Palestine – State of Palestine, Middle East

Palestine – State of Palestine, Middle East

Palestine, from the Hebrew “paleshet” – the country of the Philistines.

The historical region in western Asia, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea (includes the Jordan River basin and the Dead Sea, Wadi Arab). Area of about 26,000 square kilometers. Most of Palestine is part of Israel and Jordan.

In the 3rd-2nd millennium BC in Palestine emerged cities-states of the Canaanites (in the 2nd millennium BC the territory of Palestine and Phoenicia was called Canaan), in the south lived nomadic tribes. In the 16th and 13th centuries BC. Palestine was under the rule of Egypt. At the end of the XIII century BC. a large part of the country was conquered by Israelite tribes, who founded in the II century BC Israel-Judean Kingdom. It reached its greatest power under Kings David and Solomon. Around 935 BC it split into two kingdoms: the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. At the end of the 8th century BC the territory of northern Palestine – the kingdom of Israel – was conquered by Assyria. South Palestine (the territory of the Judean Kingdom) was conquered by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, and by the Achaemenids, in the 4th century BC by Alexander the Great.

In the third and second centuries B.C. Palestine was the object of a struggle between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. In 63 BC. Palestine was conquered by Rome; however, Palestine was made a Roman province after the Judean War of 66-73 CE and the suppression of the Bar Kochba rebellion (132-135). In the first century A.D. Christianity was born in Palestine. In 395 Palestine came under Byzantine rule. By 640 Palestine was conquered by the Arabs, becoming part of the Arab Caliphate (as the military districts of Jund Falastin and Jund Urduin).

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After the collapse of the Abbasid Caliphate, Palestine was successively ruled by the Egyptian dynasties of the Tulunids, Ihshidids, and Fatimids. Jerusalem, considered the religious center of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, had up to 40000 inhabitants in the XI century. In 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem and turned it into the center of the Jerusalem kingdom. The constant struggle between the Crusaders and the Muslim rulers of Syria and Egypt weakened the power of the Crusaders. In 1187, at the Battle of Hittin, Salah ad-Din defeated the Crusaders and captured Jerusalem. Palestine was incorporated into Ayyubid and later Mamluk Egypt. Palestine remained under Mamluk rule until the Turkish conquest in 1516.

In modern times

Palestine, a territory located in the Middle East near the Mediterranean Sea, has a centuries-long, complex history The roots of the modern Middle East problem lie in the territorial and ethnic confrontation between the Palestinian Arabs and the Jews. However, this has not always been the case. For a long time Arabs and Jews lived peacefully side by side in Palestine. During Ottoman rule, Palestine, which was considered part of Greater Syria, was predominantly populated by Arabs. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Jewish settlements began to appear in Palestine, mainly in and around Jerusalem, but colonization proceeded very slowly until the 20th century. In 1918, Arabs still made up 93% of the population of Palestine. The situation changed after the end of World War I, when Britain received a mandate to govern Palestine (entered into force in September 1923). With the support of the British government (November 2, 1917 – a letter of the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to the Zionist leader, known as the Balfour Declaration, which called for the establishment of a national home for the Jews) the Zionists launched a broad propaganda campaign for the gradual colonization of Palestine. In the early 20’s the paramilitary organization Haganah was created, in 1935 the Jewish extremist organization Irgun zwei Leumi was created.

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With the Nazis coming to power in Germany and the outbreak of World War II, Jewish immigration increased dramatically: if in 1932 there were 184,000 Jews in Palestine, then in 1938 – 414,000, and by the end of 1947 – 650,000 people (that is, one-third of the population of Palestine). The ultimate goal of Jewish immigration was the creation of a Jewish state. The support of international organizations for this idea increased because of the Holocaust of the Jews. In November 1945, the situation in Palestine deteriorated. Palestine was shaken by the wave of Zionist terror directed not only against the Arabs, but also against the British authorities. Not being able to solve the problem, Britain in April 1947 put the future of Palestine before the UN General Assembly. There were two possible options for the future of Palestine. The established UN ad hoc committee on Palestine, composed of 11 members, signed a report that recommended the establishment of two states on Palestinian territory – an Arab and a Jewish state, as well as the international zone of Jerusalem (which would enjoy international status). After long discussion, the plan of partition of Palestine was approved on November 29, 1947 (33 in favor, including the USSR and the US, 13 against, and 10 abstentions). According to resolution 181/II of November 29, 1947, it was supposed to establish in Palestine a Jewish state (the area of 14.1 thousand km2, or 56% of the territory) and an Arab state (11.1 thousand km2 – 43% of the territory) and the International Zone of Jerusalem with vicinity (1% of the territory). British troops were to be withdrawn by August 1, 1948.

