Portal:Palestine/Selected article

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These are articles that are selected for the Palestine portal.


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Selected articles list[edit]

Selected articles: 1-10[edit]

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/1

Skyline of Gaza, 2007

Gaza is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. In 635 CE, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a centre of Islamic law. As a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory and several improvements were undertaken in the city. Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. Following the 2006 election, conflict broke out as the Fatah party seemed unwilling to transfer power to Hamas, resulting in Hamas taking power in Gaza by force. Most of Gaza's inhabitants are Muslim, although there exists a Christian minority.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/2

Conrad III of Germany personally led the crusade

The Second Crusade was the second major crusade launched from Europe, called in 1145 in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year. Edessa was the first of the Crusader states to have been founded during the First Crusade, and was the first to fall. The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugenius III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe and were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and in 1148 participated in an ill-advised attack on Damascus. The crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately lead to the fall of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. The only success came on the opposite end of the Mediterranean, where English crusaders, on the way by ship to the Holy Land, fortuitously stopped and helped capture Lisbon in 1147.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/3

The Australian coat of arms

Al-Kateb v Godwin was an important Australian court case decided in the High Court of Australia on 6 August 2004. It concerned a stateless man who was detained under the policy of mandatory immigration detention. His application for a protection visa had been denied, and because he was stateless no other country would accept him. The issue in the case was whether indefinite immigration detention was lawful, and the court ultimately decided that it was. The court considered two main questions: firstly, whether the Migration Act 1958 (the legislation which governs immigration in Australia) permitted a person in Al-Kateb's situation to be detained indefinitely; and secondly, if it did, whether that was permissible under the Constitution of Australia. A majority of the court decided that the Act did allow indefinite detention, and that the Act was not unconstitutional.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/4

A soldier of the 6th Airborne Division maintains order outside a bakers shop in Tel Aviv

The 6th Airborne Division in Palestine was initially posted to the region as the Imperial Strategic Reserve. It was envisioned as a mobile peace keeping force, positioned to be able to respond quickly to any area of the British Empire. In fact it became involved in an internal security role between 1945 and 1948. Palestine had been a British Mandate since the end of the First World War. Under the terms of the mandate, Great Britain was responsible for the government and security of the country. It had long been a stated British aim to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine and between 1922 and 1939 over 250,000 Jewish immigrants had arrived in the country. However Arab resistance and the Second World War prompted the British to curtail immigration. The time also saw the rise of the Jewish Resistance Movement, which eventually came into conflict with the British authorities. When the 6th Airborne Division arrived in response to increasing terrorist activity, it became involved in internal security, being responsible for cordons and search operations, guarding convoys and key installations. As the situation worsened, the men of the division had to patrol the towns and cities, enforce curfews and deal with rioting by the civilian population. They also protected Jewish and Arab settlements from sectarian violence. This was not without loss to the division and several members were killed and wounded during this time. The end of the British mandate coincided with the post war reduction of the British Army back to peace time levels, and the division's numbers were gradually reduced. By the end of their tenure in Palestine, the division's strength was reduced in real terms, to less than brigade size. In 1948 it was disbanded soon after its withdrawal from Palestine.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/5

View of Bethlehem, 1898

Bethlehem is a city located in the central West Bank and approximately 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 30,000 people. The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city David was from and the location where he was crowned as the king of Israel. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has shrunk due to emigration. The city was sacked by the Samaritans in 529, but rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I. With the coming of the Mamluks in 1250, the city's walls were demolished, and were subsequently rebuilt during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The British wrested control of the city from the Ottomans during World War I and it was to be included in an international zone under the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. It was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since 1995, Bethlehem has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority. Bethlehem has a Muslim majority, but is also home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism which peaks during the Christmas season when Christian pilgrims throng to the Church of the Nativity.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/6

