Jerusalem (according to the Basic Law)
Gaza and Ramallah (de facto, seat of the autonomous authority)
|Head of state||President Mahmoud Abbas|
|Head of government||Prime Minister Mohammed Shtajjeh|
|surface||6,220 km² (1) , of which
Gaza Strip: 360 km²
|population||4,632,000 (June 2015),
West Bank: 2,772,000
Gaza Strip: 1,860,000
|Human Development Index||0.686 (107.)|
|currency||Official currency: New Israeli shekel (ILS),
also Jordanian dinar (JOD) in use in the West Bank
|founding||May 4, 1994 by the Gaza-Jericho Agreement|
|National holiday||15th of November|
|ISO 3166||PS , PSE, 275|
|Telephone code||+970 (+972 3 )|
1 Since the question of whether Zone C and East Jerusalem are to be regarded as part of the autonomous areas has not been clarified, the area cannot be determined in a binding manner. The autonomous areas without Zone C today only cover an area of about 2,700 km²
3 Since the telephone system is related to the Israeli one, both area codes will work.
The Palestinian Territories ( Arabic الأراضي الفلسطينية, DMG al-arāḍī al-filasṭīniyya 'Palestinian Territories'), located in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, comprises the Gaza Strip and 40 percent of the West Bank . The territorial status was agreed in 1995 in the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip between Israel and the PLO , whereby the areas without autonomy (C areas) should also be gradually converted into autonomous areas within five years. However, that did not happen. The Palestinian Authority claims the entire West Bank and East Jerusalem .
The autonomous areas were long ruled by the factions of the PLO under Yasser Arafat . After an election victory of the radical Islamic Hamas in 2006, a subsequent, fragile unity government with Fatah and the fight for Gaza in June 2007, the Palestinian Territories are de facto divided into two parts. In the Gaza Strip, a de facto regime ruled by Hamas until 2014 , while the parts of the West Bank under Palestinian control were run by a Fatah government. After a series of reconciliation agreements, a unity government was formed in June 2014 (see also Fatah-Hamas conflict ).
Of the 193 member states of the United Nations 138 to 1,988 by the PLO recognize proclaimed State of Palestine to ( International recognition of the State of Palestine ). This status is not recognized by Israel, the USA and other, mainly western states. On October 31, 2011, Palestine became a member of UNESCO . On November 29, 2012, it was granted observer status (non-member observer state) of the United Nations , which is considered a preliminary stage to full membership. This was the first time the United Nations spoke of a “state” in relation to the PLO delegation.
A peace with Israel and the associated transfer of the autonomous areas into an internationally recognized, economically viable state of Palestine has repeatedly failed despite repeated efforts by the Middle East Quartet, most recently in April 2014.
As a result of the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the West Bank was divided into three zones (A: 18%, B: 20% and C: 62% of the area of the West Bank) in which the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli military each have different powers. The A areas were put under PA control and consist of the larger cities. The B areas are mainly composed of rural communities and villages. Here the Palestinians have the administrative control and Israel the security control. Area C is under Israeli control, both civil and security, and consists primarily of sparsely populated areas, Palestinian villages and Israeli settlements .
The autonomous areas consist of several settlement areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, separated from one another by the C area. In addition to Israel and Israeli-occupied areas of the West Bank, they border on Egypt and the Mediterranean in the Gaza Strip . The interim agreement provides for the areas of Zone C, with exceptions to be negotiated, to be gradually transferred to Palestinian autonomy. An agreement on the final status and area allocation has not yet been reached. Largely within Zone C, Israel has built a fortified demarcation .
In diplomatic dealings with the Palestinian Government, Germany uses the term Palestinian Territories for the territory of the Palestinian Authority . However, because the Israeli occupied areas in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are still seen by the UN as part of the Palestinian Territories, this term also includes areas over which the Palestinian Authority has no direct influence (Zone C, see section Geography ). Switzerland uses the term Occupied Palestinian Territory for this in the official context . Austria uses the name Palestine.
About 4.5 million people lived in the autonomous regions in 2017. About 1.80 million of them lived in the Gaza Strip and 2.75 million in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, 99 percent of them were Palestinian Arabs and 1 percent of undetermined ethnic group . In the West Bank, 83 percent of these were Palestinian and other Arabs and 17 percent were Jews and Israelis. The most common language of use is Arabic . A Palestinian dialect of Arabic is spoken, which varies greatly in the individual parts of the country. Hebrew is also spoken and English is understood by many.
