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History of Palestine

Palestine is located between the Meditteranean Sea & the Jordan River. However, nowadays Palestine is only a de jure sovereign state, meaning that they have a recognized government but most of its territory is under de facto control of Israel.

The region was part of the Ottoman empire from 1516 until the British gained control in 1917 and the League of Nations approved of the mandate in 1922. Britain promised to acknowledge Arab independence during the war on the one side and declared support for a national home for Jewish people on the other side. As more & more Jewish people migrated to Palestine, tensions erupted. In 1936 the Arab Revolt that aimed at ending British imperialism and Zionist settlers broke out. As attacks escalated, Britain handed over their mandate to the UN in 1947.

The termination of the mandate became effective on May 15th, 1948, the same day David Ben Gurion declared the state of Israel. Following this statement, Arab neighbouring countries invaded the region. The war resulted in Israel acclaiming 78% of historic Palestine, leaving only the West Bank and Gaza strip for Palestinians. This mass eviction of Palestinians from their homeland is referred to as Nakba (‘catastrophe’) & turned over half of the Arab population into refugees. The Nakba is not over as ethnic cleansing is still occurring in Israel today and illegal settlements are being built on Palestinian land.

During the Six-Day War in 1967 Palestinians lost their remaining homeland as Israel annexed the West Bank and Gaza. The increased land expropriation and repression led to uprisings, the First Intifada in 1987 and the Second in 2000. After the First Intifada the Oslo Accords, a peace agreement brokered by Norway, led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and recognition of the PLO, an umbrella organisation for Palestinian factions. Corruption claims and critique of the party’s strategy towards Israel have helped the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas gain control over Gaza in 2006. Israel's occupation of Palestine is the longest in history & has caused a refugee population that today amounts to 1.5 million.

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