|An editor thinks that this article may not be neutral. (April 2009)|
Palestine is a region in the Middle East. Many people lived in Palestine historically and built their civilizations. These included Canaanites, Hebrews (Israelites), Philistines, Phoenicians and more. For Jews and many Christians, Palestine was and is still known as the Land of Israel.
The name Palestine comes from the word Plesheth, meaning invaders. In English it is usually written Philistine. The Philistines were a people who invaded the area. They were probably a Greek people, who did not speak Arabic.
Ancient times[change | edit source]
In ancient times, Israelites ruled over the region of Palestine which was known as Canaan or the Land of Israel.The area went from Tyre in the north to Beersheba in the south. After the death of King Solomon, the land was split into a Northern Kingdom known as Samaria and Southern Kingdom known as Judea. The Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyrian King Sennacherib, expelling most of its Israelite residents. Judea was conquered by the Babylonians more than 100 years later, and much of its Jewish population was expelled as well. However, despite the destruction, some Jews and Samaritans remained in the land. After Persian takeover of the Babylonian Empire, more Jews returned to Judea and slowly rebuilt their civilization. The area remained under direct Persian rule for 200 years more, with Jews having a limited autonomy.
Greece[change | edit source]
With conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon, the area became dominated by Hellenistic rulers - first Alexander himself, later Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt and finally Seleucids. In second century before common era, the Jewish population of the area revolted against Seleucids and founded an independent Hesmonean kingdom. The Jewish kingdom expanded over the region in the next decades, conquering neighbouring Samaritans, Edomeans and Nabateans. Slowly however, the region became dominated by the Roman Empire.
Rome[change | edit source]
After a semi-independent rule of King Herod, Judea was turned into a Roman Province. Jews violently revolted against the Romans twice, but the Romans reconquered the whole area and finally renamed it Syria-Palaestina after one of Judea's ancient enemies, the Philistines. After two centuries, the Eastern Roman Empire became known and Byzantium, which became a Christian Empire. Byzantium kept its rule over the country, naming it Palaestina Prima and Palaestina Secunda - both provinces with majorly Byzantine Christian population and big groups of Samaritans, Jews and Christian Arabs.
Ottomans[change | edit source]
Over the next centuries, the region was briefly conquered by Persians, became part of Arab Muslim Empire, the Crusader kingdom, the Mamluk Sultanate, the Ottoman Syria, protected by the British Mandate and upon British withdrawal in 1948 taken over by Jordan, Israel and Egypt. The region is often named Holy Land, and is sacred for Muslims, Christans and Jews.
Modern times[change | edit source]
The region called Palestine, today includes Israel, the West Bank and The Gaza Strip. Palestinians and Israelis are discussing creating a Palestinian Arab country most likely to be named Palestine. The country would most likely be composed of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and there has also been talk of dividing Jerusalem. These include Christian, Jewish and Islamic people.
Images[change | edit source]