The population in the autonomous areas has more than quadrupled since 1950. The average age in 2015 was 19.3 years and the fertility per woman was 4.2 children (in 1980 it was 8 children). The autonomous territories have one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world, with the population in the Gaza Strip being younger and growing faster than in the West Bank. For the year 2050, it is forecast that the population will double again to almost ten million. Since the autonomous areas are already one of the most densely populated areas in the world, it is expected that the continued growth of the population will cause severe social, political and economic problems.
In 2017, 3.8 million people who were born in the autonomous regions no longer lived there. Most of them live as refugees or migrants in the neighboring states, especially in Jordan.
Life expectancy has risen sharply in recent decades and was 72.9 years from 2010 to 2015 (men: 70.7 years, women: 74.7 years). In Israel, for comparison, it was 81.9 years over the same period.
Development of the population
Sources: By 2015 UN 2020:
C areas of the West Bank
In 2012, around 310,000 Jews lived in 124 settlements and around 100 outposts in Area C of the West Bank. In 2014 there were around 400,000 Jews and around 90,000 Palestinian Arabs in Area C. Israel controls the entire infrastructure here in accordance with the 1993 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II). A data collection published by the Israeli Defense Minister in 2009 shows that construction work was carried out in 75% of all settlements in the West Bank, some of them to a considerable extent, without a permit or even against Israeli regulations. In over 30 settlements, buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivot and also police stations) were built on private land owned by Palestinians. A collection of facts presented by the Knesset's foreign policy and defense committees at the end of 2014 documents a total of 550 cases of illegal Arab construction work in 2014; in contrast, there were only 150 cases of illegal Jewish construction work in the C areas. It was pointed out that with regard to the lower proportion of the Arab population in the C areas, the proportion of illegal construction work per capita was 16 times higher on the Arab side than on the Jewish side. The reasons given were the planning and financing by the European Union and other European countries in coordination with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
While the population (2012) in the Gaza Strip is made up of 99.3 percent Muslims and 0.7 percent Christian , in the West Bank (2012) 80 to 85 percent of the population are Muslim, 12 to 14 percent are Jews and 1 to 2, 5 percent Christians. The vast majority of Muslims in the Palestinian Territories are of the Sunni faith. The Christian share of the population has continued to decrease significantly for decades, mainly due to the growth of the Muslim population; other reasons cited are repression, disadvantage, a falling birth rate and emigration. The dismantling of all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip was complete in September 2005; since then there is no longer a Jewish population there. A few hundred Samaritans still live in Nablus .
The autonomous Palestinian territories are located in parts of the former mandate of Western Palestine, which like Eastern Palestine (now Jordan ) was under British mandate administration after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire . One of the terms of the mandate was that the British should facilitate the implementation of the Balfour Declaration in which they had promised on November 2, 1917 the "establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish people" in the area of Palestine (ie Israel, Palestinian Territories and Jordan). In 1922 the British Mandate East Palestine to form the Kingdom of Jordan, at the instigation of Great Britain, was separated from the area of Palestine as the national home of a Jewish state.
On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted with a two-thirds majority for the partition plan proposed by the UNSCOP, which was to divide Western Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. Another 40% was to be split off from the area of the National Homestead for a Jewish State.
With the aim of actually establishing an independent Jewish state and creating a home for the survivors of the Holocaust and the Jewish diaspora , large parts of the Jewish population and the Jewish Agency , a kind of predecessor government of the State of Israel, accepted the plan. The radical nationalists like Menachem Begin ( Irgun ) or Jitzhak Shamir ( Lechi ) rejected the plan - for them it did not go far enough.
The Arab leaders also rejected the plan. In addition to the general rejection of a Jewish state, this was done on the grounds that the plan violated the rights of the majority population in Palestine, 67 percent of whom belonged to non-Jewish religions at the time. At the end of 1946, Palestine had just under 2 million inhabitants, of which only about 603,000 were Jews. They found the plan a disaster. The amount and quality of land allocated to the Jews was criticized. In the period that followed, there were numerous assaults and attacks by irregular Jewish and Arab forces in the mandate area.
