Bookmark and Share

1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Open map of PalestineFlag of PalestinePalestine /

Palestine as one unity is a fairly young idea, growing as a parallel contender to Zionism, becoming a strong force first after the war of 1947/9. Until the 1990s, the establishment of a Palestinian state seemed very unlikely.
1988: Jordan gives up the West Bank in favour of the Palestinian people. The West Bank had still a strong majority of Palestinians who considered towns and villages in Israel as their true homes. The West Bank was also under boundless Israeli control, which it had been since the occupation of 1967.
November 15: The Palestinian state is declared in an convention in Algiers, and a flag for the new state is presented. This new state is recognized only by states that have not recognized Israel, and it has no political power, only symbolic.
1993: The Oslo Agreement is presented to the great surprise of the world public. The content of the Oslo Agreement is a "peace for land"- principle.
September 13: Oslo Agreement is signed in Washington.
1994: Autonomy of Jericho on the West Bank, and Gaza Strip begins. The agreement is signed on May 4, and the period of autonomy will end on May 4, 1999.
1995: Oslo 2 Agreement is signed in Washington. This changes much of the content of the Oslo agreement, and settles the rules for the forthcoming peace process. The West Bank is divided into three zones, where the Palestinians only control the security in some of the larger cities.
1996: National elections, which foreign observers declare as free and fair. The elections have a good turnout, and Yassir Arafat is elected president.
1997: This becomes a year of minimal progress in the peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel, much thanks to the hard line politics of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He initiated the establishment of new Jewish-only settlements on the West Bank, which resulted in destroyed connections between the Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem. Arafat responded with less willingness to conduct talks with Israel, and the Palestinians resumed their fights, similar to how the situation had been during the Intifada.
2000 July 4: The Palestinian Central Council ratifies a plan for officially declaring a Palestinian state on September 13, even if no final peace agreement has been reached with Israel. Polls among Palestinians show pessimism over the possibility of having a final peace agreement with Israel by September 13. A majority also believes that a Palestinian state will not be declared on this date. 1/3 were in favour of direct confrontation or a new intifada, while another 1/3 supported the Palestinian leadership.
September 13: This day passes, but no independence is declared, as no final peace agreement has not been signed with Israel.
September 28: A new intifada breaks out, following Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to Muslim sanctities in Jerusalem/Al Quds. Over the following 3 months, many small clashes between stone throwing Palestinian youths and armed Israeli military, leaves hundreds of killed. There are also killings of Israelis performed by armed Palestinian guerilla, as well as killings by illegal Jewish settlers against Palestinians.
2005 February: The Israeli government adopt a plan for Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
August 15: Despite heavy Jewish protests, the Israelis start dismantling Israeli settlements in Gaza Strip along with removing Jewish settlers.
September 12: The Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip is completed. Israel also moves out of the Philadelphi Route, the Israeli corridor parallel to the border line, making it possible for Palestinians and Egyptians to cross between the two countries.
2006 January 26: Hamas wins a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council. They get 42.9% of the votes and 76 of 132 seats.
March 29: Ismail Haniya is sworn in as prime minister for a government of Á
2007 June: Fights between Hamas and Fatah militia on the Gaza Strip, in which Hamas takes over several strongholds. There are clashes on the West Bank, but Fatah being by far the strongest here, manages to drive Hamas aggression back.
June 14: President Abbas dissolves the coalition goverment, but Prime Minister Haniya refuses to resign.

By Tore Kjeilen