Bani Na'im (Arabic: بني نعيم‎, Banî Na‘îm) is a Palestinian town in the southern West Bank located 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) east of Hebron in the Hebron Governorate. The town had a population of 20,084 inhabitants in 2007. It is situated at a higher elevation than most localities in the area with an altitude of 951 meters (3,120 ft). Known as Brekke in the pre-Roman era, it was later referred to as "Caphar Barucha" in the 4th-century. The town is best known as the burial place of Lot. Following the Muslim conquest, its name was Arabicized as "Kafr al-Barik." The tomb of Lot was turned into a mosque during Islamic rule and remained so under Crusader rule. Later, the Arab tribe of "Bani Nu'aym" settled there, giving the town its current name "Bani Na'im," first used by Muslim scholar Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi in 1690. Bani Na'im grew in population during the British Mandate for Palestine. It joined the 1936-39 Arab revolt as the site of a battle between the irregular Palestinian Arab forces of Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and the British Army. Following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Bani Na'im was annexed by Jordan. It came under Israeli occupation after Israel captured the West Bank during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 1997, Bani Na'im was transferred to Palestinian administration and consequently became a municipality. Today, it serves as a commercial center for Hebron area villages, although most government services are in Hebron.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/7

Capture of Jerusalem in 1099

The First Crusade was a crusade launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II to regain control of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Christian Holy Land from Muslims. What started as a minor call for aid quickly turned into a wholesale migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many different nations of western Europe, with little central leadership, travelled overland and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for fewer than 200 years, the Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, and was the only crusade out of the many that followed to achieve its stated goal.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/8

Lajjun (Arabic: اللجّون‎, al-Lajjûn) was a Palestinian Arab village located 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) northwest of Jenin. Named after an early Roman legion camp in Palestine called "Legio" — which was located at the same site — Lajjun's history of habitation spanned some 2,000 years. Under Abbasid rule it was the capital of a subdistrict, under Mamluk rule an important station in the postal route, and under Ottoman rule, it was the capital of a district that bore its name. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the wake of World War I, Lajjun, like other localities in Palestine, was placed under the administration of the British Mandate in Palestine. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Lajjun was captured by Israel and its residents were transferred to Jenin.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/9

Palestinian cuisine consists of foods from or commonly eaten by Palestinians — which includes those living in the Palestinian territories, Israel, Jordan, refugee camps in nearby countries as well as by the Palestinian diaspora. The cuisine is a diffusion of the cultures of civilizations that settled in the historic region of Palestine, particularly during and after the Islamic era beginning with the Arab Ummayad conquest, then the eventual Persian-influenced Abbasids and ending with the strong influences of Turkish cuisine, resulting from the coming of the Ottoman Turks. Cooking styles vary by region and each type of cooking style and the ingredients used are generally based on the climate and location of the particular region and on traditions. Rice and variations of kibbee are common in the Galilee, the West Bank engages primarily in heavier meals involving the use of taboon bread, rice and meat and coastal plain inhabitants frequent fish, other seafood, and lentils, Gaza's inhabitants heavily consume chili peppers too. Meals are usually eaten in the household but dining out has become prominent particularly during parties where light meals like salads, bread dips and skewered meats are served. Coffee is consumed throughout the day and liquor is not very prevalent amongst the population, however, some alcoholic beverages such as arak or beer are consumed by Christians and less conservative Muslims.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/10

A display of Hebron glass at a shop in Hebron.

Hebron glass (Arabic: زجاج الخليل‎, zajaj al-Khalili or azaz al-Khalili) refers to glass produced in Hebron as part of a flourishing art industry established in the city during Roman rule in Palestine. Hebron's Old City still contains a quarter named the "Glass-Blower Quarter" and Hebron glass continues to serve as a tourist attraction for the city. Traditionally, the glass was melted using local raw materials, including sand from neighbouring villages, sodium carbonate (from the Dead Sea), and coloring additives such as iron oxide and copper oxide. Nowadays, recycled glass is often used instead. Glass production in Hebron is a family trade, the secrets of which have been preserved and passed down by a few Palestinian families who operate the glass factories located just outside the city. The products made include glass jewellery, such as beads, bracelets, and rings, as well as stained glass windows, and glass lamps. However, due to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, glass production has suffered a decline.

