Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn), officially the State of Palestine[i] (Arabic: دولة فلسطين Dawlat Filasṭīn), is a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt) with East Jerusalem as the designated capital, although its administrative center is currently located in Ramallah.[ii] Most of the areas claimed by the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967 in the consequence of the Six-Day War. The population is 4,550,368 as of 2014, ranked 123rd in the world.
After World War II, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. After the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate on the next day and fought the Israeli forces. Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948 to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan. Though jurisdiction of the Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective jurisdiction was limited to the Gaza Strip. Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria in June 1967 following the Six-Day War.
On 15 November 1988, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be ruled by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
The State of Palestine is recognized by 136 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations – which implies recognition of statehood. It is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies.
Since the British Mandate, the term "Palestine" has been associated with the geographical area that currently covers the State of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. General use of the term "Palestine" or related terms to the area at the southeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea beside Syria has historically been taking place since the times of Ancient Greece, with Herodotus writing of a "district of Syria, called Palaistine" in which Phoenicians interacted with other maritime peoples in The Histories.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of the geographical region of "Palestine" include Canaan, Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael or Ha'aretz),[v] Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Judea, Coele-Syria,[vi] "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Zion, Retenu (Ancient Egyptian), Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina.