Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist organization. It has a social service wing, a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, it has been the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip since its takeover of that area in 2007. During this period it fought several wars with Israel, it is regarded, either in whole or in part, as a terrorist organization by several countries and international organizations, most notably by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Russia and Turkey are among countries who do not regard it so. Hamas was founded in 1987, soon after the First Intifada broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which in its Gaza branch had been non-confrontational towards Israel, refrained from resistance, was hostile to the PLO. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stated in 1987, the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area, now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The group has stated that it may accept a 10-year truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders and allows Palestinian refugees from 1948, including their descendants, to return to what is now Israel, although clarifying that this does not mean recognition of Israel or the end of the conflict. Hamas's military wing objected to the truce offer. Analysts have said that it seems clear that Hamas knows that many of its conditions for the truce could never be met; the military wing of Hamas has launched attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers describing them as retaliatory, in particular for assassinations of the upper echelon of their leadership. Tactics have included suicide bombings and, since 2001, rocket attacks. Hamas's rocket arsenal, though consisting of short-range homemade Qassam rockets includes long-range weapons that have reached major Israeli cities including Tel Aviv and Haifa; the attacks on civilians have been condemned as war crimes and crimes against humanity by human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch.
A 2017 Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll in the Palestinian territories revealed that Hamas violence and rhetoric against Israelis are unpopular and that a majority of Palestinians would rather Hamas "accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders."In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a plurality in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the Quartet made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government's commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance. Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank.
Israel and Egypt imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there. In 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014. Hamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase حركة المقاومة الاسلامية or Harakat al-Muqāwama al-Islāmiyya, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement"; the Arabic word'hamas' means "courage" or "zeal". The Hamas covenant interprets its name to mean "strength and bravery". Hamas, as its name implies, aims to liberate Palestine from the Israeli occupation by resisting it, and according to Hamas armed branch Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades: To contribute in the effort of liberating Palestine and restoring the rights of the Palestinian people under the sacred Islamic teachings of the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and the traditions of Muslims rulers and scholars noted for their piety and dedication.
Al-Qassam Brigades aims to liberate all of Palestine from what they describe as Zionist occupation, to achieve the rights of the Palestinian people that were robbed by the occupation, it consider itself part of the movement of a project of national liberation. Hamas inherited from its predecessor a tripartite structure that consisted in the provision of social services, of religious training and military operations under a Shura Council. Traditionally it had four distinct functions: a charitable social welfare division. Hamas has both an internal leadership within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, an external leadership, split between a Gaza group directed by Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook from his exile first in Damascus and in Egypt, a Kuwaiti group under Khaled Mashal; the Kuwaiti group of Palestinian exiles began to receive extensive funding from the Gulf States after its leader Mashal broke with Yasser Arafat's decision to side with Saddam Hussein in the Invasion of Kuwait, with Mashal insisting
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of the Palestinian Authority, elected by the Palestinian residents of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It comprises 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts of the Palestinian Authority; the PLC has a quorum requirement of two-thirds, since 2006 Hamas and Hamas-affiliated members have held 74 of the 132 seats in the PLC. The first PLC met for the first time on 7 March 1996. Under the Oslo II Accord, the powers and responsibilities of the PLC are restricted to civil matters and internal security in Area A of the West Bank and Gaza, while in Area B they are restricted to civil affairs and security matters are under the control of the Israel Defense Forces. In Area C, Israel has full control; the election for the second PLC was the last PLC election. Following the Hamas–Fatah split in 2007, the Legislative Council ceased to function; the Palestinian Legislative Council was created by the Oslo Accords and designed in accordance with the provisions of the Oslo II Accord, which dictated its composition and responsibilities in detail.