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The Palestinian uprisings of 1920, 1929, 1933 and 1936-1939

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), organization of the Palestinian liberation movement fighting for the legal national rights of the Arab people of Palestine.

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Population 3,800,000 Territory of Palestine 5,970 sq km Situated on the continent Middle East Capital of Palestine East Jerusalem Money in Palestine Shekel (ILS) Domain zone .ps Country phone code 970


The hotel situation in Palestine is not very straightforward, given the escalation of the Israeli conflict. Many travelers stay in hotels in Israel and come to Palestine for a day. This is cheaper (the price tag of Palestinian hotels bite: a comfortable room with air conditioning costs in the range of 100 U.S. dollars) and more comfortable (no problems with power outages and water supply).

In Bethlehem the choice of hotels is greater and the price tag is more democratic. There are more than 30 hotels of various categories. After all, a tourist town.

The climate of the Palestinian territory: temperate. Temperature and rainfall vary with altitude. Hot summers, mild winters.


Despite its modest size, Palestine is a treasure trove of remains of ancient civilizations. Even if you are not fond of history, the local attractions will impress you.

The ancient city of Jericho is known for the fact that it was built much earlier than the famous pyramids of Cheops (and this is the second millennium BC!). Three kilometers away are the ruins of the Byzantine city and the palace of the Caliph of Umayyad.

The city of Bethlehem is a center of tourism. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come here every year to worship the shrines and to admire the ancient palaces and temples. The main attraction of the city is the Cave of the Nativity. The place where Jesus Christ was born and is a major holy place for Christians. The city of Hebron is a sacred place for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The Cave of Machpelah is the main holy place of the city. According to legend this is where Adam and Eve were buried.

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The topography of the Palestinian territory: Mostly uneven, there are uplands, some vegetation in the west and barren in the east.


Palestine has access to two seas: the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea (really a lake). The Mediterranean Sea can be seen by visiting the Gaza Strip. But the local beaches are disappointing: the lack of any infrastructure, coupled with a lot of garbage will not create favorable conditions for a beach holiday.

The Palestinian territory has resources such as: : The croplands.

Leisure activities

Palestine is a country for pilgrimage trips and excursions for history buffs. There are no special attractions, but if you come to Israel, be sure to visit Palestine to get acquainted with the color of this country.


Palestine has no airport of its own, you can visit it only from Israel. The main public transport is buses, shuttles and minibuses. There are no international car rental agencies, but there are small firms where you can arrange this service. However, to travel by car can only be in the territory of the autonomy of Palestine.

Standard of living

The main problems of inhabitants of Palestine are electricity and fresh water. The electricity is only for an hour a day, so it’s impossible to live here without a radiator. The situation is similar with fart water, but it depends on how economical the locals are.

Palestine is an autonomy within Israel. Because of this, the local authorities have constant conflicts with the Israeli authorities. The territory is divided into three zones – A, B, C. Zone A is controlled by the local authorities, C by Israel, B by joint patrolling. Movement of the local population in the country is severely restricted, for example, only Israelis can enter Zone C.


The city of Ramallah is the temporary capital of Palestine. Located in the western part of the Jordan River. The city is actively under construction. Its architectural appearance is similar to any city in the Middle East.

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Gaza City is the largest city in the Palestinian Territory. It is now under the control of the radical Hamas movement. The center of the city is turbulent and the local police are not always in full control.

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