What is Palestine and who are Palestinians?
PALESTINE has been marred by conflict for years as tensions with Israel continue to rage on in the modern day.
But what is Palestine and why has there been fighting with Israel? Here's what you need to know.
What is Palestine?
Palestine is a small region of land in the Mediterranean and is home to the Arabic speaking Palestinian community.
The history of Palestine has been marred by frequent political conflict and violence because of its importance to several major world religions.
This is because it sits as a gateway between Africa and Asia.
In the past 100 years this conflict has been between the Arabic and Jewish communities who have clashed over who owns the region and who has the right to live there.
Despite being renamed as Israel in 1948, 135 United Nations members still recognize Palestine as an Independent State.
However, Israel itself, as well as other nations including the United States, don’t make that distinction
Where is Palestine?
Palestine is comprised mostly of parts of modern Israel and also features Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
After the borders were reformed in 1948, they have changed on a regular basis.
In the modern day, Palestinian communities are now split apart given that the vast majority of the territory is controlled by Israel.
According to Vox, this means that the Palestinian connection to the land has weakened, as Jewish communities put down roots in the territory.
In effect, the current borders blurs or constrains the boundaries of any future Palestinian state.
Who are Palestinians?
Arab people who call this territory home are known as Palestinians.
The people of Palestine have a strong desire to create a free and independent state for their community.
Palestinians are of the Muslim faith and speak Arabic.
There are estimated to be 4,750,000 Palestinians globally with 300,000 living in Jerusalem, according to a 2015 census.
What happened between Israel and Palestine?
The Israel Palestinian conflict has rumbled on for decades, having begun over a dispute between land and borders.
The area of land in question, formerly known as Palestine, was initially inhabited by a Jewish minority and an Arab majority.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
1917 – British seizes Palestine from Ottomans
1920 – European Jewish migration, which increased in the 19th century, begins to gather pace.
1940s – World War II and Holocaust saw Jews arrive in vast numbers as they fled persecution and later sought out a homeland.
1948 – As British rulers leave, the Jewish leaders living there declared the creation of the state of Israel.
However, many Arabs already living in the area objected to this and war between the two parties followed.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in the process in what they the call 'The Catastrophe.'
1949 – By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory.
1967 – After another war, Israel then fully occupied the Palestinian areas where their troops remained for many years.
Neither they nor their descendants have been allowed by Israel to return to their homes.
This is because Israel believes this would overwhelm the country and threaten its existence as a Jewish state.
Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
In the past 50 years Israel has built settlements in these areas, where more than 600,000 Jews now live.
Palestinians say these are illegal under international law and are obstacles to peace, but Israel denies this.
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