the Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israe ...
, except that the Palestinian government provides the education and medical services to the 150,000 Palestinians in the area. More than 99% of Area C is off limits to Palestinians. There are about 330,000 Israelis living in Israeli settlement, settlements in Area C. Although Area C is under martial law, Israelis living there are judged in Israeli civil courts. East Jerusalem (comprising the small pre-1967 Jordanian eastern-sector Jerusalem municipality together with a significant area of the pre-1967 West Bank demarcated by Israel in 1967) is administered as part of the Jerusalem District of Israel but is claimed by Palestine as part of the Jerusalem Governorate. It was effectively annexed by Israel in 1967, by application of Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration under a 1948 law amended for the purpose, this purported annexation being constitutionally reaffirmed (by implication) in Basic Law: Jerusalem 1980, but this annexation is not recognised by any other country. In 2010 of the 456,000 people in East Jerusalem, roughly 60% were Palestinians and 40% were Israelis. However, since the late 2000s, Israel's West Bank Security Barrier has effectively re-annexed tens of thousands of Palestinians bearing Israeli ID cards to the West Bank, leaving East Jerusalem within the barrier with a small Israeli majority.


Foreign relations

Representation of the State of Palestine is performed by the
Palestine Liberation Organization The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO; ar, منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية, ') is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine. It is recognized as the sole legitimate ...
(PLO). In states that recognise the State of Palestine it maintains Embassy, embassies. The Palestine Liberation Organization is represented in various international organizations as member, associate or observer. Because of inconclusiveness in sources in some cases it is impossible to distinguish whether the participation is executed by the PLO as representative of the State of Palestine, by the PLO as a non-state entity or by the PNA.


International recognition

On 15 December 1988, the State of Palestine's Palestinian Declaration of Independence, declaration of independence of November 1988 was acknowledged in the General Assembly with Resolution 43/177. () of the member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the "representative of the Palestinian people". The PLO's Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, executive committee is empowered by the PNC to perform the functions of government of the State of Palestine. On 29 November 2012, UN General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to " non-member observer state" status in the United Nations. The change in status was described as "''de facto'' recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine". In 2013 the Swedish Parliament upgraded the status of the Palestinian representative office in the country to full embassy status. On 3 October 2014, new Sweden, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven used his inaugural address in parliament to announce that Sweden would recognise the state of Palestine. The official decision to do so was made on 30 October, making Sweden the first EU member state outside of the former communist bloc to recognise the state of Palestine. Most of the EU's 27 member states have refrained from recognising Palestinian statehood and those that do—such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia—did so before accession. In February 2015, Mahmoud Abbas visited Sweden to open the new embassy. Sweden’s Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven said "According to our view, Palestine is from now on a state." On 13 October 2014, the UK House of Commons voted by 274 to 12 in favour of recognising Palestine as a state. The House of Commons backed the move "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution"—although less than half of MPs took part in the vote. However, the UK government is not bound to do anything as a result of the vote: its current policy is that it "reserves the right to recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at the moment of our choosing and when it can best help bring about peace". On 2 December 2014, the National Assembly (France), French parliament voted by 331 to 151 in favour of urging their government to recognise Palestine as a state. The text, proposed by the ruling Socialists and backed by left-wing parties and some conservatives, asked the government to "use the recognition of a Palestinian state with the aim of resolving the conflict definitively". On 31 December 2014, the United Nations Security Council voted down a resolution demanding the end of Israeli occupation and statehood by 2017. Eight members voted for the Resolution (Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg), however following strenuous US and Israeli efforts to defeat the resolution, it did not get the minimum of nine votes needed to pass the resolution. Australia and the United States voted against the resolution, with five other nations abstaining. On 16 January 2015, the
International Criminal Court The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizatio ...

International Criminal Court
announced that, since Palestine was granted observer State status in the UN by the UNGA, it must be considered a "State" for the purposes of accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Rome Statute. On 13 May 2015, the Holy See, Vatican announced it was shifting recognition from the PLO to the State of Palestine, confirming recognition of Palestine as a state after the UN vote of 2012. Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Vatican foreign minister, said the change was in line with the evolving position of the Holy See, which has referred unofficially to the State of Palestine since Pope Francis's visit to the Holy Land in May 2014. On 23 December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding Palestinian sovereignty over the natural resources in the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation. It called on Israel to desist from the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of Palestinian natural resources, the right of Palestinians to seek restitution for extensive destruction. The motion was passed by 164 votes to 5, with Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, and the United States opposing.