Due to the civil war-like conditions, the British wanted to withdraw their troops and resign the mandate for Palestine on May 14, 1948, a Friday, at midnight. For example, the Jewish National Council met in the house of the former Mayor Dizengoff in Tel Aviv at 4 p.m. before sunset and thus before the Sabbath began . Under a portrait of the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl, David Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the state of Israel in the Israeli declaration of independence “by virtue of the natural and historical right of the Jewish people and based on the resolution of the UN General Assembly” . Eleven minutes later, the US recognized the new state, and the Soviet Union followed on May 16. However, Jerusalem was not accepted as the capital until much later. On the very night of the founding, Egypt, Saudi Arabia , Jordan, Lebanon , Iraq and Syria declared the coordinated war they had planned on the new state of Israel in advance. The Palestinian War followed , which ended in Israel's favor.
After the war, the administration of the areas assigned by the UN to the Palestinians and East Jerusalem remained in the hands of Arab forces and occupying powers, that is Egypt in the Gaza Strip and Jordan in the West Bank .
After the Six Day War in 1967, the West Bank and Gaza Strip were captured and occupied by Israeli forces. In addition, East Jerusalem was conquered and annexed by Israel. As a result, Israel set up over 200 settlements in the occupied territories , especially in the West Bank, some of them at strategically important points, where 400,000 people now live. While there was some coexistence at first, the Israeli military built their own road network for these Israeli settlements and established checkpoints since the first Intifada .
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has, unlike the Palestinian Authority , since 1974 an observer status at the United Nations (decision of the UN General Assembly 3237). Only since July 1998 have Palestinian MPs at the UN have the right to take part in debates.
After a collision between an Israeli military vehicle and two taxis, in which four Palestinians were killed, the first Intifada against the Israeli occupation began in December 1987. The idea of a future state Part-Palestine was first proclaimed on November 14, 1988 by Yasser Arafat in Algiers ( Declaration of Algiers ) and then recognized by some states, including countries of the former Eastern Bloc and the non-aligned states . Most states, however, did not grant Palestine any state quality based on the three-element doctrine . For example, after the declaration of Algiers, the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia ruled that there was no State of Palestine due to the lack of a Palestinian territory , which was already in line with prevailing doctrine and state practice.
In the Oslo peace process , the statute of autonomy that is valid today was achieved, which is intended as a preliminary stage to a Palestinian state. Which areas of the West Bank, in addition to the areas already under the Palestinian administration, should be assigned to the future Palestinian state is one of the core questions of the Middle East conflict . Some of the Palestinian Arabs demand the whole of the West Bank, another part all the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem . Still other Palestinians are demanding the entire land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, which would amount to the destruction of Israel. Most Israeli decision makers want to keep at least the largest settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The renewed proclamation of the future state to be formed, planned for May 4, 1999 as part of the Oslo peace process, was postponed initially to September 13, 2000, and later to mid-November 2000 due to the Israeli election results. It still hasn't happened.
After the situation in the Palestinian autonomous territories had worsened in a manner similar to a civil war since the election of Hamas , the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered negotiations - limited to one year - on which his so-called convergence plan should be based. In it, the Palestinians are offered their own state, in exchange for, among other things, consent to the loss of 5 percent of the West Bank, which has been further solidified by the course of the border fortifications established by Israel. In mid-June 2007 there were civil war-like conflicts, particularly in the Gaza Strip. As a result, Hamas gained sole power there, while the hostile Fatah, of which President Abbas also belongs, dominates in the West Bank. The Palestinian Autonomous Areas are in fact subject to different political forces in the two separate territories.
In the wake of the Arab Spring , rallies also took place in the Palestinian territories. On February 8, 2011, the Palestinian Authority surprisingly announced that a year overdue local elections would take place on July 9. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, immediately announced that it was boycotting the elections.
Later in the spring, the West Bank-controlling government headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned, and the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization decided to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of September. At the beginning of May 2011, Ismail Haniyya (Hamas) and Mahmud Abbas (Fatah) signed, to the surprise of many, a reconciliation agreement that the Egyptian leadership had drawn up a year and a half earlier on behalf of the Arab League . Both groups plan to form a joint transitional government before the parliamentary elections. On October 20, 2012, the Palestinians - at least some - had the opportunity to vote for the first time since 2006. Due to the boycott of Hamas, local elections were not held in the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip. In most of the West Bank constituencies, there was no election, only acclamation . The parliamentary elections were supposed to take place in 2012, but have not yet been held.