Detailed provisions regarding elections were set out in Annex II. Oslo II provides that residents of the Palestinian territories may be elected; the PLC has a quorum requirement of two-thirds. There was no time limit on the duration or life of each PLC, nor any provision for filling of casual vacancies. There was no requirement for ministers to be members of the PLC; the powers and responsibilities of the PLC are limited to civil matters and internal security and public order and subject to review by Israel. The PLC is excluded from the negotiations process with Israel; the first Palestinian legislative election took place on 20 January 1996 in accordance with Palestinian Election Law No. 13 of 1995 and its amendments. The law adopted the simple majority system. However, the election was boycotted by Hamas, Fatah won 62 of the 88 seats; the first PLC met for the first time on 7 March 1996. The Council was intended to replace the Arafat/Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, established as a temporary organ, pending the inauguration of the Council.
However, Arafat never transferred his powers to the PLC. After the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, on 6 September 2003, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmed Qurei became acting Prime Minister. Qurei was Prime Minister from 7 October 2003 to 26 January 2006; the Basic Law was amended in 2003. Under Article 66 of the Amended Basic Law of 2003, the approval of the PLC was required of each new government; the PLC in June 2005 increased the number of PLC members from 88 to 132, with half being elected under a system of proportional representation and half by plurality-at-large voting in traditional constituencies. A further Amended Basic Law of 2005 in August 2005 set a term of four years for the President, who may not serve more than two consecutive terms, of the PLC at four years from the date of election; the second Palestinian legislative election took place on 25 January 2006, which resulted in a decisive victory for Hamas. The second PLC was sworn in on 18 February 2006.
Subsequently, the Hamas government was formed and sworn in on 29 March 2006. The European Union supplied election observers to "assess the whole election process, including the legal framework, the political environment and campaign, electoral preparations and counting as well as the post-election period"; the United States had spent $2.3 million in USAID to support the Palestinian elections designed to bolster the image of President Abbas and his Fatah party. After the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the Gaza-based Hamas PLC members would meet separately in Gaza, leaving each part of the PLC without a quorum; the PLC has not convened since, awaits a Fatah–Hamas reconciliation. Laws have been made by presidential decree, the legality of, questioned by Hamas, which has refused to recognise such laws and decisions. Following the Hamas takeover of Gaza, President Abbas declared a state of emergency and, by presidential decree, besides other things, suspended the articles of the Amended Basic Law that required PLC approval of a new government.
In September 2007, following the Hamas takeover of Gaza, President Abbas by presidential decree changed the voting system for the PLC into a full proportional representation system, bypassing the dysfunctional PLC. The 2006 election was the last Palestinian legislative election, though under the Basic Law the term of a PLC is four years. Fatah and Hamas had agreed in the 2014 Fatah–Hamas Agreements that the election for the third PLC take place sometime in 2014, but has been postponed because of continuing disagreements between Hamas and Fatah. From the beginning, the PLC was not able to function properly for a number of reasons: Curtailment of freedom of movement In the months following the inauguration, members of the PLC were subjected to restrictions on their freedom of movement by Israel, as reported by human rights group PCHR, they had to obtain a permit from the Israeli authorities for every single travel, valid for short periods and sometimes refused. In 2001, the European Parliament noticed in a resolution that "The Palestinian Legislative Council is more than not hindered from attending the sessions" Isolation from the outer world.
Israel prevents official contacts with the outer world. The visit of members of the European Parliament to Gaza were denied. Israeli interference with the composition of the PLC. Politicians disliked by Israel were, still are, prevented from political activities by arresting them, holding them in
The Palestinian people referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs, are an ethnonational group comprising the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine over the centuries, including Jews and Samaritans, who today are culturally and linguistically Arab. Despite various wars and exoduses one half of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. In this combined area, as of 2005, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants, encompassing the entire population of the Gaza Strip, the majority of the population of the West Bank and 20.8% of the population of Israel proper as Arab citizens of Israel. Many are Palestinian refugees or internally displaced Palestinians, including more than a million in the Gaza Strip, about 750,000 in the West Bank and about 250,000 in Israel proper. Of the Palestinian population who live abroad, known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are stateless, lacking citizenship in any country.
