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.
Following the withdrawals of Egypt from Sinai and Gaza (1982) and Jordan from the West Bank (1988), the State of Palestine proclaimed its independence on 15 November 1988 by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Algiers as a government-in-exile. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed the following year to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be ruled by Hamas in 2007 after Israel withdrawal from Gaza two years prior.
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 amounts to a de facto, or implicit, recognition of statehood. It is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee.