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Palestine



Official name: State of Palestine
Location: Palestine is one of the most ancient regions in the Middle East. It is located in southwest Asia between 290 30َ  and 330 15َ  lines of latitude north of the equator and 340 15َ  and 350 40َ  lines of longitude east of Greenwich line. Natural Palestine refers to the region bounded in the west by the Mediterranean Sea, east by Syria and Jordan, north by Lebanon, and south by Egypt and the Gulf of Aqaba.
Total Land Area: 6,004 km2

Land boundaries: 424 km (West Bank) - 87 km (Gaza)
Capital: Al-Quds
Official Language: Arabic

Population: 3,586,969 (2004)

Show Cities of Palestine
  • Al Quds/Jerusalem

  • Islamic Monuments Of Al Quds/Jerusalem

    Brief History and Architectural Features:
    Jerusalem has been a settlement area since the Caanite Period in 4000 BC, situated in the Judean mountain range, on the hill between the Judean lowlands and the Judean desert, protected by the hills. In 996 BC King David conquered Jerusalem and thus the city was named after him as the City of David. Jerusalem became an important spiritual and political center for Jewish people during the reign of King Solomon, who built the First Temple on Mount Moriah around 950 BC. In 63 BC, the city was captured by the Roman General Pompey. The Roman Senate appointed Herod to control the city under the direction of Rome in 40 BC.

    After Herod's death, the city was divided between the riots of Roman and Jewish people. In 135 AD, Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the city and called it Aelia Capitolina. The Roman city constituted of two main axes, Cardo and Decumanus. These axes divided the city into four quarters. During the Byzantine period (324-638), Holy Sepulchre Church (335) was erected above the empty grave of Christ, according to the Christian belief.

    In 638, the city was conquered by the Muslims under the Caliph Omar Ibn Khattab, who made Jerusalem (Al-Quds) the capital city of the Arab territory. Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) was established over the Temple Mount and thus became the third sacred place in the world for the Muslims, after Mecca and Medina. During Umayyad period (660-750), the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque was constructed on Haram al-Sharif. After Umayyads, Abbasid dynasties (750-969) and Fatimids (969-1099) ruled Jerusalem. In 1099, Crusaders captured the city and established the Christian Kingdom. In 1187, the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din conquered this kingdom. The Ayyubid period was succeeded by Mamluks, who reigned between 1260-1517. Mamluks constructed public monuments like madrasas, khans, markets with monumental facades.

    In 1517, Jerusalem was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I. The city remained under Ottoman rule until 1917, during which important pious complexes and city walls and gates surrounding the old city were erected. After the First World War, Palestine was under British mandate between 1922-1948. In 1947, the United Nations adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine, defining two states, Jewish and Arab. However the plan was not accepted by the Arabs. In May 14th 1948, British administration and forces withdrew from Palestine. At this period, Jerusalem was divided into two parts: West Jerusalem (under Jewish control) and East Jerusalem with the old city (under the control of Jordan). The city remained divided until June 1967, when it was occupied by Israel Army after Six-Day War. Since that time, Jerusalem is under the control of Israel.

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