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As a result, the plan to divide Palestine never materialized


Various declarations, such as the declaration of an independent Palestinian state in 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization, referred to a country called Palestine, and defined its borders with varying degrees of clarity, including calling for the annexation of the whole of Israel to Palestine

Palestine theoretically includes the West Bank (a territory that sits between modern-day Israel and Jordan) and the Gaza Strip (which borders modern-day Israel and Egypt)

The land that encompasses present-day Palestine has been home to numerous ancient civilizations. These include the Canaanites, Philistines, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. The region was an important crossroads for trade and cultural exchange. In the 7th century, Arab Muslim armies conquered the region and brought Islam to the area. Over time, Palestine became part of various Islamic empires, including the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, and Mamluks. Throughout this period, the population of Palestine included Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire, led by the Turks, gained control over Palestine and ruled the region for about four centuries. During this time, the demographics and political landscape of the region continued to evolve. At the end of World War I, the Ottoman Empire collapsed, and the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over Palestine. The Balfour Declaration of 1917, issued by the British government, expressed support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. This declaration had significant implications for the future of the region.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of the Zionist movement, which advocated for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, and Jewish communities grew, leading to tensions with the Arab population. The Arab population, concerned about the growing Jewish presence and the potential displacement of Palestinians, began expressing opposition to Jewish immigration and land purchases. Tensions between the Jewish and Arab communities escalated, leading to sporadic violence and clashes.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority vote, approved the United Nations General Assembly resolution (Resolution 181 of the UN General Assembly), which seeks to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Arab-Jewish Conflict was intended to divide the land of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, and to control most of Jerusalem, which included Bethlehem, by international forces. 

Jewish leaders (including the Jewish Agency) accepted the plan, but Palestinian Arab leaders rejected it and refused to negotiate. Neighboring Arab and Muslim countries also opposed the partition plan. After the Arab High Committee declared a riot in Jerusalem in 1947, the Arab community reacted violently and clashed, resulting in the burning of many buildings and shops. As military conflicts between Palestinian and Jewish militias continued in Palestine, British rule over Palestine ended on May 15, 1948, the day before the founding of the State of Israel had been announced (see The Establishment of the State of Israel). 

Arab neighbors and their armies (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Jihad Army, Arab Liberation Army, and local Arabs) invaded the country shortly after Israel declared independence, followed by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. As a result, the plan to divide Palestine never materialized. Since the 1960s, the term "Palestine" has been used interchangeably in political contexts. Various declarations, such as the declaration of an independent Palestinian state in 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization, referred to a country called Palestine, and defined its borders with varying degrees of clarity, including calling for the annexation of the whole of Israel to Palestine. 

Most recently, a draft of the Palestinian constitution based on the West Bank and Gaza Strip ‎ defined the borders of Palestine before 1967 (the Six-Day War). This Green Line (Israel) is designated by the 1949 Interim Firefighting Agreement, and negotiations on defining permanent boundaries have not yet taken place. In addition, since 1994, the Palestinian Authority has taken control of various parts of ancient Palestine.

In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan for Palestine, recommending the establishment of separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem placed under international administration. The Jewish community accepted the plan, but the Arab states rejected it, leading to the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, following the withdrawal of British forces. The Arab-Israeli War resulted in the displacement of a significant number of Palestinians, with many fleeing or being expelled from their homes. This event, known as the Nakba (Catastrophe), remains a deeply contentious issue.

Following the war, Israel expanded its territory beyond the boundaries set by the UN partition plan, occupying additional areas that were intended for the Arab state. The Gaza Strip came under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was administered by Jordan. In 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War against neighboring Arab countries and occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. This occupation continues to be a major point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Since the 1990s, various peace negotiations have taken place between Israel and the Palestinians, seeking to establish a two-state solution. The Oslo Accords of 1993 led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank. Present-day Palestine refers to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The status and future of this territory remain unresolved, with ongoing conflicts, disputes over borders, and differing visions of statehood.

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