Palestinian people

Palestinian people

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The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

-speaking people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 with origins in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 proper. In this combined area, as of 2004, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants, or the entire 1.6 million population of the Gaza Strip, an approximate 2.3 million majority of the Israeli-occupied
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

 West Bank population (versus over 300,000 Israeli settlers, or close to 500,000 if including approximately 200,000 Jewish Israeli citizens in East Jerusalem), and over 20% of the population of Israel proper, mostly as Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

.

Throughout the aforementioned combined area, many are internally displaced Palestinians
Internally displaced Palestinians
A present absentee is a Palestinian who fled or was expelled from his home in Palestine by Jewish or Israeli forces, before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but who remained within the area that became the state of Israel. Present absentees are also referred to as internally displaced...

, including a majority of approximateley one million of Gaza Strip's population, but less so in the West Bank and Israel proper. The remaining two thirds of Palestinians live abroad, and comprise what is known as the Palestinian diaspora
Palestinian diaspora
Palestinian diaspora is a term used to describe Palestinians living outside of historic Palestine - an area today known as Israel and the Palestinian territories or the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip...

, more than half of whom are stateless
Statelessness
Statelessness is a legal concept describing the lack of any nationality. It is the absence of a recognized link between an individual and any state....

 refugees
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

, lacking citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 in any country. Of the diaspora, about 2.6 million live in neighboring Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 where they are approximately half the population, one and a half million between Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, a quarter million in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, while Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

's half a million are the largest concentration outside the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

.

Genetic analysis
Genetic genealogy
Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between individuals.-History:...

 and historical accounts suggest the Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 of Palestine are largely descendents of Christians and Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 of the southern Levant
Southern Levant
The Levant is the geographical region bordering the Mediterranean, roughly between Egypt and Anatolia . The Southern Levant is roughly encompassed by Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, along with the modern sovereign states of Israel, Jordan and the southern part of Lebanon.Although the term...

, and descendents of a core population that lived there in prehistoric times. Since the time of the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 in the 7th century, religious conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

s have resulted in Palestinians being predominantly Sunni Muslim
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 by religious affiliation
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, though there is a significant Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christians are Arabic-speaking Christians descended from the people of the geographical area of Palestine. Within Palestine, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic , Protestant, and others...

 minority of various Christian denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

s, as well as Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 and a small Samaritan community. Though Palestinian Jews made up part of the population of Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, very few identify as "Palestinian" today. Acculturation
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

, independent from conversion to Islam, resulted in Palestinians being linguistically and culturally Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

. The vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 of Palestinians, irrespective of religion, is the Palestinian dialect of Arabic
Palestinian Arabic
Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup spoken by Palestinians and the majority of Arab-Israelis. Rural varieties of this dialect exhibit several distinctive features; particularly the pronunciation of qaf as kaf, which distinguish them from other Arabic varieties...

. For those who are Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

, many are bilingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

 and fluent in Modern Hebrew. Those in the diaspora speak the languages of their host countries, in addition to, or to the exclusion of, Palestinian Arabic.

The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars. According to legal historian Assaf Likhovski, the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the twentieth century. "Palestinian
Definitions of Palestinian
-By place of birth:A "Palestinian" can mean a person who is born in the geographical area known prior to 1918 as "Palestine", or a former citizen of the British Mandate territory called Palestine, or an institution related to either of these...

" was used to refer to the nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 concept of a Palestinian people by the Arabs of Palestine in a limited way until World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The first demand for national independence of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 was issued by the Syrian-Palestinian Congress
Syrian-Palestinian Congress
The Syrian-Palestinian Congress, also known as the Syria-Palestine Congress or the Syro-Palestinian Congress was an organisation founded in June 1921 in Geneva by a group of Syrian and Palestinian exiles. The main aim of the congress was to try to influence the terms of the proposed League of...

 on 21 September 1921. After the creation of the State of Israel, the exodus of 1948
1948 Palestinian exodus
The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

, and more so after the exodus of 1967
1967 Palestinian exodus
The 1967 Palestinian exodus refers to the flight of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians out of the territories taken by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War including the demolition of the Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalo, and Bayt Nuba, Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem,...

, the term came to signify not only a place of origin, but the sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

. Founded in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) is an umbrella organization for groups that represent the Palestinian people before the international community. The Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

, officially established as a result of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, is an interim administrative body nominally responsible for governance in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Etymology




The Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 toponym Palestini (Παλαιστίνη), with which the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 Filastin (فلسطين) is cognate, first occurs in the work of the Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, active in the middle of the 5th century BCE, where it denotes generally the coastal land from Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

 down to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.
Herodotus also employs the term as an ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

, as when he speaks of the 'Syrians of Palestine' or 'Palestinian-Syrians', an ethnically amorphous group he distinguishes from the Phoenicians referring to the Aramaeic Samaritans led by Sanbalat and appointed by the Persian kings and the Arabs in Jerusalem referred to also by Ezra (the Bible). The word bears comparison to a congeries of ethnonyms in Semitic languages
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

, Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian Plst or flst, Assyrian
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

 as Palastu, and the Old Hebrew as Plishtim, the latter term used in the Bible to signify the Philistines
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

.

Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and the Jordan river, as in the writings of Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

, Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 and Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

. After the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, "Palestine" as a stand alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and even in rabbinic texts
Rabbinic literature
Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, can mean the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writing, and thus corresponds with the Hebrew term...

. The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers. It appears to have been used as an Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE.

During the British Mandate of Palestine, the term "Palestinian" was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and those granted citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 by the Mandatory authorities were granted "Palestinian citizenship". Other examples include the use of the term Palestine Regiment
Palestine Regiment
The Palestine Regiment was a regiment of the British Army that was formed in 1942. During World War II, the regiment was deployed to Egypt and Cyrenaica, but most of their work consisted of guard duty....

 to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and the term "Palestinian Talmud", which is an alternative name of the Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

, used mainly in academic sources.

Following the 1948 establishment
Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel
The Israeli Declaration of Independence , made on 14 May 1948 , the day before the British Mandate was due to expire, was the announcement by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, that the new Jewish state named the...

 of the State of Israel, the use and application of the terms "Palestine" and "Palestinian" by and to Palestinian Jews largely dropped from use. For example, the English-language newspaper The Palestine Post, founded by Jews in 1932, changed its name in 1950 to The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post is an Israeli daily English-language broadsheet newspaper, founded on December 1, 1932 by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post. The daily readership numbers do not approach those of the major Hebrew newspapers....

. Jews in Israel and the West Bank today generally identify as Israelis. Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

 identify themselves as Israeli and/or Palestinian and/or Arab.

The Palestinian National Charter, as amended by the PLO's Palestine National Council in July 1968, defined "Palestinians" as "those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father – whether in Palestine or outside it – is also a Palestinian." Note that "Arab nationals" is not religious-specific, and it implicitly
Entailment (pragmatics)
In pragmatics , entailment is the relationship between two sentences where the truth of one requires the truth of the other ....

 includes not only the Arabic-speaking Muslims of Palestine, but also the Arabic-speaking Christians
Arab Christians
Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs of Christian faith, sometimes also including those, who are identified with Arab panethnicity. They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans or Arabized Christians. Many of the modern Arab Christians are descendants of pre-Islamic Christian Arabian tribes,...

 of Palestine and other religious communities of Palestine who were at that time Arabic-speakers, such as the Samaritans and Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

. Thus, the Jews of Palestine were/are also included, although limited only to "the [Arabic-speaking] Jews
Arab Jews
Arab Jews is a term referring to Jews living in the Arab World, or Jews descended from such persons.The term was occasionally used in the early 20th century, mainly by Arab nationalists, to describe the 1 million Jews living in the Arab world at the time...

 who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the [pre-state] Zionist invasion." The Charter also states that "Palestine with the boundaries
Border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

 it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit."

The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars with some arguing that it can be traced as far back as the 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine
1834 Arab revolt in Palestine
The 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine was a reaction to conscription into the Egyptian army by the Wāli Muhammad Ali. Ali, as a part of a modernisation policy, began the conscription of ordinary subjects. Traditionally, soldiers were recruited from freebooters, loot-seekers, mercenaries, slaves or...

 while others argue that it didn't emerge until after the Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

 period. According to legal historian Assaf Likhovski, the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Palestinian history and nationalism




The timing and causes behind the emergence of a distinctively Palestinian national consciousness among the Arabs of Palestine are matters of scholarly disagreement.

In his 1997 book, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, historian Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Ismail Khalidi , born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.-Family, education and...

 notes that the archaeological strata that denote the history of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 – encompassing the Biblical, Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

, Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

, Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mamluk
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt was the final independent Egyptian state prior to the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in 1805. It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid Dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. The sultanate's ruling caste was composed of Mamluks, Arabised...

 and Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 periods – form part of the identity of the modern-day Palestinian people, as they have come to understand it over the last century. Noting that Palestinian identity has never been an exclusive one, with "Arabism, religion, and local loyalties" playing an important role, Khalidi cautions against the efforts of some Palestinian nationalists to "anachronistically" read back into history a nationalist consciousness that is in fact "relatively modern".

Baruch Kimmerling
Baruch Kimmerling
Baruch Kimmerling was an Israeli scholar and professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Upon his death in 2007, The Times described him as "the first academic to use scholarship to reexamine the founding tenets of Zionism and the Israeli State"...

 and Joel S. Migdal consider the 1834 revolt of the Arabs in Palestine as constituting the first formative event of the Palestinian people. Under the Ottoman rule (1516–1917), Palestine's Arab population mostly saw themselves as Ottoman subjects. In the 1830s however, Palestine was occupied by the Egyptian vassal of the Ottomans – Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

 – and his son Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

. The revolt was precipitated by popular resistance against heavy demands for conscripts, as peasants were well aware that conscription was little more than a death sentence. Starting in May 1834 the rebels took many cities, among them Jerusalem, Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 and Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 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...

 and Ibrahim Pasha's army was deployed, defeating the last rebels on 4 August in Hebron. Benny Morris
Benny Morris
Benny Morris is professor of History in the Middle East Studies department of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the city of Be'er Sheva, Israel...

 argues that the Arabs in Palestine nevertheless remained part of a larger Pan-Islamist or Pan-Arab national movement. Conversely, according to Walid Khalidi
Walid Khalidi
Walid Khalidi is an Oxford University-educated Palestinian historian who has written extensively on the Palestinian exodus. He is General Secretary and co-founder of the Institute for Palestine Studies, established in Beirut in December 1963 as an independent research and publishing center...

, Palestinians in Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 times were "[a]cutely aware of the distinctiveness of Palestinian history ..." and "[a]lthough proud of their Arab heritage and ancestry, the Palestinians considered themselves to be descended not only from Arab conquerors of the seventh century but also from indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 who had lived in the country since time immemorial, including the ancient Hebrews
Hebrews
Hebrews is an ethnonym used in the Hebrew Bible...

 and the Canaanites before them."

Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Ismail Khalidi , born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.-Family, education and...

 argues that the modern national identity of Palestinians has its roots in nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 discourses that emerged among the peoples of the Ottoman empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in the late 19th century, and which sharpened following the demarcation of modern nation-state boundaries in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Khalidi also states that although the challenge posed by Zionism
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 played a role in shaping this identity, that "it is a serious mistake to suggest that Palestinian identity emerged mainly as a response to Zionism." Conversely, historian James L. Gelvin
James L. Gelvin
James L. Gelvin is an American scholar of Middle Eastern history. He has been a faculty member in the department of history at the University of California, Los Angeles since 1995 and has written extensively on the history of the modern Middle East, with particular emphasis on nationalism and the...

 argues that Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

 was a direct reaction to Zionism. In his book The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War he states that "Palestinian nationalism emerged during the interwar period in response to Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 immigration and settlement." Gelvin argues that this fact does not make the Palestinian identity any less legitimate:
"The fact that Palestinian nationalism developed later than Zionism and indeed in response to it does not in any way diminish the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism or make it less valid than Zionism. All nationalisms arise in opposition to some "other." Why else would there be the need to specify who you are? And all nationalisms are defined by what they oppose."


Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis, FBA is a British-American historian, scholar in Oriental studies, and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University...

 argues it was not as a Palestinian nation that the Arabs of Ottoman Palestine objected to Zionists, since the very concept of such a nation was unknown to the Arabs of the area at the time and did not come into being until very much later. Even the concept of Arab nationalism in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, "had not reached significant proportions before the outbreak of World War I." Tamir Sorek, a sociologist, submits that, "Although a distinct Palestinian identity can be traced back at least to the middle of the nineteenth century (Kimmerling and Migdal 1993; Khalidi 1997b), or even to the seventeenth century (Gerber 1998), it was not until after World War I that a broad range of optional political affiliations became relevant for the Arabs of Palestine."

Whatever the differing viewpoints over the timing, causal mechanisms, and orientation of Palestinian nationalism, by the early 20th century strong opposition to Zionism and evidence of a burgeoning nationalistic Palestinian identity is found in the content of Arabic-language newspapers in Palestinian Territories, such as Al-Karmil
Al-Karmil (newspaper)
Al-Karmil was a weekly Arabic language newspaper founded toward the end of Ottoman imperial rule in Palestine. Named for Mount Carmel in the Haifa district, the first issue was published in December 1908, with the stated purpose of "opposing Zionist colonization".The owner, editor and key writer...

 (est. 1908) and Filasteen (est. 1911). Filasteen
Filastin (newspaper)
Filastin was a twice-weekly newspaper published from 1911-1948 in Palestine. Published from Jaffa, the principal publishers were Isa al-Isa and his cousin Yusef al-Isa. Both al-Isas were Greek Orthodox, opponents of British administration, and supporters of pan-Arab unity...

, published in Jaffa
Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...

 by Issa
Daoud Isa
Issa Daoud El-Issa was born in Jaffa, Palestine. As a prominent poet and journalist in Ottoman Palestine he founded the newspaper Filastin with his cousin Joseph...

 and Yusef al-Issa, addressed its readers as "Palestinians", first focusing its critique of Zionism around the failure of the Ottoman administration to control Jewish immigration and the large influx of foreigners, later exploring the impact of Zionist land-purchases on Palestinian peasants , expressing growing concern over land dispossession and its implications for the society at large.

The first Palestinian nationalist organisations emerged at the end of the World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Two political factions emerged. Al-Muntada al-Adabi, dominated by the Nashashibi
Nashashibi
Nashashibi is the name of a prominent Palestinian family based in Jerusalem. Many of its members held senior positions in the government of Jerusalem. Raghib al-Nashashibi was Mayor of Jerusalem .- History :...

 family, militated for the promotion of the Arabic language and culture, for the defense of Islamic values and for an independent Syria and Palestine. In Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, al-Nadi al-Arabi, dominated by the Husayni family, defended the same values.

The historical record continued to reveal an interplay between "Arab" and "Palestinian" identities and nationalism. The idea of a unique Palestinian state separated out from its Arab neighbors was at first rejected by Palestinian representatives. The First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations (in Jerusalem, February 1919), which met for the purpose of selecting a Palestinian Arab representative for the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

, adopted the following resolution: "We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

, natural, economic and geographical bonds."

After the Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa is the name of a site in the Judean desert that popular Palestinian folklore associates with Moses. It is also the name of a seven-day long religious festival that was celebrated annually by Palestinian Muslims, beginning on the Friday before Good Friday in the old Orthodox Greek calendar...

 riots
1920 Palestine riots
The 1920 Palestine riots, or Nabi Musa riots, took place in British Mandate of Palestine April 4–7, 1920 in and around the Old City of Jerusalem....

, the San Remo conference
San Remo conference
The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain , France and Italy and...

 and the failure of Faisal
Faisal I of Iraq
Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi, was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from 23 August 1921 to 1933...

 to establish the Kingdom of Greater Syria, a distinctive form of Palestinian Arab nationalism took root between April and July 1920. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and the French conquest of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, the formerly pan-Syrianist mayor of Jerusalem, Musa Qasim Pasha al-Husayni, said "Now, after the recent events in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine".

Conflict between Palestinian nationalists and various types of pan-Arabists continued during the British Mandate, but the latter became increasingly marginalized. Two prominent leaders of the Palestinian nationalists were Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Mohammad Amin al-Husayni
Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in the British Mandate of Palestine. From as early as 1920, in order to secure the independence of Palestine as an Arab state he actively opposed Zionism, and was implicated as a leader of a violent riot...

, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,appointed by the British, and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam
Sheikh Muhammad Izz ad-Din al-Qassam was a Tijani Sufi who led militant activities against British, French, and Zionist organizations in the Levant in the 1920's and 1930's.-Early life:...

.

Struggle for self-determination



Palestinians have never exercised full sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 over the land in which they have lived. Palestine was administered by the Ottoman Empire until World War I, and then overseen by the British Mandatory authorities. Israel was established in parts of Palestine in 1948, and in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were occupied by Jordan, and the Gaza Strip by Egypt
Occupation of the Gaza Strip by Egypt
The administration of the Gaza Strip by Egypt occurred between 1948 and October 1956, and again from March 1957 to June 1967. Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip but left it under Egyptian military rule as a temporary arrangement pending the resolution of the Palestine Question.-Background:After...

, with both countries continuing to administer these areas until Israel occupied
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

 them in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. Historian Avi Shlaim
Avi Shlaim
Avi Shlaim FBA is a British/Israeli historian. He is a professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the British Academy.Shlaim is especially well known as a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict...

 states that the Palestinians' lack of sovereignty over the land has been used by Israelis to deny Palestinians their rights [to self-determination].

Today, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 has been affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

, the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 and several Israeli authorities. A total of 122 countries recognize Palestine as a state. However, Palestinian sovereignty over the areas claimed as part of the Palestinian state remains limited, and the boundaries of the state remain a point of contestation between Palestinians and Israelis.

