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Arabic: rām allah

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Ramallah, Palestine.
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Ramallah, Palestine. Photo: Josh Evnin.

Ramallah, Palestine.
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Photo: Felix Abraham.

Ramallah, Palestine.
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Photo: David Lisbona.

City in Palestine with about 120,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate). The city is situated on a crest of the Judean Hills at an elevation of 872 metres above sea level (1267 metres above the level of the Dead Sea), 15 km north of Jerusalem. Its name can be translated from Arabic with "height of God".
The city is situated in a fertile area, with olive trees and wine growing.
Ramallah is today made up of two cities, Ramallah and Al Birah, which are both of about the same size. Ramallah is predominantly Christian, while Al Birah has a Muslim majority.
Ramallah is the site of the Palestinian parliament, as well as Palestine's leading university, Bir Zeit.

Around 0: First historical traces of Ramallah in history.
1924: The Bir Zeit University is established in Ramallah.
1950: Ramallah comes under Jordanian control, with the annexation of the West Bank.
1967: Following the Six-Day War, Ramallah falls under Israeli control.
1988: Ramallah becomes Palestinian territory following the Jordanian transfer of their rights over the West Bank to the Palestinian people. Yet, Ramallah and the West Bank continues to stay under Israeli control.
1996: Ramallah comes under control of the Palestinian authority.
2000 October 12: Israel launches military attacks on Ramallah, following the killing of 2 Israeli soldiers by Palestinian mob. Israel blames the Palestinian authorities for the incident.

By Tore Kjeilen