Raising the flag at the UN

In August 2015, Palestine's representatives at the UN presented a draft resolution that would allow the non-member observer states Palestine and the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
to raise their flags at the United Nations headquarters. Initially, the Palestinians presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, which the Holy See denied.''UN backs raising Palestinian flag at NY headquarters''
. i24news and AFP, 9 September 2015
In a letter to the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly, Israel's Ambassador at the UN Ron Prosor called the step "another cynical misuse of the UN ... in order to score political points". After the vote, which was passed by 119 votes to 8 with 45 countries abstaining, the US Ambassador Samantha Power said that "raising the Palestinian flag will not bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer together". US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner called it a "counterproductive" attempt to pursue statehood claims outside of a negotiated settlement.''UN strongly approves Palestinian proposal to raise flag''
. Al Jazeera, 11 September 2015
At the ceremony itself, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the occasion was a "day of pride for the Palestinian people around the world, a day of hope", and declared "Now is the time to restore confidence by both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful settlement and, at last, the realization of two states for two peoples."


Legal status

There are a wide variety of views regarding the status of the State of Palestine, both among the states of the international community and among legal scholars. The existence of a state of Palestine, although controversial, is a reality in the opinions of the states that have established bilateral diplomatic relations.Boyle, Francis A. Creation of the State of Palestine; 1 Eur. J. Int'l L. 301 (1990)John Dugard, Dugard, John (22 July 2009; Op-Ed essay)
"Take the Case"
. ''The New York Times''. Retrieved 28 September 2011.


Law and security

The State of Palestine has a number of security forces, including a Palestinian Civil Police Force, Civil Police Force, Palestinian National Security Forces, National Security Forces and Intelligence Services, with the function of maintaining security and protecting Palestinian citizens and the Palestinian State.


Demographics

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the State of Palestine had population of 4,420,549 people in 2013. Within an area of , there is a population density of about 827 people per square kilometre. To put this in a wider context, the average population density of the world was 25 people per square kilometre as of 2017.


Healthcare

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH), as of 2017, there were 743 primary health care centers in Palestine (583 in the West Bank and 160 in Gaza), and 81 hospitals (51 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 30 in Gaza). Operating under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Health Cluster for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) was established in 2009 and represents a partnership of over 70 local and international nongovernmental organisations and UN agencies providing a framework for health actors involved in the humanitarian response for the oPt. The Cluster is co-chaired by the MOH to ensure alignment with national policies and plans. The report of WHO Director-General of 1 May 2019 describes health sector conditions in the oPt identifying strategic priorities and current obstacles to their achievement pursuant to the country cooperation strategy for WHO and the Occupied Palestinian Territory 2017–2020.


Education

The literacy rate of Palestine was 96.3% according to a 2014 report by the United Nations Development Programme, which is high by international standards. There is a gender difference in the population aged above 15 with 5.9% of women considered illiterate compared to 1.6% of men. Illiteracy among women has fallen from 20.3% in 1997 to less than 6% in 2014.


Religion

93% of Palestinians are Muslim, the vast majority of whom are followers of the Sunni branch of Islam, with a small minority of Ahmadiyya, and 15% being nondenominational Muslims. Palestinian Christians represent a significant minority of 6%, followed by much smaller Religion, religious communities, including Druze and Samaritans.


Economy


Tourism

Tourism in the territory claimed by the State of Palestine refers to tourism in
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/ ...

East Jerusalem
, 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 ...
and 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.. ...
. In 2010, 4.6 million people visited the Palestinian territories, compared to 2.6 million in 2009. Of that number, 2.2 million were foreign tourists while 2.7 million were domestic. Most tourists come for only a few hours or as part of a day trip itinerary. In the last quarter of 2012 over 150,000 guests stayed in West Bank hotels; 40% were European and 9% were from the United States and Canada. Lonely Planet travel guide writes that "the West Bank is not the easiest place in which to travel but the effort is richly rewarded."Israel and the Palestinian Territories. p. 254. Lonely Planet Publications. 2012 In 2013 Palestinian Authority Tourism minister Rula Ma'ay'a stated that her government aims to encourage international visits to Palestine, but the occupation is the main factor preventing the tourism sector from becoming a major income source to Palestinians. There are no visa conditions imposed on foreign nationals other than those imposed by the visa policy of Israel. Access to Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza is completely controlled by the Government of Israel. Entry to the occupied Palestinian territories requires only a valid international passport.


Communications

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology of the State of Palestine, Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology said there were 4.2 million cellular mobile subscribers in Palestine compared to 2.6 million at the end of 2010 while the number of ADSL subscribers in Palestine increased to about 363 thousand by the end of 2019 from 119 thousand over the same period. 97% of Palestinian households have at least one cellular mobile line while at least one smartphone is owned by 86% of households (91% in the West Bank and 78% in Gaza Strip). About 80% of the Palestinian households have access to the internet in their homes and about a third have a computer. On 12 June 2020, the World Bank approved a US$15 million grant for the Technology for Youth and Jobs (TechStart) Project aiming to help the Palestinian IT sector upgrade the capabilities of firms and create more high-quality jobs. Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza said "The IT sector has the potential to make a strong contribution to economic growth. It can offer opportunities to Palestinian youth, who constitute 30% of the population and suffer from acute unemployment."


Financial services

The Palestine Monetary Authority has issued guidelines for the operation and provision of electronic payment services including e-wallet and prepaid cards.


Transportation


Water supply and sanitation

Water supply and sanitation in the Palestinian territories are characterized by severe water shortage and are highly influenced by the Israeli occupation. The water resources of Palestine are fully controlled by Israel and the division of groundwater is subject to provisions in the Oslo II Accord. Generally, the water quality is considerably worse in the Gaza strip when compared to 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 ...
. About a third to half of the delivered water in the Palestinian territories is Non-revenue water, lost in the distribution network. The lasting blockade of the Gaza Strip and the Gaza War (2008–09), Gaza War have caused severe damage to the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Concerning wastewater, the existing treatment plants do not have the capacity to treat all of the produced wastewater, causing severe water pollution. The development of the sector highly depends on external financing.


Culture


Media

There are a number of newspapers, news agencies, and satellite television stations in the State of Palestine. Its news agencies include Ma'an News Agency, Wafa, Palestine News Network. Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Quds TV, Sanabel TV are its main satellite broadcasters.


Sports

Association football (soccer) is the most popular sport among the Palestinian people. The Palestine national football team represents the country in international football. Rugby football, Rugby is also a popular sport.


Art and music

*Ameed Zaghal (born 1991), a Palestinian singer and artist


See also

* Flag of Palestine * International recognition of the State of Palestine *
Israeli settlement Israeli settlements, or Israeli colonies, are civilian communities inhabited by Israeli citizens, almost exclusively of Jewish ethnicity, built International law and Israeli settlements, in violation of international law on Israeli-occupied te ...
* Israeli-occupied territories * Palestine (2011 book) * Palestinian self-determination * Water Rights in Israel-Palestine * Palestine (region)


Notes


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * Gerson, Allan (1978). ''Israel, the West Bank and International Law''. London: Taylor & Francis, Frank Cass. . * * *
p. 49p. 279p. 291p. 294
* * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * Shatz, Adam, "We Are Conquerors" (review of Tom Segev, ''A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion'', Head of Zeus, 2019, 804 pp., ), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 41, no. 20 (24 October 2019), pp. 37–38, 40–42. "Segev's biography... shows how central exclusionary nationalism, war and racism were to David Ben-Gurion, Ben-Gurion's vision of the Jewish homeland in Palestine (region), Palestine, and how contemptuous he was not only of the Arabs but of Jewish life outside Zion. [Liberal Jews] may look at the state that Ben-Gurion built, and ask if the cost has been worth it." (p. 42 of Shatz's review.) * * *


External links


Status of Palestine in the United Nations (A/RES/67/19) Full Text
* Cross, Tony (24 September 2011)
"After Abbas's UN Bid Are Palestinians Closer To Having a State?"
Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 2011-9-28.
Recognition of a Palestinian state Premature Legally Invalid and Undermining any Bona Fide Negotiation Process


* [https://web.archive.org/web/20130131073609/http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/ Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations]
The Historic Compromise: The Palestinian Declaration of Independence and the Twenty-Year Struggle for a Two-State Solution


by Tal Becker {{DEFAULTSORT:Palestine, State of State of Palestine Arabic-speaking countries and territories Eastern Mediterranean Levant Member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Middle Eastern countries Near Eastern countries Western Asian countries Republics Two-state solution United Nations General Assembly observers States and territories established in 1988 States with limited recognition 1988 establishments in Asia Countries in Asia