Selected articles: 11-20[edit]

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/11

Skyline of Deir al-Balah, 2008

Deir al-Balah or Dayr al-Balah (Arabic: دير البلح‎) is a Palestinian city in the central Gaza Strip and the administrative capital of the Deir al-Balah Governorate. It is located over 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) south of Gaza City. The city had a population of 54,439 in 2007. The city is known for its date palms, after which it is named. Deir al-Balah dates back to the Late Bronze Age when it served as a fortified outpost for the New Kingdom of Egypt. A monastery was built there by the Christian monk Hilarion in the mid-4th-century CE and is currently believed to be the site of a mosque dedicated to Saint George, known locally as al-Khidr. During the Crusader-Ayyubid wars, Deir al-Balah was the site of a strategic coastal fortress known as "Darum" which was continuously contested, dismantled and rebuilt by both sides until its final demolition in 1196; after this the site grew to become a large village on the postal route in the Mamluk era from the 13th to 15th-centuries and served as an episcopal see of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Ottoman times until the late 19th-century. Under Egyptian control Deir al-Balah, whose population tripled through the influx of refugees from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, was a prosperous agricultural town until its capture by Israel in the Six-Day War. After 27 years of Israeli occupation, Deir al-Balah became the first city to come under Palestinian self-rule in 1994. Since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, it has witnessed frequent incursions by the Israeli Army with the stated aim of stopping Qassam rocket fire into Israel. Ahmad Kurd, a Hamas member, was elected mayor in late January 2005.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/12

A 9th century Aramaic manuscript of the Gospel of John

Aramaic is a Semitic language with a 3,000-year history. It has been the language of administration of empires and the language of divine worship. It is the original language of a large section of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra. It was probably the language of Jesus, it is the main language of the Talmud, and it is still spoken today as a first language by numerous small communities. Aramaic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic language family. Within this diverse family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic subfamily. Aramaic is a part of the Northwest Semitic group of languages, which also includes the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew).

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/13

Fedayeen from Fatah in Beirut, Lebanon, 1979

Palestinian fedayeen (from the Arabic fidā'ī, plural fidā'iyūn, فدائيون) refers to militants or guerrillas of a nationalist orientation from among the Palestinian people. Most Palestinians consider the fedayeen to be "freedom fighters", while the Israeli government describes them as "terrorists". Considered symbols of the Palestinian national movement, the Palestinian fedayeen drew inspiration from guerrilla movements in Vietnam, China, Algeria and Latin America. The ideology of the Palestinian fedayeen was mainly left-wing nationalist, socialist or communist, and their proclaimed purpose was to defeat Zionism, "liberate Palestine" and establish it as "a secular, democratic, nonsectarian state". Emerging from among the Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled from their villages as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, in the mid 1950s the fedayeen began mounting cross-border operations into Israel from Syria, Egypt and Jordan. The earliest infiltrations were often to access the lands agricultural products they had lost as a result of the war, or to attack Israeli military, and sometimes civilian targets. Israel undertook retaliatory actions targeting the fedayeen that also often targeted the citizens of their host countries, which in turn provoked more attacks. Fedayeen actions were cited by Israel as one of the reasons for its launching of the Sinai Campaign of 1956, the 1967 War, and the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Palestinian fedayeen groups were united under the umbrella the Palestine Liberation Organization after the defeat of the Arab armies in the 1967 Six-Day War, though each group retained its own leader and independent armed forces.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/14

The empty reservoir in the late 19th century

Birket Israel (trans. Pool of Israel) also Birket Israil or Birket Isra'in, abbreviated from Birket Asbât Beni Israìl (trans. Pool of the Tribes of the Children of Israel) was a public cistern located on the north-eastern corner of the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. The structure is believed to have been built by the Romans for use as a water reservoir and also to protect the northern wall of the Temple Mount. Arab natives have known it by this name since at least 1857. By the mid-19th century it had gone out of use as a reservoir; being partly filled with rubbish and reused as a vegetable garden. In 1934 it was filled in and is now known as el-Ghazali Square. It is currently in mixed use for shops, as a car park, and as a transshipment point for refuse.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/15

Coloured lithograph showing 2 men at the foot of a barren hill looking towards a large stone with a rounded top between two standing stones and with an arched opening in an ashlar wall in the background

Joseph's Tomb (Hebrew: קבר יוסף‎‎, Qever Yosef, Arabic: قبر يوسف‎, Qabr Yūsuf) is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, 325 yards northwest of Jacob's Well, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem. Biblical tradition identifies the general area of Shechem as the resting-place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, the eponymous ancestor of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph's tomb has been venerated throughout the ages by Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims. Recently the structure has been refurbished, with a new cupola installed, and visits by Jewish worshippers have resumed.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/16