British Mandate (1917–1948)



Article 22 of The Covenant of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 conferred an international legal status upon the territories and people which had ceased to be under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire as part of a 'sacred trust of civilization'. Article 7 of the League of Nations Mandate required the establishment of a new, separate, Palestinian nationality for the inhabitants. This meant that Palestinians did not become British citizens, and that Palestine was not annexed into the British dominions. After the British general, Louis Bols, read out the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in February 1920, some 1,500 Palestinians demonstrated in the streets of Jerusalem. A month later, during the 1920 Palestine riots
1920 Palestine riots
The 1920 Palestine riots, or Nabi Musa riots, took place in British Mandate of Palestine April 4–7, 1920 in and around the Old City of Jerusalem....

, the protests against British rule and Jewish immigration became violent and Bols banned all demonstrations. In May 1921 however, further anti-Jewish riots broke out in Jaffa
Jaffa riots
The Jaffa riots were a series of violent riots in Palestine on May 1–7, 1921, which began as a fight between two Jewish groups but developed into an attack by Arabs on Jews during which many were killed...

 and dozens of Arabs and Jews were killed in the confrontations.

The articles of the Mandate mentioned the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, but not their political status. At the San Remo conference
San Remo conference
The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council, held in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It was attended by the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I who were represented by the prime ministers of Britain , France and Italy and...

 it was decided to accept the text of those articles, while inserting in the minutes of the conference an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of any of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine. In 1922, the British authorities over Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine
Mandate Palestine existed while the British Mandate for Palestine, which formally began in September 1923 and terminated in May 1948, was in effect...

 proposed a draft constitution that would have granted the Palestinian Arabs representation in a Legislative Council on condition that they accept the terms of the mandate. The Palestine Arab delegation rejected the proposal as "wholly unsatisfactory," noting that "the People of Palestine" could not accept the inclusion of the Balfour Declaration in the constitution's preamble as the basis for discussions. They further took issue with the designation of Palestine as a British "colony of the lowest order." The Arabs tried to get the British to offer an Arab legal establishment again roughly ten years later, but to no avail.

After the killing of Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam
Sheikh Muhammad Izz ad-Din al-Qassam was a Tijani Sufi who led militant activities against British, French, and Zionist organizations in the Levant in the 1920's and 1930's.-Early life:...

 by the British in 1935, his followers initiated the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, which began with a general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 in Jaffa and attacks on Jewish and British installations in Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 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...

. The Arab High Committee called for a nationwide general strike, non-payment of taxes, and the closure of municipal governments, and demanded an end to Jewish immigration and a ban of the sale of land to Jews. By the end of 1936, the movement had become a national revolt, and resistance grew during 1937 and 1938. In response, the British declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

, dissolved the Arab High Committee and arrested officials from the Supreme Muslim Council who were behind the revolt. By 1939, 5,000 Arabs had been killed in British attempts to quash the revolt; more than 15,000 were wounded.


The "lost years" (1948–1967)


After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

 and the accompanying Palestinian exodus
1948 Palestinian exodus
The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

, known to Palestinians as Al Nakba
Nakba Day
Nakba Day is generally commemorated on May 15, the day after the Gregorian calendar date for Israeli independence day...

 (the "catastrophe"), there was a hiatus in Palestinian political activity which Khalidi partially attributes to "the fact that Palestinian society had been devastated between November 1947 and mid-May 1948 as a result of a series of overwhelming military defeats of the disorganized Palestinians by the armed forces of the Zionist movement." Those parts of British Mandate Palestine which did not become part of the newly declared Israeli state were occupied by Egypt and Jordan. During what Khalidi terms the "lost years" that followed, Palestinians lacked a center of gravity, divided as they were between these countries and others such as Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

Israeli historian Efraim Karsh
Efraim Karsh
Efraim Karsh is professor and head of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College London, and director of the Philadelphia-based think tank, the Middle East Forum...

 takes the view that the Palestinian identity did not develop until after the 1967 war because the Palestinian exodus had fractured society so greatly that it was impossible to piece together a national identity. Between 1948 and 1967, the Jordanians and other Arab countries hosting Arab refugees from Palestine/Israel silenced any expression of Palestinian identity and occupied their lands more brutally than the Israelis did after 1967. The formal annexation of the West Bank by Jordan in 1950, and the subsequent granting of its Palestinian Arab residents Jordanian citizenship, further stunted the growth of a Palestinian national identity by integrating them into Jordanian society.

In the 1950s, a new generation of Palestinian nationalist groups and movements began to organize clandestinely, stepping out onto the public stage in the 1960s. The traditional Palestinian elite who had dominated negotiations with the British and the Zionists in the Mandate, and who were largely held responsible for the loss of Palestine, were replaced by these new movements whose recruits generally came from poor to middle class backgrounds and were often students or recent graduates of universities in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and Damascus. The potency of the pan-Arabist
Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

 ideology put forward by Gamel Abdel Nasser—popular among Palestinians for whom Arabism was already an important component of their identity—tended to obscure the identities of the separate Arab states it subsumed.

1967–present



Since 1967, pan-Arabism has diminished as an aspect of Palestinian identity. The Israeli capture of the Gaza Strip and West Bank prompted fractured Palestinian political and militant groups to give up any remaining hope in pan-Arabism. Instead, they rallied around the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO), founded in 1964, and its nationalistic orientation under the leadership of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

. Mainstream secular Palestinian nationalism was grouped together under the umbrella of the PLO whose constituent organizations include Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

, among other groups who at that time believed that political violence
Palestinian political violence
Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

 was the only way to liberate Palestine. These groups gave voice to a tradition that emerged in 1960s that argues Palestinian nationalism has deep historical roots, with extreme advocates reading a Palestinian nationalist consciousness and identity back into the history of Palestine over the past few centuries, and even millennia, when such a consciousness is in fact relatively modern.

The Battle of Karameh
Karameh
al-Karameh is a town in Jordan, near the Allenby Bridge which spans the Jordan River. The river defines the border between Israel and Jordan....

 and the events of Black September in Jordan
Black September in Jordan
September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events." It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The...

 contributed to growing Palestinian support for these groups, particularly among Palestinians in exile. Concurrently, among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a new ideological theme, known as sumud
Sumud
Sumud meaning "steadfastness" or "steadfast perseverance" is an ideological theme and political strategy that first emerged among the Palestinian people through the experience of the dialectic of oppression and resistance in the wake of the Six-day war...

, represented the Palestinian political strategy popularly adopted from 1967 onward. As a concept closely related to the land, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and indigenousness, the ideal image of the Palestinian put forward at this time was that of the peasant (in Arabic, fellah
Fellah
Fellah , also alternatively known as Fallah is a peasant, farmer or agricultural laborer in the Middle East and North Africa...

) who stayed put on his land, refusing to leave. A strategy more passive than that adopted by the Palestinian fedayeen
Palestinian fedayeen
Palestinian fedayeen refers to militants or guerrillas of a nationalist orientation from among the Palestinian people...

, sumud provided an important subtext to the narrative of the fighters, "in symbolizing continuity and connections with the land, with peasantry and a rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 way of life."

In 1974, the PLO was recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people by the Arab nation-states and was granted observer status as a national liberation movement
National Liberation Movement
A national liberation movement is an organization engaged in a war of national liberation.National Liberation Movement may also refer to:* Movement of National Liberation, a leftist party founded by former Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas...

 by the United Nations that same year. Israel rejected the resolution, calling it "shameful". In a speech to the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon
Yigal Allon
Yigal Allon was an Israeli politician, a commander of the Palmach, and a general in the IDF. He served as one of the leaders of Ahdut HaAvoda party and the Israeli Labor party, and acting Prime Minister of Israel, and was a member of the Knesset and government minister from the 10th through the...

 outlined the government's view that: 'No one can expect us to recognize the terrorist organization called the PLO as representing the Palestinians—because it does not. No one can expect us to negotiate with the heads of terror-gangs, who through their ideology and actions, endeavor to liquidate the State of Israel.'

In 1975 the United Nations established a subsidiary organ, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was founded in 1975 by resolution 3376 of the United Nations General Assembly...

, to recommend a program of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise national independence and their rights to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty, and to return to their homes and property.


The First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

 (1987–1993) was the first popular uprising against the Israeli occupation of 1967. Followed by the PLO's 1988 proclamation of a State of Palestine
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

, these developments served to further reinforce the Palestinian national identity. At the end of the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, Kuwait expelled some 450,000 Palestinians from its territory, making it the second largest displacement of Palestinians after 1948 Palestine War. Kuwait's expulsion policy, which led to this exodus, was a response to alignment of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the PLO with Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, who had earlier invaded Kuwait. The 1991 Palestinian exodus took place during one week in March 1991, following Kuwait's liberation from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i occupation. Prior to the exodus, Palestinians made up about 30% of Kuwait's population
Demographics of Kuwait
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Kuwait, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

 of 2.2 million. By 2006 only a few had returned to Kuwait.

The Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

, the first Israeli-Palestinian interim peace agreement, were signed in 1993. The process was envisioned to last five years, ending in June 1999, when the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area began. The expiration of this term without the recognition by Israel of the Palestinian State and without the effective termination of the occupation was followed by the Second Intifada in 2000. The second intifada was more violent than the first. The International Court of Justice observed that since the government of Israel had decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, their existence was no longer an issue. The court noted that the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995 also referred a number of times to the Palestinian people and its "legitimate rights". The right of self-determination gives the Palestinians collectively an inalienable right to freely choose their political status, including the establishment of a sovereign and independent state. Israel, having recognized the Palestinians as a separate people, is obliged to promote and respect this right in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.

Ancestral origins


Like the Lebanese
Lebanese people
The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

, Syrians
Demographics of Syria
Syrians today are an overall indigenous Levantine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history...

, Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, Maghrebis, and most other people today commonly called Arabs, the Palestinians are an Arab people in linguistic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and cultural affiliation. Like most other peoples today called Arabs, Palestinians descend from the pre-existing ancient inhabitants of their respective region and those who have come to settle it throughout history; a matter on which genetic
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

 studies described below has begun to shed some light.

American historian Bernard Lewis writes:
"Clearly, in Palestine as elsewhere in the Middle East, the modern inhabitants include among their ancestors those who lived in the country in antiquity. Equally obviously, the demographic mix was greatly modified over the centuries by migration, deportation, immigration, and settlement. This was particularly true in Palestine..."
Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains:
"Throughout history a great diversity of peoples has moved into the region and made Palestine their homeland: Canaanites, Jebusites, Philistines
Philistines
Philistines , Pleshet or Peleset, were a people who occupied the southern coast of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age . According to the Bible, they ruled the five city-states of Gaza, Askelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath, from the Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north, but with...

 from Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, Anatolian and Lydia
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

n Greeks, Hebrews
Hebrews
Hebrews is an ethnonym used in the Hebrew Bible...

, Amorites, Edomites, Nabateans, Arameans, Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Arabs, and European crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

, to name a few. Each of them appropriated different regions that overlapped in time and competed for sovereignty and land. Others, such as Ancient Egyptians, Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

, Persians, Babylonians, and Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, were historical 'events' whose successive occupations were as ravaging as the effects of major earthquakes ... Like shooting stars, the various cultures shine for a brief moment before they fade out of official historical and cultural records of Palestine. The people, however, survive. In their customs and manners, fossils of these ancient civilizations survived until modernity—albeit modernity camouflaged under the veneer of Islam and Arabic culture
Arabic culture
Arab culture refers to the culture in Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism are all part of the cultural heritage of the pan-Arab world.-Language:The Arabic...

."


Much of the local Palestinian population in Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 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...

 is believed to be descended from Samaritans who converted to Islam. Even today, certain Nabulsi surnames including Muslimani, Yaish, and Shakshir among others, are associated with a Samaritan origin.

Politicized lineages



Salim Tamari
Salim Tamari
Salim Tamari is the director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies and is an associate professor of sociology at Birzeit University, near Ramallah in the West Bank. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, has called Tamari "the preeminent Palestinian historical...

 notes the paradoxes produced by the search for "nativist" roots among Zionist figures and the so-called Canaanite (anti-Zionist) followers of Yonatan Ratosh
Yonatan Ratosh
Uriel Shelach , better known by his pen name Yonatan Ratosh , was an Israeli poet and the founder of the Canaanite movement.-Biography :...

. For example, Ber Borochov
Ber Borochov
Dov Ber Borochov was a Marxist Zionist and one of the founders of the Labor Zionist movement as well as a pioneer in the study of Yiddish as a language....

, one of the key ideological architects of Socialist Zionism, claimed as early as 1905 that, "The Fellahin in Eretz-Israel are the descendants of remnants of the Hebrew agricultural community," believing them to be descendants of the ancient Hebrew and Canaanite residents 'together with a small admixture of Arab blood'". He further believed that the Palestinian peasantry would embrace Zionism and that the lack of a crystallized national consciousness among Palestinian Arabs would result in their likely assimilation into the new Hebrew nationalism. Other founding fathers of Zionism believed that the Palestinian people were descended from the biblical ancient Hebrews. David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

 and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, later becoming Israel's first Prime Minister and second President, respectively, tried to establish in a 1918 paper written in Yiddish that Palestinian peasants and their mode of life were living historical testimonies to Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

 practices in the biblical period. Tamari notes that "the ideological implications of this claim became very problematic and were soon withdrawn from circulation."

Ahad Ha'am believed that, "the Moslems [of Palestine] are the ancient residents of the land ... who became Christians on the rise of Christianity and became Moslems on the arrival of Islam." Israel Belkind
Israel Belkind
Israel Belkind was a Jewish educator, author, writer, historian and founder of the Bilu movement. A pioneer of the First Aliyah, Belkind founded the Biluim, a group of Jewish idealists aspiring to settle in the Land of Israel with the political purpose to redeem Eretz Yisrael and re-establish the...

, the founder of the Bilu movement
Bilu
Bilu was a movement whose goal was the agricultural settlement of the Land of Israel. "Bilu" is an acronym based on a verse from the Book of Isaiah "בית יעקב לכו ונלכה" Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Venelkha...

 also asserted that the Palestinian Arabs were the blood brothers of the Jews. In his book on the Palestinians, "The Arabs in Eretz-Israel", Belkind advanced the idea that the complete dispersion of Jews
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

 out of the Land of Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 by the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 emperor Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

 is a "historic error" that must be corrected. While it dispersed much of the land's Jewish community around the world, those "workers of the land that remained attached to their land," stayed behind and were eventually converted to Christianity and then Islam. He therefore, proposed that this historical wrong be corrected, by embracing the Palestinians as their own and proposed the opening of Hebrew schools for Palestinian Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims
Arab Muslims are adherents of the religion of Islam who identify linguistically, culturally, or genealogically as Arabs. They greatly outnumber other ethnic groups in the Middle East. Muslims who are not Arabs are called mawali by Arab Muslims....

 to teach them Arabic, Hebrew and universal culture. Tsvi Misinai
Tsvi Misinai
Tsvi Jekhorin Misinai is an Israeli researcher, author, historian, computer scientist and entrepreneur. A former pioneer of the Israeli software industry, he now spends most of his time researching and documenting the common Hebrew roots shared by world Jewry and the Palestinians .-Biography:Tsvi...

, an Israeli researcher, entrepreneur and proponent of a controversial alternative solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

, asserts that nearly 90% of all Palestinians living within Israel and the occupied territories
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

 (including the Israeli Arabs and Negev Bedouin) are descended from the Jewish Israelite peasantry that remained on the land, after the others, mostly city dwellers, were exiled or left.

Claims emanating from certain circles within Palestinian society and their supporters, proposing that Palestinians have direct ancestral connections to the ancient Canaanites, without an intermediate Israelite link, has been an issue of contention within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

. In discussing the root of the controversy to the claim of Canaanite lineage, many renowned scholars have hypothesised on the nature of the controversy itself, although not deliberating on the veracity of the claims, as this is a question that shall ultimately be resolved by geneticists, not by scholars in their capacity as historians.

Bernard Lewis explains that "the rewriting of the past is usually undertaken to achieve specific political aims...In bypassing the biblical Israelites and claiming kinship with the Canaanites, the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Palestine, it is possible to assert a historical claim antedating the biblical promise and possession put forward by the Jews."

Some Palestinian scholars, like Zakariyya Muhammad, have criticized pro-Palestinian arguments based on Canaanite lineage, or what he calls "Canaanite ideology". He states that it is an "intellectual fad, divorced from the concerns of ordinary people." By assigning its pursuit to the desire to predate Jewish national claims, he describes Canaanism as a "losing ideology", whether or not it is factual, "when used to manage our conflict with the Zionist movement" since Canaanism "concedes a priori the central thesis of Zionism. Namely that we have been engaged in a perennial conflict with Zionism—and hence with the Jewish presence in Palestine—since the Kingdom of Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

 and before ... thus in one stroke Canaanism cancels the assumption that Zionism is a European movement, propelled by modern European contingencies..."

DNA and genetic studies




In genetic genealogy
Genetic genealogy
Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between individuals.-History:...

 studies, Negev Bedouins
Negev Bedouins
The Negev Bedouin are traditionally pastoral semi-nomadic Arab tribes indigenous to the Negev region in Israel, who hold close ties to the Bedouin of the Sinai Peninsula. The move away from their traditional lifestyle in modern times has led to sedentarization.Estimated to number some 160,000,...

 have the highest rates of Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA)
Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Y DNA haplogroup J1, also known as J-M267, is a sub-haplogroup of Y DNA haplogroup J, along with its sibling clade Y DNA haplogroup J2. Men with this type of Y DNA share a common paternal ancestry, which is demonstrated and defined by the presence of the SNP mutation referred to...

 among all populations tested (62.5%) followed by the Palestinian Arab 38.4%, Ashkenazi Jew 14.6%, and Sephardi Jew 11.9% according to Semino and colleagues. Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 populations, including Jews, usually possess an excess of J1 Y chromosomes compared to other populations harboring Y-haplogroup J.
The haplogroup J1, associated with marker M267, originates south of the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 and was first disseminated from there into Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 times. In Jewish populations J1 has a rate of around 15%, with haplogroup J2 (M172)
Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, Haplogroup J2 is a Y-chromosome haplogroup which is a subdivision of haplogroup J. It is further divided into two complementary clades, J2a-M410 and J2b-M12.-Origins:...

