Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Asia  :  Palestine
Palestine is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region that was earlier called Canaan, which spreads between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It is derived from a name used already much earlier for a narrower geographical region, mainly along the coast.

In its broader meaning as a geographical term, Palestine can refer to an area that includes contemporary Israel and the Palestinian territories, parts of Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and Syria.  In its narrow meaning, it refers to the area within the boundaries of the former British Mandate of Palestine (1920-1948) west of the Jordan River.

Before 1948 the term Palestine was in general use, including by Zionists. For example in Der Judenstaat, a foundational Zionist text of 1896, Herzl writes "Palestine is our ever-memorable historic home. The very name of Palestine would attract our people with marvellous potency."; the Balfour Declaration refers to a Jewish homeland "in Palestine" as does the League of Nations Mandate. This usage continued until the foundation of the modern state of Israel. For example in 1941-7 the most significant political lobby group supporting Zionism in the U.S.A. was the America Palestine Committee and UNGA 181 of November 1947, which provided the legal basis for the State of Israel designates it "The Jewish State in Palestine" and contains no use of the word "Israel".

Since 1948 the choice of term Israel versus Palestine is often politically loaded and, depending on the context, can arouse fierce controversy. Specifically, the use of "Israel" or "Eretz Yisrael" to refer to pre-1948 Palestine is strongly identified with the Israeli side and the use of "Palestine" to refer to modern Israel is strongly identified with the Palestinian side in what became the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.  Source

Palestine Facts

Population: 4 million

Capital: Gaza

Currency: Palestine pound

Area: 6,020 km2

Language: Arabic

Main Religion: Islam 87%

Calling Code: +970

Time Zone: GMT + 3

Main Cities: Jerusalem, Gaza, Ramallah, Rafa, Hebron, Jericho, Al Bireh, Khan Yunus, Bethlehem, Nablus, Tulkarm, Jenin