The flag of the American Palestine Line

The American Palestine Line was a steamship company formed in 1924 for the purpose of providing direct passenger service from New York to Palestine and was reportedly the first steamship company owned and operated by Jews. The company negotiated to purchase three ocean liners from the United States Shipping Board but was only able to purchase one, SS President Arthur, a former North German Lloyd steamer that operated as Princess Alice before being seized by the United States during World War I. After refurbishing the liner, the company inaugurated service between New York and Palestine in March 1925, when President Arthur sailed on her maiden voyage. A crowd of 15,000 witnessed ceremonies that included songs, prayers, and speeches in English and Yiddish. The company claimed that President Arthur was the first ocean liner to fly the Zionist flag at sea and the first ocean liner ever to have female officers. The line had labor difficulties and financial difficulties throughout its existence. On President Arthur's first trip, rumors of a mutiny were reported in The New York Times, and several crew members got into an altercation with members of the Blackshirts, the Italian fascist paramilitary group, when the liner made an intermediary stop in Naples. Financial difficulties included unpaid bills and resultant court actions as well as accusations of fraud against company officers that were leveled in the press. In late 1925 the company was placed in the hands of a receiver; President Arthur—after a two-alarm fire in her forward cargo hold—ended up back in the hands of the United States Shipping Board (USSB), and the company's office furniture and fixtures were sold at auction in early 1926.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/17

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze. Falafel is a common dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/18

Tubas skyline

Tubas is a small Palestinian city in the northeastern West Bank, located 21 kilometers (13 mi) northeast of Nablus, a few kilometers west of the Jordan River. A city of over 16,000 inhabitants, it serves as the economic and administrative center of the Tubas Governorate. Its urban area consists of 2,271 dunams (227 hectares). It is governed by a municipal council of 15 members and most of its working inhabitants are employed in agriculture or public services. Jamal Abu Mohsin has been the mayor of Tubas since being elected in 2005. Tubas has been identified as the ancient town of Thebez (/ˈθˌbɛz/)—a Canaanite town famous for revolting against King Abimelech. However, the modern town was founded in the late 19th century—during the Ottoman rule of Palestine—by Arab clans living in the Jordan Valley region and became major town in the District of Nablus, particularly known for its timber and cheese-making. It came under the British Mandate of Palestine in 1917, annexed by Jordan after their capture of the town in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and then occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinian National Authority has had complete control of Tubas since it was transferred to them in 1995.

Portal:Palestine/Selected article/19

Old city of Nablus and Mount Gerizim in background

Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center. Founded by the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72 CE as Flavia Neapolis, Nablus has been ruled by many empires over the course of its almost 2,000-year-long history. In the 5th and 6th centuries, conflict between the city's Christian and Samaritan inhabitants climaxed in a series of Samaritan revolts against Byzantine rule, before their violent quelling in 529 CE drastically dwindled that community's numbers in the city. In 636, Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, came under the rule of the Islamic Arab Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab; its name Arabicized to Nablus. Following its incorporation into the Ottoman empire in 1517, Nablus was designated capital of the Jabal Nablus ("Mount Nablus") district. After the loss of the city to British forces during World War I, Nablus was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922, and later designated to form part of the Arab state of Palestine under the 1947 UN partition plan. The end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War saw the city instead fall to Jordan, to which it was unilaterally annexed, until its occupation by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. Today, the population is predominantly Muslim, with small Christian and Samaritan minorities. Since 1995, the city has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority. In the Old City, there are a number of sites of archaeological significance, spanning the 1st to 15th centuries. The city is known for its kanafeh, a popular sweet throughout the Middle East, and soap industry.

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Soap stacks inside the Touqan factory in Nablus in 2008

Nabulsi soap (Arabic: صابون نابلسي‎, ṣābūn Nābulsi) is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus in the West Bank, Palestine. Its chief ingredients are virgin olive oil (the main agricultural product of the region), water, and an alkaline sodium compound. The finished product is ivory-colored and has almost no scent. Traditionally made by women for household use, it had become a significant industry for Nablus by the 14th century. In 1907 the city's 30 Nabulsi soap factories were supplying half the soap in Palestine. The industry declined during the mid-20th century following destruction caused by the 1927 earthquake and later disruption from the Israeli military occupation. As of 2008, only two soap factories survive in Nablus. The old Arafat soap factory has been turned into a Cultural Heritage Enrichment Center.


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