 (of eight sub-Haplogroups) being almost twice as common as J1 among Jews (<29%). J1 is most common in the southern Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, as well as Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, and Arabia, and drops sharply at the border of non-semitic areas like Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. A second diffusion of the J1 marker took place in the 7th century CE when Arabians brought it from Arabia to North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA) includes the modal haplotype
Modal haplotype
A modal haplotype is an ancestral haplotype derived from the DNA test results of a specific group of people, using genetic genealogy.The two most commonly discussed modal haplotypes are the Atlantic Modal Haplotype and the Cohen Modal Haplotype...

 of the Galilee Arabs and of Moroccan Arabs and the sister Modal Haplotype of the Cohanim, the "Cohan Modale Haplotype", representing the descendents of the priestly caste Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

.
J2 is known to be related to the ancient Greek movements and is found mainly in Europe and the central Mediterranean (Italy, the Balkans, Greece).

A study found that the Palestinians, like Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqis, and Bedouins have what appears to be substantial gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

, amounting to 10-15% of lineages within the past three millennia.

According to a 2002 study by Nebel and colleagues the highest frequency of Eu10 (i.e. J1) (30%–62.5%) has been observed so far in various Muslim Arab populations in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.
The term “Arab,” as well as the presence of Arabs in the Syrian desert and the Fertile Crescent, is first seen in the Assyrian sources from the 9th century BCE (Eph'al 1984).

In recent years, many genetic surveys have suggested that, at least paternally, most of the various Jewish ethnic divisions
Jewish ethnic divisions
Jewish ethnic divisions refers to a number of distinct communities within the world's ethnically Jewish population. Although considered one single self-identifying ethnicity, there are distinct ethnic divisions among Jews, most of which are primarily the result of geographic branching from an...

 and the Palestinians – and in some cases other Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

ines – are genetically closer to each other than the Palestinians or European Jews to non-Jewish Europeans.

One DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 study by Nebel found genetic evidence in support of historical records that "part, or perhaps the majority" of Muslim Palestinians descend from "local inhabitants, mainly Christians and Jews, who had converted after the Islamic conquest in the seventh century AD". They also found substantial genetic overlap between Muslim Palestinians and Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, though with some significant differences that might be explainable by the geographical isolation of the Jews or by immigration of Arab tribes in the first millennium.

Arabian origins of the local Bedouin Arabs



The local Bedouins of Palestine – which are a separately-identified and solely Muslim group, distinct from the non-Bedouin Arabic-speakers of Palestine which consists of members of the Muslim, Christian and other faiths – are said to be more securely known to be ancestrally descended from Arabians, and not just culturally and linguistically Arabized peoples. Their distinctively conservative dialects
Varieties of Arabic
The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

 and pronunciation of qaaf as gaaf group them with other Bedouin across the Arab world and confirm their separate history. Arabic onomastic elements began to appear in Edomite
Edomite language
The Edomite language was a Canaanite language spoken by the Edomites in southwestern Jordan in the first millennium BC. It is known only from a very small corpus. In early times, it seems to have been written with a Canaanite alphabet; like the Moabite language, it retained feminine -t. However, in...

 inscriptions starting in the 6th century BC, and are nearly universal in the inscriptions of the Nabataeans, who arrived in today’s Jordan in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. It has thus been suggested that the present day Bedouins of the region may have their origins as early as this period.

A few Bedouin are found as far north as Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

; however, these seem to be much later arrivals, rather than descendants of the Arabs that Sargon II
Sargon II
Sargon II was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co-regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the royal family...

 settled in Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

 in 720 BC. The term “Arab,” as well as the presence of Arabs in the Syrian desert and the Fertile Crescent, is first seen in the Assyrian sources from the 9th century BCE (Eph'al 1984).

Following the Muslim conquest of Syria
Muslim conquest of Syria
The Muslim conquest of Syria occurred in the first half of the 7th century, and refers to the region known as the Bilad al-Sham, the Levant, or Greater Syria...

 by Arabians, the formerly-introduced dominant languages of the area, Aramaic
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

 and Greek, were then replaced by the Arabic language introduced by the new conquering administrative minority. Among the cultural survivals from pre-Islamic times are the significant Palestinian Christian community, and smaller Jewish and Samaritan
Samaritan
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

 ones, as well as an Aramaic and possibly Hebrew sub-stratum in the local Palestinian Arabic dialect
Palestinian Arabic
Palestinian Arabic is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup spoken by Palestinians and the majority of Arab-Israelis. Rural varieties of this dialect exhibit several distinctive features; particularly the pronunciation of qaf as kaf, which distinguish them from other Arabic varieties...

.

Demographics

Country or region Population
West Bank and Gaza Strip 3,761,000
Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 
2,700,000
Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 
1,318,000
Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 
500,000 (largest community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 outside the Arab world)
Syria 434,896
Lebanon 405,425
Saudi Arabia 327,000
The Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 
225,000
Egypt 44,200
Kuwait (approx) 40,000
Other Gulf states
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

 
159,000
Other Arab states 153,000
Other countries 308,000
TOTAL 10,574,521


In the absence of a comprehensive census including all Palestinian diaspora populations, and those that have remained within what was British Mandate Palestine, exact population figures are difficult to determine. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

 (PCBS) announced on 20 October 2004 that the number of Palestinians worldwide at the end of 2003 was 9.6 million, an increase of 800,000 since 2001.

In 2005, a critical review of the PCBS figures and methodology was conducted by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group. In their report, they claimed that several errors in the PCBS methodology and assumptions artificially inflated the numbers by a total of 1.3 million. The PCBS numbers were cross-checked against a variety of other sources (e.g., asserted birth rates based on fertility
Fertility
Fertility is the natural capability of producing offsprings. As a measure, "fertility rate" is the number of children born per couple, person or population. Fertility differs from fecundity, which is defined as the potential for reproduction...

 rate assumptions for a given year were checked against Palestinian Ministry of Health figures as well as Ministry of Education school enrollment figures six years later; immigration numbers were checked against numbers collected at border crossings, etc.). The errors claimed in their analysis included: birth rate errors (308,000), immigration & emigration errors (310,000), failure to account for migration to Israel (105,000), double-counting Jerusalem Arabs (210,000), counting former residents now living abroad (325,000) and other discrepancies (82,000). The results of their research was also presented before the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 on 8 March 2006.

The study was criticised by Sergio DellaPergola
Sergio DellaPergola
Sergio Della Pergola is widely acknowledged as the leading authority in demography and statistics related to the Jewish population all over the world. Della Pergola has lived in Israel since 1966. He holds a Ph.D...

, a demographer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. DellaPergola accused the authors of misunderstanding basic principles of demography on account of their lack of expertise in the subject, but he also acknowledged that he did not take into account the emigration of Palestinians and thinks it has to be examined, as well as the birth and mortality statistics of the Palestinian Authority.
He also accused them of selective use of data and multiple systematic errors in their analysis. For example, DellaPergola claimed that the authors assumed the Palestinian Electoral registry to be complete even though registration is voluntary and good evidence exists of incomplete registration, and similarly that they used an unrealistically low Total Fertility Ratio (a statistical abstraction of births per woman) incorrectly derived from data and then used to reanalyse that data in a "typical circular mistake".

DellaPergola himself estimated the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza at the end of 2005 as 3.33 million, or 3.57 million if East Jerusalem is included. These figures are only slightly lower than the official Palestinian figures.

In Jordan there is no official census data that outlines how many of the inhabitants of Jordan are Palestinians, but estimates by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics cite a population range of 50% to 55%. In 2009, at the request of the PLO, "Jordan revoked the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians to keep them from remaining permanently in the country."

Many Palestinians have settled in the United States, particularly in the Chicago area.

In total, an estimated 600,000 Palestinians are thought to reside in the Americas. Palestinian emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 to South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 began for economic reasons that pre-dated the Arab-Israeli conflict, but continued to grow thereafter. Many emigrants were from the Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank of the Jordan River, near Israel and approximately south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority and a hub of Palestinian culture and tourism...

 area. Those emigrating to Latin America were mainly Christian. Half of those of Palestinian origin in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 live in Chile. El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 and Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 also have substantial Palestinian populations. These two countries have had presidents of Palestinian ancestry (in El Salvador Antonio Saca
Antonio Saca
Elías Antonio Saca González is a Salvadoran politician and was the President of El Salvador. He was elected President in 2004 to serve a five-year term that ended in 2009....

