Palestine

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Actually—and this was where I began to feel seriously uncomfortable—some such divine claim underlay not just 'the occupation' but the whole idea of a separate state for Jews in Palestine. Take away the divine warrant for the Holy Land and where were you, and what were you? Just another land-thief like the Turks or the British, except that in this case you wanted the land without the people. And the original Zionist slogan—'a land without a people for a people without a land'—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?

Christopher Hitchens: 'Hitch-22: A Memoir'

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Analysis

Analysis:

Profile: Palestine

 

One unresolved problem seemed to be that of differing priorities. Israel came to the table with a list of questions, for example that Palestine accept the definition of Israel as a Jewish state. This was hard to swallow for the Palestinians, given that there were one and a half million Palestinian Arabs living in Israel. Palestine attached some urgency to an agreement on the frontiers of its hypothetical state and on the dismantling of the illegal settlements. On the plus side, in 2013 Israeli-Palestinian relations were at least going through a calm period. The fraught nature of the region as a whole seemed to have released some of the tensions between the sides.

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Profile

Profile:

Profile: Palestine

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Palestine (State of)
Head of State: Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) pro tem president until national elections can be held (from 2005)
Head of government: Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (sworn in 18 Sept 2013, and 24 June 2014 as Prime Minister)
Ruling party: There is no ruling party – the Government of the State of Palestine was sworn in by President Abbas on 2 June 2014. It controls the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank Gaza. Strip only: Harakat al Muqawama al Islamia (Hamas) (Islamic Resistance Movement). West Bank only; Harakat al Tahir al Watani al Falistin (Fatah) (Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine) and independents
Area: 6,257 square km
Population: 4.17 million (2011); (Around three million Palestinians live in Jordan)
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Egypt pound; New Israeli shekel; Jordanian dinar ((LE; NIS; JD)) = 100 piastres / = 100 agorot / = 100 fils
Exchange rate: (LE; NIS; JD)7.83 per US$ (LE); 3.91 (NIS); 0.71 (JD) (Nov 2015)
GDP per capita: US$2,186 (2010)
GDP: US$8.33 billion (2010)
Labour force: 745,600 (2010)
Unemployment: 28.40% (2011)
Inflation: 3.80% (2010)*
Balance of trade: -US$4.63 billion (2011)
* estimated figure

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