The Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank have been at the centre of more than half a century of dispute over the legality of the occupation of neighbouring land by the state of Israel. Gaza also has a border with Egypt, while Jordan shares a border with the West Bank.

Eastern Jerusalem is claimed as the capital city of the Palestinian territories but the seat of the Palestinian Authority is in Ramalla, and for day-to-day purposes this is the administrative capital.

Fateh Net
Official website (Arabic)

Ynet News
Israeli news site

History of Fatah

Ma’an News Agency
Independent Palestinian news agency (English version)

BBC coverage

From the Council on Foreign Relations:
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Crisis Guide

Toward the Brink in Gaza
Hamas backgrounder

CIA - The World Factbook: Gaza Strip

CIA - The World Factbook: West Bank

Morning swim, Gaza
courtesy of arabianEye.com

West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel removed settlers and military personnel from the Gaza Strip in August 2005.

Israel continues construction of a "seam line" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew from four settlements in the northern West Bank in August 2005; since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), headquartered in Jerusalem, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip became distinct geographical units as a result of the 1949 armistice that divided the new Jewish state of Israel from other parts of Mandate Palestine.

From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was ruled by Jordan. During this period, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military administration.

In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Israel took control of the western part of Jerusalem, while Jordan took the eastern part, including the old walled city containing important Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.

The hostilities that accompanied the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 led to the flight of some 750,000 refugees from Palestine. Most of these refugees fled to the West Bank, then held by Jordan, to the Gaza Strip, held by Egypt, and to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and even further afield. The Arab-Israeli war of 1967 led to yet another displacement, this time of more than 500,000 Palestinians, nearly half of whom were refugees uprooted for a second time.

West Bank: refugees (country of origin): 722,000 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2007)

Gaza Strip: refugees (country of origin): 1.017 million (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2007)

More: Israel / Palestine

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