, currently serving; in Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 Carlos Roberto Flores
Carlos Roberto Flores
Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé was President of Honduras from 27 January 1998 to 27 January 2002 and President of the National Congress from 25 January 1994 to 25 January 1998.- Biography :...

). Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, which has a smaller Palestinian population, has a Palestinian minister
Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

 – Said Musa
Said Musa
Said Wilbert Musa is a Belizean lawyer and politician. He was the Prime Minister of Belize from August 28, 1998 to February 8, 2008.-Early life and education:Said Musa was born in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize...

. Schafik Jorge Handal, Salvadoran
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 politician and former guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 leader, was the son of Palestinian immigrants.

Refugees





There are 4,255,120 Palestinians registered as refugees with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This number includes the descendants
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

 of refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war, but excludes those who have since then emigrated to areas outside of UNRWA's remit. Based on these figures, almost half of all Palestinians are registered refugees. The 993,818 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and 705,207 Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, who hail from towns and villages that are now located within the borders of Israel, are included in these UNRWA figures.

UNRWA figures do not include some 274,000 people, or 1 in 5.5 of all Arab residents of Israel, who are internally displaced Palestinian
Internally displaced Palestinians
A present absentee is a Palestinian who fled or was expelled from his home in Palestine by Jewish or Israeli forces, before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but who remained within the area that became the state of Israel. Present absentees are also referred to as internally displaced...

 refugees.

Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the West Bank are organized according to a refugee family's village or place of origin. Among the first things that children born in the camps learn is the name of their village of origin. David McDowall writes that, "[...] a yearning for Palestine permeates the whole refugee community and is most ardently espoused by the younger refugees, for whom home exists only in the imagination."

Background



Palestinians are predominantly Muslims, the vast majority of whom are followers of the Sunni branch of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christians are Arabic-speaking Christians descended from the people of the geographical area of Palestine. Within Palestine, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic , Protestant, and others...

s represent a significant minority, followed by much smaller religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 communities, including Druze and Samaritans. Palestinian Jews – considered Palestinian by the Palestinian National Charter adopted by the PLO which defined them as those "Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 invasion" – today identify as Israelis (with the exception of a very few individuals). Palestinian Jews almost universally abandoned any such identity after the establishment of Israel and their incorporation into the Israeli Jewish
Demographics of Israel
The State of Israel has a population of approximately 7,798,600 inhabitants as of September 2011. 75.3% of them are Jewish , 20.5% are Arabs , while the remaining 4.3% are defined as "others" The State of Israel has a population of approximately 7,798,600 inhabitants as of September 2011. 75.3% of...

 population, largely composed of Jewish immigrants
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

 from around the world.

Until the end of the 19th century, most Palestinian Muslim villagers in the countryside did not have local mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s. Cross-cultural syncretism between Christian and Islamic symbols and figures in religious practice was common. Popular feast days, like Thursday of the Dead
Thursday of the Dead
Thursday of the Dead , also known as Thursday of the Secrets or Thursday of the Eggs is a feast day shared by Christians and Muslims in the Levant. It falls sometime between the Easter Sundays of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions. It is a day on which the souls of the dead are...

, were celebrated by both Muslims and Christians and shared prophets and saints include Jonah
Jonah
Jonah is the name given in the Hebrew Bible to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BC, the eponymous central character in the Book of Jonah, famous for being swallowed by a fish or a whale, depending on translation...

, who is worshipped in Halhul
Halhul
Halhul is a Palestinian city located in the southern West Bank, north of Hebron in the Hebron Governorate. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the city had a population of 22,108 mostly Muslim inhabitants in 2007.- History :...

 as both a Biblical and Islamic prophet, and St. George, who is known in Arabic as el Khader. Villagers would pay tribute to local patron saints at a maqam
Maqam
- Musical structures :* Arabic maqam, melodic modes* Mugam genre of Azeri-speaking cultures* Maqam al-iraqi genre of Iraq* Weekly Maqam prayer services of Sephardic Jewish culture* Makam, melody types of Turkey* Muqam, melody type of Uyghur culture...

– a domed single room often placed in the shadow of an ancient carob or oak tree. Saints, taboo by the standards of orthodox Islam, mediated between man and Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

, and shrines to saints and holy men dotted the Palestinian landscape. Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist, states that this built evidence constitutes "an architectural testimony to Christian/Moslem Palestinian religious sensibility and its roots in ancient Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 religions."

Religion as constitutive of individual identity was accorded a minor role within Palestinian tribal social structure until the latter half of the 19th century. Jean Moretain, a priest writing in 1848, wrote that a Christian in Palestine was "distinguished only by the fact that he belonged to a particular clan. If a certain tribe was Christian, then an individual would be Christian, but without knowledge of what distinguished his faith from that of a Muslim."

The concessions granted to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and other Western powers by the Ottoman Sultanate in the aftermath of the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 had a significant impact on contemporary Palestinian religious cultural identity. Religion was transformed into an element "constituting the individual/collective identity in conformity with orthodox precepts", and formed a major building block in the political development of Palestinian nationalism.

The British census of 1922
1922 census of Palestine
The 1922 census of Palestine was the first census carried out by the authorities of the British Mandate of Palestine, on 23 October 1922.The reported population was 757,182, including the military and persons of foreign nationality...

 registered 752,048 inhabitants in Palestine, consisting of 660,641 Palestinian Arabs (Christian and Muslim Arabs), 83,790 Palestinian Jews, and 7,617 persons belonging to other groups. The corresponding percentage breakdown is 87% Christian and Muslim Arab and 11% Jewish. Bedouin were not counted in the census, but a 1930 British study estimated their number at 70,860.

Today


Currently, no comprehensive data on religious affiliation among the worldwide Palestinian population is available. Bernard Sabella of Bethlehem University
Bethlehem University
Bethlehem University is the first university founded in the West Bank, Palestine. Bethlehem University traces its roots to 1893 when the De La Salle Christian Brothers opened schools in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nazareth, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt....

 estimates that 6% of the Palestinian population worldwide is Christian and that 56% of them live outside of their country. According to the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs
Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs
The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs was founded in March 1987 by Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi and by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals in Jerusalem. PASSIA is an Arab non-profit institution located in Jerusalem with a financially and legally independent...

, the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is 97% Muslim and 3% Christian.

The Druze became Israeli citizens and Druze males serve in the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

, though some individuals identify as "Palestinian Druze". According to Salih al-Shaykh, most Druze do not consider themselves to be Palestinian: "their Arab identity emanates in the main from the common language and their socio-cultural background, but is detached from any national political conception. It is not directed at Arab countries or Arab nationality or the Palestinian people, and does not express sharing any fate with them. From this point of view, their identity is Israel, and this identity is stronger than their Arab identity".

There are also about 350 Samaritans who carry Palestinian identity cards and live in the West Bank while a roughly equal number live in Holon and carry Israeli citizenship. Those who live in the West Bank also are represented in the legislature for the Palestinian National Authority. They are commonly referred to among Palestinians as the "Jews of Palestine," and maintain their own unique cultural identity.

Jews who identify as Palestinian Jews are few, but include Israeli Jews who are part of the Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta is a Haredi Jewish group formally created in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine, in 1938, splitting off from Agudas Yisroel...

 group, and Uri Davis
Uri Davis
Uriel "Uri" Davis is an academic and activist who works on civil rights in Israel, Palestinian National Authority and the Middle East. Davis has served as Vice-Chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights and as lecturer in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford...

, an Israeli citizen and self-described Palestinian Jew (who converted to Islam in 2008 in order to marry Miyassar Abu Ali) who serves as an observer member in the Palestine National Council. Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh , born ' , was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and...

, founder of the Baha'i Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, was on his way to imprisonment in `Akká after several banishments and it was his eventual 24-year confinement in the prison city of `Akka, Palestine (present day Israel), where he died. He had a growing amount of followers but because of a lack of census in Palestinian territories, it is hard to get exact figures of the amount of Palestinian Baha'is.

Language



Palestinian Arabic is a spoken Arabic dialect that is specific to Palestinians and is a subgroup of the broader Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic is a broad variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 to 200 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip...

 dialect. Prior to the 7th century Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

 of the Levant, the primary language was Aramaic, but ancient Arab tribal groups
Tribes of Arabia
Tribes of Arabia refers to Arab clans hailing from the Arabian Peninsula.Much of the lineage provided before Ma'ad relies on biblical genealogy and therefore questions persist concerning the accuracy of this segment of Arab genealogy...

 in the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

 (such as the Qedarites and the Nabataeans
Nabataeans
Thamudi3.jpgThe Nabataeans, also Nabateans , were ancient peoples of southern Canaan and the northern part of Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus , gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea...

