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Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn), recognized officially as the State of Palestine[i] (Arabic: دولة فلسطين Dawlat Filasṭīn) by the United Nations and other entities, is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt) with Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah.[ii] The entirety of territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied since 1948, first by Egypt and Jordan and then by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestine has a population of 5,051,953 as of February 2020, ranked 121st in the world.
After World War II, in 1947, the UN adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine 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. The day after the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate and fought the Israeli forces. Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan. 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. Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria in June 1967 during the Six-Day War.
On 15 November 1988, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be ruled by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
The State of Palestine is recognized by 138 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations. Palestine is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies. Read more...
Joseph's Tomb (Hebrew: קבר יוסף, Qever Yosef, Arabic: قبر يوسف, Qabr Yūsuf) is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, 325 yards northwest of Jacob's Well, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem. Biblical tradition identifies the general area of Shechem as the resting-place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, the eponymous ancestor of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph's tomb has been venerated throughout the ages by Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims. Recently the structure has been refurbished, with a new cupola installed, and visits by Jewish worshippers have resumed.
A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
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Edward Wadie Saïd (Arabic pronunciation: [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd] Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد, Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was an American-Palestinian literary theorist, and University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He was a founding figure of the critical field of post-colonialism. Saïd was a Palestinian Arab born in Jerusalem (then in the British Mandate of Palestine), and held an American passport through his father who was a Palestinian U.S. citizen with Protestant origins. Said was an advocate for the human rights of the Palestinian people, whom the commentator Robert Fisk described as the Palestinians' most powerful voice. As an influential cultural critic, academic, and writer, Edward Saïd was known best for the book Orientalism (1978), a critical analysis of the ideas that are the bases of Orientalism — the Western study of Eastern cultures. As a public intellectual, he discussed contemporary politics, music, culture, and literature, in lectures, newspaper and magazine articles, and books. Drawing from his family experiences as a Palestinian Christian in the Middle East, at the time of the establishment of Israel (1948), Saïd argued for the establishment of a Palestinian state, equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel — including the right of return — and for increased U.S. political pressure upon Israel to recognize, grant, and respect said rights; he also criticized the political and cultural politics of Arab and Muslim régimes. He received a Western education in the U.S., where he resided from adolescence until his death in 2003; as such, in his memoirs, Out of Place (1999), Saïd applied his dual cultural heritage to narrow the gap of political and cultural understanding between The West and the Middle East, to improve Western understanding of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. His decade-long membership in the Palestinian National Council, and his pro–Palestinian political activism, made him a controversial public intellectual.
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