Between 2.1 and 3.24 million of the diaspora population live in neighboring Jordan, over 1 million live between Syria and Lebanon and about 750,000 live in Saudi Arabia, with Chile's half a million representing the largest concentration outside the Middle East. Palestinian Christians and Muslims constituted 90% of the population of Palestine in 1919, just before the third wave of Jewish immigration under the post-WW1 British Mandatory Authority, opposition to which spurred the consolidation of a unified national identity, fragmented as it was by regional, class and family differences; the history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars. Legal historian Assaf Likhovski states that the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the 20th century, when an embryonic desire among Palestinians for self-government in the face of generalized fears that Zionism would lead to a Jewish state and the dispossession of the Arab majority crystallised among most editors and Muslim, of local newspapers.
"Palestinian" was used to refer to the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people by Palestinian Arabs in a limited way until World War I. After the creation of the State of Israel, the exodus of 1948 and more so after the exodus of 1967, the term came to signify not only a place of origin but the sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state. Modern Palestinian identity now encompasses the heritage of all ages from biblical times up to the Ottoman period. Founded in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization is an umbrella organization for groups that represent the Palestinian people before international states; the Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 as a result of the Oslo Accords, is an interim administrative body nominally responsible for governance in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1978, the United Nations has observed an annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. According to Perry Anderson, it is estimated that half of the population in the Palestinian territories are refugees and that they have collectively suffered US$300 billion in property losses due to Israeli confiscations, at 2008–09 prices.
The Greek toponym Palaistínē, with which the Arabic Filastin is cognate, first occurs in the work of the 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, where it denotes the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt. Herodotus employs the term as an ethnonym, as when he speaks of the'Syrians of Palestine' or'Palestinian-Syrians', an ethnically amorphous group he distinguishes from the Phoenicians. Herodotus makes other inhabitants of Palestine; the Greek word reflects an ancient Eastern Mediterranean-Near Eastern word, used either as a toponym or ethnonym. In Ancient Egyptian Peleset/Purusati has been conjectured to refer to the "Sea Peoples" the Philistines. Among Semitic languages, Akkadian Palaštu is used of 7th-century Philistia and its, by four city states. Biblical Hebrew's cognate word Plištim, is translated Philistines. Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, as in the writings of Philo and Pliny the Elder.
After the Romans adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, "Palestine" as a stand-alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and in rabbinic texts. The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers, it appears to have been used as an Arabic adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE. The Arabic newspaper Falasteen, published in Jaffa by Issa and Yusef al-Issa, addressed its readers as "Palestinians". During the Mandatory Palestine period, the term "Palestinian" was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, those granted citizenship by the British Mandatory authorities were granted "Palestinian citizenship". Other examples include the use of the term Palestine Regiment to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army during World War II, the term "Palestinian Talmud", an alternative nam
Cave of the Patriarchs
The Cave of the Patriarchs or Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Jews as the Cave of Machpelah and to Muslims as the Sanctuary of Abraham, is a series of caves located in the heart of the old city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. According to the Abrahamic religions, the cave and adjoining field were purchased by Abraham as a burial plot. Over the cave stands a large rectangular enclosure dating from the Herodian-era. Byzantine Christians took it over and built a Basilica which after the Muslim conquest was converted into the Ibrahimi Mosque. Crusaders took over the site in the 12th century, but it was taken back by Saladin 1188 and reconverted into a mosque. Israel took control of the site in 1967, dividing the structure into a mosque. In 1994, the Hebron massacre occurred in which a Jewish settler killed 29 Muslims praying in the mosque; the Arabic name of the complex reflects the prominence given to Abraham in Islam. Outside biblical and Quranic sources there are a number of legends and traditions associated with the cave.
The site is considered by Jews to be the second holiest place in the world, after the Temple Mount. The etymology of the Hebrew name, Me'arat Machpelah, for the site is uncertain; the word Machpelah means "doubled", "multiplied" or "twofold" and Me'arat means "cave" so a literal translation would be "the double cave". The name could refer to the layout of the cave, thought to consist of two or more connected chambers; this hypothesis is discussed in the tractate Eruvin from the 6th century Babylonian Talmud which cites an argument between two influential rabbis and Shmuel, debating over the layout of the cave: Apropos this dispute, the Gemara cites similar disputes between Rav and Shmuel. With regard to the Machpelah Cave, in which the Patriarchs and Matriarchs are buried and Shmuel disagreed. One said: The cave consists of two rooms, one farther in than the other, and one said: It consists of a room and a second story above it. The Gemara asks: Granted, this is understandable according to the one who said the cave consists of one room above the other, as, the meaning of Machpelah, double.
However, according to the one who said it consists of two rooms, one farther in than the other, in what sense is it Machpelah? Ordinary houses contain two rooms; the tractate continues by discussing another theory, that the name stems from it being the tomb of the three couples and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca and Leah, considered to be the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Abrahamic religions: Rather, it is called Machpelah in the sense that it is doubled with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, who are buried there in pairs. This is similar to the homiletic interpretation of the alternative name for Hebron mentioned in the Torah: "Mamre of Kiryat Ha'Arba, Hebron". Rabbi Yitzḥak said: The city is called Kiryat Ha'Arba, the city of four, because it is the city of the four couples buried there: Adam and Eve and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. Another theory holds that Machpelah didn't refer to the cave but rather was a large tract of land, The Machpelah, at the end of which the cave was found.
This theory is supported by some Bible verses such as Genesis 49:30, "the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite." The question over the right interpretation of Machpelah has been discussed extensively in various Biblical commentaries. According to Genesis 23:1–20, Abraham's wife Sarah dies in Kiryat Arba near Hebron in the land of Canaan at the age of 127, being the only woman in the Bible whose exact age is given, while Abraham is tending to business elsewhere. Abraham comes to mourn for her. After a while he speaks to the sons of Heth, he tells them that he is a foreigner in their land and requests that they give him a burial site so that he can bury his dead. The Hittites flatter Abraham, call him a Lord and mighty prince, say that he can bury his dead in any of their tombs. Abraham doesn't take them up on their offer and instead asks them to contact Ephron the Hittite, the son of Zohar, who lives in Mamre and owns the cave of Machpelah which he is offering to buy for "the full price".
Ephron slyly replies that he is prepared to give Abraham the field and the cave within it, knowing that it would not result in Abraham having a permanent claim to it. Abraham politely insists on paying for the field. Ephron replies that the field is worth four hundred shekels of silver and Abraham agrees to the price without any further bargaining, he proceeded to bury his dead wife Sarah there. The burial of Sarah is the first account of a burial in the Bible, Abraham's purchase of Machpelah is the first commercial transaction mentioned; the next burial in the cave is that of Abraham himself, who at the age of 175 years was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. The title deed to the cave was part of the property of Abraham; the third burial was that of Isaac, by his two sons Esau and Jacob, who died when he was 180 years old. There is no mention of how or when Isaac's wife Rebecca died, only that she outlived her husband, but she is included in the list of those, buried in Machpelah in Jacob's final words to the children of Israel.
Jacob himself died at the age of 147 years. In the final chapter of Genesis, Joseph had his physicians embalm his father Jacob, before they removed him from Egypt to be buried in the cave of the field of Machpelah; when Joseph died in the last verse, he was embalmed. He was buried much in Shechem after the children of I
Timeline of the name "Palestine"
This article presents a list of notable historical references to the name Palestine as a place name in the Middle East throughout the history of the region, including its cognates such as "Filastin" and "Palaestina". The term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from circa 1150 BC during the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt; the first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. The Assyrians called the same region "Palashtu/Palastu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BC through to an Esarhaddon treaty more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first appearance of the term "Palestine" was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" between Phoenicia and Egypt in The Histories.