) spoke Arabic and wrote in the Aramaic alphabet. Palestinian Arabic, like Syrian Arabic
Syrian Arabic
Syrian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Syria.-History:Syrian Arabic proper is a form of Levantine Arabic, and may be divided into South Syrian Arabic, spoken in the cities of Damascus, Homs and Hama, and North Syrian Arabic, spoken in the region of Aleppo. Allied dialects are spoken in...

 and Iraqi Arabic
Iraqi Arabic
Iraqi Arabic is a continuum of mutually intelligible Arabic varieties native to the Mesopotamian basin of Iraq as well as spanning into eastern and northern Syria, western Iran, southeastern Turkey, and spoken in respective Iraqi diaspora communities.-Varieties:Iraqi Arabic has two major varieties...

, exhibits substantial influences from Aramaic.

Palestinian Arabic has three primary sub-variations with the pronunciation of the qāf serving as a shibboleth
Shibboleth
A shibboleth is a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important...

 to distinguish between the three main Palestinian sub-dialects: In most cities, it is a glottal stop
Glottal stop
The glottal stop, or more fully, the voiceless glottal plosive, is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. In English, the feature is represented, for example, by the hyphen in uh-oh! and by the apostrophe or [[ʻokina]] in Hawaii among those using a preservative pronunciation of...

; in smaller villages and the countryside, it is a pharyngealized k (a characteristic unique to Palestinian Arabic); and in the far south, it is a g, as among Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 speakers. In a number of villages in the Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

 (e.g. Maghār), and particularly, though not exclusively among the Druze, the qāf is actually pronounced qāf as in Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic , also known as Qur'anic or Koranic Arabic, is the form of the Arabic language used in literary texts from Umayyad and Abbasid times . It is based on the Medieval dialects of Arab tribes...

.

Barbara McKean Parmenter has noted that the Arabs of Palestine have been credited with the preservation of the indigenous Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 place names
Place names in Palestine
Place names in Palestine have been the subject of much scholarship and contention, particularly in the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The significance of place names in Palestine lies in their potential to legitimize the historical claims asserted by the involved parties, all of whom claim...

 for many sites mentioned in the Bible that were documented by the American archaeologist Edward Robinson
Edward Robinson (archaeologist)
Edward Robinson was an American writer and authority on art, born in Boston in 1858.-Biography:He graduated from Harvard in 1879, and spent the following five years in study, especially in Greece and in Berlin , devoting his attention chiefly to archaeology...

 in the early 20th century.

Culture



Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist, has critiqued Muslim historiography for assigning the beginning of Palestinian cultural identity to the advent of Islam in the 7th century. In describing the effect of such a historiography, he writes:
Pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 origins are disavowed. As such the peoples who populated Palestine throughout history have discursively rescinded their own history and religion as they adopted the religion, language, and culture of Islam.
That the peasant culture of the large fellahin class embodied strong elements of both pre-Arabic and pre-Israelitic traditions was a conclusion arrived at by the many Western scholars and explorers who mapped and surveyed Palestine in great detail throughout the latter half of the 19th century, and this assumption was to influence later debates on Palestinian identity by local ethnographers.

The contributions of the 'nativist' ethnographies
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 produced by Tawfiq Canaan
Tawfiq Canaan
Tawfiq Canaan was a pioneering physician, medical researcher, ethnographer and Palestinian nationalist. Born in Beit Jala during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, he served as a medical officer in the Ottoman army during World War I...

 and other Palestinian writers and published in The Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society (1920–1948) were driven by the concern that the "native culture of Palestine", and in particular peasant society, was being undermined by the forces of modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

. Salim Tamari writes that:
"Implicit in their scholarship (and made explicit by Canaan himself) was another theme, namely that the peasants of Palestine represent—through their folk norms ... the living heritage of all the accumulated ancient cultures that had appeared in Palestine (principally the Canaanite, Philistine, Hebraic, Nabatean, Syrio-Aramaic and Arab)."


Palestinian culture is closely related to those of the nearby Levantine countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and the Arab World. Cultural contributions to the fields of art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, costume
Costume
The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

 and cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 express the distinctiveness of the Palestinian experience, and flourish despite the geographical separation between Palestinian territories, Israel and the diaspora.

Al-Quds Capital of Arab Culture is an initiative undertaken by UNESCO under the Cultural Capitals Program to promote Arab culture and encourage cooperation in the Arab region. The opening event was launched in March 2009.

Art




Similar to the structure of Palestinian society, the Palestinian field of arts extends over four main geographic centers:
1) the West Bank and Gaza Strip
2) Israel
3) the Palestinian diaspora in the Arab world, and
4) the Palestinian diaspora in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Cuisine




Palestine's history of rule by many different empires is reflected in Palestinian cuisine, which has benefited from various cultural contributions and exchanges. Generally-speaking, modern Syrian-Palestinian dishes have been influenced by the rule of three major Islamic groups: the Arabs, the Persian-influenced Arabs and the Turks
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. The Arabs who conquered Syria and Palestine had simple culinary traditions primarily based on the use of rice, lamb and yogurt, as well as dates. The already simple cuisine did not advance for centuries due to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

's strict rules of parsimony and restraint, until the rise of the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

s, who established Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 as their capital. Baghdad was historically located on Persian soil and henceforth, Persian culture was integrated into Arab culture during the 9th-11th centuries and spread throughout central areas of the empire.

There are several foods native to Palestine that are well known in the Arab world, such as, kinafe Nabulsi
Kanafeh
Kenafeh , also spelled knafeh, kunafeh, or kunafah, is a Middle Eastern sweet made of very fine vermicelli-like pastry. It is sometimes known as shredded phyllo.- Origin :...

, Nabulsi cheese
Nabulsi cheese
Nabulsi is one of a number of white brined cheeses made in the Middle East. Its name denotes its place of origin, Nablus, and it is well-known throughout the West Bank and surrounding regions. It is the principal cheese consumed in Jordan. Produced primarily from sheep milk, goat's milk is also...

 (cheese of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 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...

), Ackawi cheese
Ackawi cheese
Akkawi cheese is a white brine cheese, native to the historical region of Palestine in modern day Israel. It is named after the city of Acre, where it first originated, the Arabic akkawi meaning "from akka". It is commonly made using cow milk, but can be made with goat or sheep's milk as well...

 (cheese of Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

) and musakhan. Kinafe originated in Nablus, as well as the sweetened Nabulsi cheese used to fill it. Baqlawa
Baklava
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and much of central and southwest Asia....

, a pastry introduced at the time of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

, is also an integral part of Palestinian cuisine.

Mezze describes an assortment of dishes laid out on the table for a meal that takes place over several hours, a characteristic common to Mediterranean cultures. Some common mezze dishes are hummus
Hummus
Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the...

, tabouleh, baba ghanoush
Baba ghanoush
Baba ghanoush, baba ganush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug is a Levantine dish of aubergine mashed and mixed with virgin olive oil and various seasonings. A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a...

, labaneh, and zate 'u zaatar, which is the pita bread dipping of olive oil and ground thyme
Thyme
Thyme is a culinary and medicinal herb of the genus Thymus.-History:Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage...

 and sesame seeds.


Entrée
Entrée
An entrée is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main...

s that are eaten throughout the Palestinian Territories, include waraq al-'inib
Dolma
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions such as Russia, Middle East and the Caucasus and Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma. Common vegetables to stuff include onion, zucchini, eggplant,...

– boiled grape leaves
Grape leaves
Grape leaves are used in the cuisines of a number of cultures, including Turkish cuisine, Greek cuisine, Bulgarian cuisine, Arab cuisine, Romanian cuisine, and Vietnamese cuisine. They are most often picked fresh from the vine and stuffed with a mixture of rice, meat, and spices, and then cooked by...

 wrapped around cooked rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 and ground lamb
Domestic sheep
Sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name "sheep" applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries...

. Mahashi is an assortment of stuffed vegetables such as, zucchinis, potatoes, cabbage and in Gaza, chard.

Film



Palestinian cinema is relatively young compared to Arab cinema
Arab cinema
Arab cinema refers to the cinema of the Arab world.-Overview:There is increased interest in films originating in the Arab world. For example, films from Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Tunisia are making wider and more frequent rounds than ever before in local film...

 overall and many Palestinian movies are made with European and Israeli support. Palestinian films are not exclusively produced in Arabic; some are made in English, French or Hebrew. More than 800 films have been produced about Palestinians, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

, and other related topics, examples include Divine Intervention
Divine Intervention (film)
Elia Suleiman has used entirely non-original music of various genres and artists in the film. These include artists such as the Belgian singer Natacha Atlas, Indian composer A.R...

 and Paradise Now
Paradise Now
Paradise Now is a 2005 film directed by Hany Abu-Assad about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide attack in Israel. It won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category....

.

Handicrafts



A wide variety of handicrafts, many of which have been produced by Palestinians for hundreds of years, continue to be produced today. Palestinian handicrafts include embroidery and weaving, pottery
Palestinian pottery
Pottery in Palestine refers to pottery produced in Palestine throughout the ages, and pottery produced by modern-day Palestinians.-Continuity through the ages:...

