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Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين, romanized: Filasṭīn, pronounced [fɪ.lɪs.tˤiː.n]), officially the State of Palestine (دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn), is a state located in the Southern Levant region of Western Asia. Officially governed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), it claims the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip as its territory, though the entirety of that territory has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Six-Day War. As a result of the Oslo Accords of 1993–1995, the West Bank is currently divided into 165 Palestinian enclaves that are under partial Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rule; the remainder, including 200 Israeli settlements, is under full Israeli control. The Gaza Strip has been ruled by the militant Islamic group Hamas and has been subject to a long-term blockade by Egypt and Israel since 2007.
After World War II, in 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine, which recommended 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. Immediately after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the plan as Resolution 181, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. The day after the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab countries invaded the former British Mandate and engaged Israeli forces in the First Arab–Israeli War. Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the All-Palestine Protectorate in the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan, which had occupied and later annexed the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Palestine is currently recognized by 138 of the 193 United Nations (UN) member states. Though jurisdiction of the All-Palestine 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 and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War in June 1967.
On 15 November 1988 in Algiers, then-Chairman of the PLO Yasser Arafat proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the PNA was formed to govern (in varying degrees) areas A and B in the West Bank, comprising 165 enclaves, and the Gaza Strip. After Hamas became the PNA parliament's leading party in the most recent elections (2006), a conflict broke out between it and the Fatah party, leading to Gaza being taken over by Hamas in 2007 (two years after the Israeli disengagement).
The State of Palestine's mid-year population in 2021 is 5,227,193. Although Palestine claims Jerusalem as its capital, the city is under the control of Israel; both Palestinian and Israeli claims to the city are mostly unrecognized by the international community. Palestine is a member of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the G77, the International Olympic Committee, as well as UNESCO, UNCTAD and the International Criminal Court. Following a failed attempt in 2011 to secure full United Nations member state status, the United Nations General Assembly voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state. (Full article...)
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center. Founded by the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72 CE as Flavia Neapolis, Nablus has been ruled by many empires over the course of its almost 2,000-year-long history. In the 5th and 6th centuries, conflict between the city's Christian and Samaritan inhabitants climaxed in a series of Samaritan revolts against Byzantine rule, before their violent quelling in 529 CE drastically dwindled that community's numbers in the city. In 636, Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, came under the rule of the Islamic Arab Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab; its name Arabicized to Nablus. Following its incorporation into the Ottoman empire in 1517, Nablus was designated capital of the Jabal Nablus ("Mount Nablus") district. After the loss of the city to British forces during World War I, Nablus was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922, and later designated to form part of the Arab state of Palestine under the 1947 UN partition plan. The end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War saw the city instead fall to Jordan, to which it was unilaterally annexed, until its occupation by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Today, the population is predominantly Muslim, with small Christian and Samaritan minorities. Since 1995, the city has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority. In the Old City, there are a number of sites of archaeological significance, spanning the 1st to 15th centuries. The city is known for its kanafeh, a popular sweet throughout the Middle East, and soap industry.
Nablus, the second largest city in the West Bank after East Jerusalem.
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Sir Richard Williams (1890–1980) is regarded as the "father" of the Royal Australian Air Force. He was the first military pilot trained in Australia, and commanded fighter units in World War I. A proponent of independent air power, Williams played a leading role in the establishment of the RAAF and became its first and longest-serving Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). Born into a working class family, he was an Army Lieutenant when he learned to fly in 1914. As a pilot with the Australian Flying Corps in World War I, Williams commanded No. 1 Squadron and later 40th Wing RAF, earning the Distinguished Service Order. Afterwards he campaigned for an Australian Air Force separate from the Army and Navy, and this came into being on 31 March 1921. The fledgling RAAF faced challenges to its existence for the next decade, and Williams was credited with maintaining its independence. However an adverse report on flying safety saw him dismissed as CAS prior to World War II. Despite promotion to Air Marshal in 1940, he never again commanded the RAAF. After the war he was forcibly retired and took up the position of Director-General of Civil Aviation. He was knighted shortly before his retirement in 1955.
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Demographics: Definitions · State of Palestine · History · Name · People · Diaspora · Refugee camps · Arab citizens of Israel
Politics: Arab Higher Committee · All-Palestine Gov-t · PLO · PFLP · Depopulated villages
Today: Fatah · Hamas · Islamic Jihad · Political parties in the PNA · PNA · Hamas gov-t · Districts · Governorates · Cities · Arab localities in Israel · PNC · PLC ·
General: Palestinian flag · Law
Palestine: West Bank · Gaza Strip · E. Jerusalem
Religion: Islam · Christianity · Judaism · Dome of the Rock< · Al-Aqsa Mosque · Great Mosque of Gaza · Cave of the Patriarchs · Church of the Holy Sepulchre · Basilica of the Annunciation · Church of the Nativity · Joseph's Tomb · Rachel's Tomb · Lot's Tomb · Nabi Samwil
Culture: Art · Costume and embroidery · Cinema · Cuisine · Dance · Handicrafts · Language · Literature · Music
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