Herodotus was describing the coastal region, but is considered to have applied the term to the inland region such as the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley. Greek writers such as Aristotle and Pausanias used the word, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the word was never used in an official context during the Hellenistic period, is not found on any Hellenistic coin or inscription, first coming into official use in the early second century AD. It has been contended that in the first century authors still associated the term with the southern coastal region. In 135 AD, the Greek "Syria Palaestina" was used in naming a new Roman province from the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea after the Roman authorities crushed the Bar Kokhba Revolt. Circumstantial evidence links Hadrian to the renaming of the province, which took place around the same time as Jerusalem was refounded as Aelia Capitolina, but the precise date of the change in province name is uncertain.
The common view that the name change was intended "sever the connection of the Jews to their historical homeland" is disputed. During the Byzantine period c. 390, the imperial province of Syria Palaestina was reorganized into: Palaestina Prima, Palaestina Secunda, Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. In the 20th century the name was used by the British to refer to "Mandatory Palestine", a mandate from the former Ottoman Empire, divided in the Sykes–Picot Agreement; the term was used in the eponymous "State of Palestine". Both incorporated geographic regions from the land known as Palestine, into a new state whose territory was named Palestine. C. 1150 BC: Medinet Habu: records a people called the P-r-s-t among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign.
C. 1150 BC: Papyrus Harris I: "I extended all the boundaries of Egypt. I slew the Denyen in their isles, the Thekel and the Peleset were made ashes" c. 1150 BC: Rhetorical Stela to Ramesses III, Chapel C, Deir el-Medina c. 1000 BC: Onomasticon of Amenope: "Sherden, Peleset, Khurma" c. 900 BC: Padiiset's Statue, inscription: "envoy - Canaan - Peleset" c. 800 BC: Adad-nirari III, Nimrud Slab c. 800 BC: Adad-nirari III, Saba'a Stele: "In the fifth year I sat down solemnly on my royal throne and called up the country. I ordered the numerous army of Assyria to march against Palestine... I received all the tributes. I ordered against the country Damascus." C. 735 BC: Qurdi-Ashur-lamur to Tiglath-Pileser III, Nimrud Letter ND 2715: "Bring down lumber, do your work on it, do not deliver it to the Egyptians or Palestinians, or I shall not let you go up to the mountains." C. 717 BC: Sargon II's Prism A: records the region as Palashtu or Pilistu c. 700 BC: Azekah Inscription records the region as Pi-lis-ta-a-a c. 694 BC: Sennacherib "Palace Without a Rival: A Very Full Record of Improvements in and about the Capital": Kue and Hilakku and Surri c. 675 BC: Esarhaddon's Treaty with Ba'al of Tyre: Refers to the entire district of Pilistu c. 450 BC: Herodotus, The Histories, First historical reference denoting a wider region than biblical Philistia, referring to a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê": "The country reaching from the city of Posideium to the borders of Egypt... paid a tribute of three hundred and fifty talents.
All Phoenicia, Palestine Syria, Cyprus, were herein contained. This was the fifth satrapy.". This part of Syria, all the region extending from hence to Egypt, is known by the name of Palestine." One important reference refers to the practice of male circumcision associated with the Hebrew people: "the Colchians, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, are the only nations who h
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III 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 and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking 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 accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem is the sector of Jerusalem, occupied by Jordan during the Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, occupied by Israel. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, East Jerusalem has been, along with the rest of the West Bank, occupied by Israel; this area includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as a number of adjacent neighbourhoods. Israeli and Palestinian definitions of it differ; the Palestinian official position is based on the 1949 Armistice Agreements, while the Israeli position is based on the current municipality boundaries of Jerusalem. These were determined by a series of administrative enlargements decided by Israeli municipal authorities since the June 1967 Six-Day War. Despite its name, East Jerusalem includes neighborhoods to the north and south of the Old City and, in the wider definition of the term on all these sides of West Jerusalem.