-making, soap
Nabulsi soap
Nabulsi soap is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus in the West Bank, Palestine. An olive oil-based soap, it is made up of three primary ingredients: virgin olive oil, water, and a sodium compound...

-making, glass-making
Hebron glass
Hebron glass refers to glass produced in Hebron as part of a flourishing art industry established in the city during Roman rule in Palestine. For centuries, Hebron has been associated with glass production in the same way as Nablus has been associated with the production of soap...

, and olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

-wood and Mother of Pearl carvings
Mother-of-Pearl carving in Bethlehem
Mother-of-Pearl carving has been a Bethlehem tradition since the art was introduced to the city by Franciscan friars from Damascus during the 14th century....

, among others.

Intellectuals


In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Palestinian intellectuals were integral parts of wider Arab intellectual circles, as represented by individuals such as May Ziade
May Ziade
May Ziade , was a prolific Christian Lebanese-Palestinian poet, essayist and translator....

 and Khalil Beidas
Khalil Beidas
Khalil Beidas was a Palestinian Christian scholar, educator, translator and novelist...

. Educational levels among Palestinians have traditionally been high. In the 1960s the West Bank had a higher percentage of its adolescent population enrolled in high school education than did Lebanon. Claude Cheysson
Claude Cheysson
Claude Cheysson is a French Socialist politician who served as Foreign Minister in the government of Pierre Mauroy from 1981 to 1984.-Career:...

, France’s Minister for Foreign Affairs under the first Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

 Presidency, held in the mid eighties that, ‘even thirty years ago, (Palestinians) probably already had the largest educated elite of all the Arab peoples.’

Diaspora figures like Edward Said
Edward Said
Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

 and Ghada Karmi
Ghada Karmi
Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic. She writes frequently on Palestinian issues in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Nation and Journal of Palestine Studies...

, Arab citizens of Israel like Emile Habibi
Emile Habibi
Imil Shukri Habibi was an Israeli-Palestinian writer of Arabic expression and a communist politician, son of a Christian family.In 2005, he was voted the 143rd-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest...

, and Jordanians like Ibrahim Nasrallah
Ibrahim Nasrallah
Ibrahim Nasrallah is a Jordanian-Palestinian poet, novelist, professor, painter and photographer.He studied in the UN agency for Palestine Refugees schools and at the UNRWA Teacher Training College in Amman. He taught in Saudi Arabia for 2 years in the Qunfudha region and worked as a journalist...

 have made contributions to a wide number of fields, exemplifying the diversity of experience and thought among Palestinians.

Literature



The long history of the Arabic language and its rich written and oral tradition form part of the Palestinian literary tradition as it has developed over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Poetry


Poetry, using classical pre-Islamic forms, remains an extremely popular art form, often attracting Palestinian audiences in the thousands. Until 20 years ago, local folk bards reciting traditional verses were a feature of every Palestinian town. After the 1948 Palestinian exodus, poetry was transformed into a vehicle for political activism. From among those Palestinians who became Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel
Arab citizens of Israel refers to citizens of Israel who are not Jewish, and whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab....

 after the passage of the Citizenship Law in 1952, a school of resistance poetry was born that included poets like Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish
Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who won numerous awards for his literary output and was regarded as the Palestinian national poet...

, Samih al-Qasim
Samih al-Qasim
Samīħ al-Qāsim Samīħ al-Qāsim Samīħ al-Qāsim ( is an Israeli Druze whose Arabic poetry is well-known throughout Arab World. His poetry is influenced by two primary periods of his life: Before and after the Six-Day War. He joined the Communist Hadash political party in 1967...

, and Tawfiq Zayyad. The work of these poets was largely unknown to the wider Arab world for years because of the lack of diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab governments. The situation changed after Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani
Ghassan Kanafani was a Palestinian writer and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was assassinated by car bomb in Beirut, allegedly by the Mossad.- Early years :Ghassan Fayiz Kanafani was born in 1936 in the then Acre , British Mandate of Palestine...

, another Palestinian writer in exile in Lebanon, published an anthology of their work in 1966. Palestinian poets often write about the common theme of a strong affection and sense of loss and longing for a lost homeland.

Folklore


Palestinian folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s, oral history
Oral history
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

, proverb
Proverb
A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim...

s, jokes, popular beliefs, customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

, and comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of Palestinian culture. The folklorist revival among Palestinian intellectuals such as Nimr Sirhan, Musa Allush, Salim Mubayyid, and the Palestinian Folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 Society of the 1970s, emphasized pre-Islamic (and pre-Hebraic) cultural roots, re-constructing Palestinian identity with a focus on Canaanite and Jebusite
Jebusite
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited and built Jerusalem prior to its conquest by King David; the Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event...

 cultures. Such efforts seem to have borne fruit as evidenced in the organization of celebrations like the Qabatiya
Qabatiya
Qabatiya or Qabatia is a Palestinian town located in the northern West Bank 6 km south of the city of Jenin. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 49,198 in 2007....

 Canaanite festival and the annual Music Festival of Yabus by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture.

Costumes




Foreign travelers to Palestine in late 19th and early 20th centuries often commented on the rich variety of costumes among the Palestinian people, and particularly among the fellaheen or village women. Until the 1940s, a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or area they were from could be deciphered by most Palestinian women by the type of cloth, colors, cut, and embroidery
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 motifs, or lack thereof, used for the robe-like dress or "thoub" in Arabic. Though such local and regional variations largely disappeared after the 1948 Palestinian exodus] Palestinian embroidery and costume continue to be produced in new forms and worn alongside Islamic and Western fashions.

Dance


The Dabke
Dabke
Dabke is an Arab folk dance. It is popular in several Arab countries such as Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria,and Iraq. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions...

 dance is marked by synchronized jumping, stamping, and movement, similar to tap dancing. One version is performed by men, another by women.

Folk tales


Traditional storytelling among Palestinians is prefaced with an invitation to the listeners to give blessings to God and the Prophet Mohammed or the Virgin Mary as the case may be, and includes the traditional opening: "There was, or there was not, in the oldness of time ..." Formulaic elements of the stories share much in common with the wider Arab world, though the rhyming scheme is distinct. There are a cast of supernatural characters: djinns who can cross the Seven Seas in an instant, giants, and ghouls with eyes of ember and teeth of brass. Stories invariably have a happy ending, and the storyteller will usually finish off with a rhyme like: "The bird has taken flight, God bless you tonight," or "Tutu, tutu, finished is my haduttu (story)."

Music




Palestinian music
Palestinian music
The music of Palestine is one of many regional sub-genres of Arabic music. While it shares much in common with Arabic music, both structurally and instrumentally, there are musical forms and subject matter that are distinctively Palestinian.-Pre-1948:...

 is well-known and respected throughout the Arab world. A new wave of performers emerged with distinctively Palestinian themes following the 1948 Palestinian exodus
1948 Palestinian exodus
The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

, relating to the dreams of statehood and the burgeoning nationalist sentiments. In addition to zajal
Zajal
Zajal is a traditional form of oral strophic poetry declaimed in a colloquial dialect with ancient roots in a number of Mediterranean cultures. The form is similar to Muwashshah. The origin of zajal is Al-Andalus...

and ataaba
Ataaba
The ataaba is a traditional Arabic musical form sung at weddings or festivals, and sometimes also by people at work. Popular in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, it was originally a Bedouin genre, improvised by a solo poet-singer accompanying himself on the rababa...

, traditional Palestinian songs include: Bein Al-dawai, Al-Rozana, Zarif – Al-Toul, and Al-Maijana, Dal'ona, Sahja/Saamir, Zaghareet. For over three decades, the Palestinian National Music and Dance Troupe (El Funoun) in Palestine has promoted and developed Palestinian traditional songs and dance. Examples include Mish'al (1986), Marj Ibn 'Amer(1989) and Zaghareed (1997) a collection of Palestinian traditional wedding songs reinterpreted and re-arranged by Mohsen Subhi
Mohsen Subhi
Mohsen Subhi was a Palestinian composer of classical Arabic music and arranger of modern Palestinian music and folk song....

. (See section on "External links"). The Ataaba is a form of folk singing that spread outwards from Palestine. It consists of 4 verses, following a specific form and meter. The main aspect of the ataaba is that the first three verses must end with the same word meaning three different things, and the fourth verse comes as a conclusion to the whole thing. It is usually followed by a dalouna.

See also

  • Definitions of Palestinian
    Definitions of Palestinian
    -By place of birth:A "Palestinian" can mean a person who is born in the geographical area known prior to 1918 as "Palestine", or a former citizen of the British Mandate territory called Palestine, or an institution related to either of these...

  • List of Palestinians
  • 1948 Palestinian exodus
    1948 Palestinian exodus
    The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

  • 1967 Palestinian exodus
    1967 Palestinian exodus
    The 1967 Palestinian exodus refers to the flight of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians out of the territories taken by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War including the demolition of the Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalo, and Bayt Nuba, Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem,...

  • 1991 Palestinian exodus from Kuwait
  • Palestinian Arab villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestine War

External links