GENERAL /

Date Established: November 15, 1988 (Declaration of Independence but ongoing sovereignty dispute with Israel)

US Aid: Obligated: $
Spent: $

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Mahmoud Abbas

Head of Government: Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh

Government Type: Presidential Republic

Capital: Ramallah, (Jerusalem, proclaimed)

Legislature: National Council

Judiciary: Mixed legal system with Islamic law, French law, and common law

Ambassador to US: The US does not recognize the State of Palestine and therefore has no diplomatic nor consular exchanges with it

US Ambassador: The US does not recognize the State of Palestine and therefore has no diplomatic nor consular exchanges with it

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 5.1 million

Language: Arabic (official), Hebrew, English

Ethnicity: Palestinian Arabs, Jews, Arameans, other

Religion: Muslims (predominantly Sunni) (80-85%), Jewish (12-14%), Christian (mainly Greek Orthodox) (1-2.5%), other (< 1%)

Christian Communities: Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox, Greek (Melkite) Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Maronite, Chaldean Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Palestinian territories

Palestinian territories

BACKGROUND

The Palestinian Territories, according to the United Nations, are a de jure sovereign state. The territory is divided into two separate locations in the region: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For more than 400 years, the Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine until after World War I, which resulted in British control of the land. Significant tension between the indigenous population in Palestine and Jewish immigrants fleeing persecution and genocide led to the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which proposed to divide the land between the two. After Israel declared statehood in 1948, the outcome of war left many Palestinians stateless. The Oslo Accords established Palestinian interim self-government, but the Palestinian people continue to seek full sovereignty today. In the West Bank, it is estimated that approximately 1% of the population of approximately 3 million people is Christian and in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 1.9 million, there are fewer than 1,000 Christians left.

LATEST NEWS

  • Israeli warplanes attack targets south of Gaza: Israeli warplanes last night carried out at least two airstrikes targeting two locations in the south of the Gaza Strip, causing damages to the sites bombed but no casualties, said WAFA correspondent. -WAFA

  • Israeli court remands BDS coordinator for another 15 days: The Israeli military court of Salem, near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, approved yesterday a request by the so-called Israeli Internal Security (Shin Bet) to extend the detention of the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) coordinator in Palestine, Mahmoud Nawajaa, by 15 days. -WAFA

  • Israeli court orders release of Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem governor, intelligence chief with condition: The Israeli Magistrate Court in Jerusalem today ordered release of the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem governor, Adnan Ghaith, and its intelligence chief, Jihad al-Faqih, after holding them since July 19, according to local sources. -WAFA

  • President extends state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic: President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday evening extended the state of emergency for a month to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. -WAFA

  • In a show of solidarity, Palestine Broadcasting Corporation building in Ramallah lit with the Lebanese flag: In a show of solidarity with Lebanon, the Ramallah headquarters of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) was lit last night with the Lebanese flag and the phrase "From Palestine to Lebanon, our hearts are with you." -WAFA