Nation profile

Palestine
Filastin

General information
Population
4,884,336, out of which 2,972,069 in the West Bank and 1,912,267 in the Gaza Strip (2016, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Figures not including Israeli colonists, which amount to 587,100 according to 2014 CIA World Factbook)
Area
6,220 km2 (West Bank and Gaza Strip)
Institutions
Palestinian Authority
Major cities
Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Jenin, Qalqilya
State administration
Israel
Territorial languages
Arabic
Official languages
Arabic (Palestinian Authority), Hebrew and Arabic (State of Israel)
Major religion
Sunni Islam (majority), Christianity
National day
15th November (Independence Day)

On Palestinian territory

In this information, the internationally recognized territory of the State of Palestine, as declared in 1988 by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), is taken as a reference. That territory is made up of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.

Nevertheless, most Palestinian organizations regard the entire territory of the former British mandate of Palestine as the legitimate Palestinian national territory, that is the whole of the territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel (26,990 km2 in total).

Palestinian self-government

The Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are under Israeli occupation since 1967. The proclamation of the State of Palestine in 1988 did not bring with it its effective establishment on the ground.

Following the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO, in 1994 the Palestinian National Authority was established. This was intended to be an interim body of Palestinian self-government, its final status to be determined in further negotiations. The Palestinian Authority currently administers part of the territory of the West Bank (the so-called Areas A and B, some 40% of the West Bank land) and the whole of the Gaza Strip. It has executive, legislative and judicial powers, but it is not an independent state.

Since 2006, control over the Palestinian Authority territories has been de facto divided in two parts. West Bank Areas A and B remain under the secular nationalist Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority; whereas the Gaza Strip is independently ruled by islamist party Hamas.