The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to be illegal under international law. Israel disputes this interpretation. During the 1948 Arab -- Israeli War, Jerusalem was contested between Israel. At the cessation of hostilities, the two countries secretly negotiated a division of the city, with the eastern sector coming under Jordanian rule; this arrangement was formalized in the Rhodes Agreement in March 1949. David Ben-Gurion presented his party's assertion that "Jewish Jerusalem is an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel" in December 1949, the following year, Jordan annexed East Jerusalem; these decisions were confirmed in the Knesset in January 1950 and the Jordanian Parliament in April 1950. When occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem, with expanded borders, came under direct Israeli rule, according to Ian Lustick, never formally annexed. In a unanimous General Assembly resolution, the UN declared the measures trying to change the status of the city to be invalid.
In the Palestine Liberation Organization's Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988, Jerusalem is stated to be the capital of the State of Palestine. In 2000, the Palestinian Authority passed a law proclaiming Jerusalem as its capital, in October 2002, this law was approved by chairman Yasser Arafat. Since that time Israel has shut down all offices and NGO organisations connected to the PLO in East Jerusalem, saying that the Oslo Accords do not permit the Palestinian National Authority to operate in Jerusalem; the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation recognised East Jerusalem as capital of the State of Palestine on 13 December 2017. East Jerusalem is a term. Arabs use the term Arab Jerusalem for this area in official English-language documents, emphasizing the predominance of the Arabic-speaking Palestinian population and distinguishing it from the Hebrew-speaking parts of Jerusalem. Israelis call the Arab-populated part of the city East Jerusalem because of its geographic location in the eastern part of the single larger Jerusalem city unit.
The term East Jerusalem is ambiguous and may be used to refer to either of the following: From 1948 to 1967 it referred to the 6.4 km2 Jordanian-ruled part of the city the predominantly Arab business district, the Old City and surrounding neighborhoods. It may be applied to the area that Israel annexed and included in municipal Jerusalem following its occupation by Israel from Jordan in 1967, which lies north and south of the former East Jerusalem; this area includes an additional approximate 64 km2 of the West Bank, including territory which included 28 villages and areas of the Bethlehem and Beit Jala municipalities under Jordanian rule. The area of East Jerusalem has been inhabited since 5,000 BCE, with settlement beginning in the Chalcolithic period. Tombs are attested by the Early Bronze Age, around 3,200 BCE. In the late second millennium BCE Settlement concentrated around the City of David, chosen because of its proximity to the Gihon Spring. Massive Canaanite constructions were undertaken, with a water channel excavated through rock drawing water to a pool inside the citadel, whose wall was a massive 23 feet thick, built from rocks some weighing up to 3 tons.
In 1934, the British Mandatory authorities divided Jerusalem into 12 wards for electoral purposes. The mapping was criticized by those who believed it was drawn to ensure a Palestinian majority on the Jerusalem city council; the actual mapping suggests otherwise, according to Michael Dumper, who states that the peculiar "hook" on the western electoral borders was a gerrymander made to include as many new Jewish neighbourhoods on that side as possible, while keeping outside of the boundaries Arab villages. To the east, the city's border ended at the Old City walls, in order to exclude the contiguous Arab neighbourhood of Silwan, Ras al-Amud and At-Tur and Abu Tor; these boundaries defined the municipality down to 1948. By 1947 Palestinian Arabs constituted a majority overall in the Jerusalem district, but Jews predominated within the British municipal boundaries, 99,000 to 65,100 Arabs; the Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem was concentrated to the Old Quarter, with a scattering present in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.
Of the 30 holy places in Jerusalem, only 3 were located in Western Jerusalem, with the overwhelming bulk lying within the eastern sector. During the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War, a large number of Je