On January 5, 2013, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree to rename the Palestinian Authority the “State of Palestine”. The name "Palestinian National Authority" is to be replaced by "State of Palestine" and the coat of arms of the State of Palestine is to be used on official documents, seals and letterheads of the Palestinian Authority . According to the US international lawyer John Whitbeck, who has been involved in the Middle East conflict for years, the Palestinian Authority has been absorbed by the institutions of the State of Palestine. However, since the implementation of this project would have to be approved and supported by Israel, the name change will initially only be carried out by the embassies and diplomatic missions abroad.
The Palestinian Authority's policy is aimed at the establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian Arabs. Different Palestinian groups have different goals in terms of national territory. The PLO hopes to one day proclaim a state covering the entire West Bank and Gaza with Jerusalem as its capital. The Hamas , however, claimed the entire area west of Palestine before 1948, including the territory of Israel. There are also fundamental differences with regard to the orientation of the new state. While Fatah, which emerged from the PLO, wants to create a secular state , Hamas , which is influenced by Iran - but itself is Sunni - influenced - is striving for an Islamist state of God. Groups like the left-wing PFLP or DFLP rely on socialist upheavals.
The first draft of a Palestinian constitution was drafted in 1968, the second in 1994, one year after the PA was founded in 1993, and the last draft constitution was passed in 2003. In Article 1, it sets the boundaries of the independent, sovereign state on the lines of June 4, 1967, and in Article 5 makes Islam the state religion, recognizing Christianity and all other monotheistic religions. In fact, the Christian minority is more tolerated than recognized. In particular in the Gaza Strip, which has not been controlled by the autonomous authority since 2007, Christians are exposed to forced missioning and other attacks. Numerous churches throughout Palestine were attacked because of the Pope's quotation from Regensburg . In 2014, a bomb attack was carried out against a church in the Gaza Strip in revenge for what is allegedly being done to Muslims in Central Africa. In 2005 the Christian village of Taybeh was the target of a pogrom in which fourteen houses were burned down. Jews do not live under the control of the autonomous authority anyway, and it is rather difficult to assign incidents to religious affiliation in view of the primarily national character of the Middle East conflict, but as in September 2014 the decidedly pro-Palestinian journalist Amira Hass at one of the university Bir Zait wanted to take part in an occupation-critical conference held in the West Bank , she had to leave the campus again because, as an Israeli Jew, she is not allowed to stay there due to a corresponding legal norm of the university.
The functions of a parliament are exercised by the Palestinian Legislative Council . Uniformly managed state structures, administration, education and health care are sometimes still missing or prevented, e.g. B. there is no army. Further structural deficiencies that have not yet been overcome are widespread corruption , paternalism , a lack of public security, parastate structures, militias, terrorists, refugee camps, illiteracy, malnutrition, high child mortality, neglect and high unemployment. There is an infrastructure that is in great need of development: education, water supply / sewage disposal, politics, roads, electricity supply, civil rights, rule of law. The Palestinian territories are largely administered militarily by the Israeli army .
On January 26, 2006, Hamas won an absolute majority of the seats in the second parliamentary elections in the history of the West Bank (the first in 1996). Various governments around the world are now making their support dependent on Hamas renouncing violence as a means, accepting the existing treaties with the Palestinian Authority, and recognizing Israel's right to exist.
After the formation of a government by the fundamentally Islamic Hamas, the US demanded the return of aid funds. Israel and Israel decided not to pay out any financial aid or any VAT levied by Israel on behalf of the PA; only medical care and the energy supply should be maintained. The EU was also skeptical of a Hamas-led government and made the disbursement of the stopped EU aid dependent on Hamas' recognition of the state of Israel, but initially paid a small portion of 121 million euros in emergency aid to avoid a financial collapse of the Palestinian administration . Ultimately, however, since Hamas was elected, the EU has made more financial aid available to the Palestinian Territories than in previous years, by bypassing Hamas and investing it directly. Hamas is required to recognize the State of Israel, to refrain from terrorism and acts of violence and to embark on a peace course. The Hamas leadership has so far expressly rejected all of this.
Domestically, too, Hamas's election victory created tensions among the Palestinian Arabs. Since the government came into power, there have been several armed clashes between supporters of Hamas and Fatah. Several imprisoned Palestinian leaders from both camps tried to end the power struggle by drafting a policy paper that included, among other things, the proclamation of a Palestinian state within the borders in 1967 while recognizing the state of Israel. This policy paper has since been signed in a modified form by Fatah, Hamas and PFLP. In fact, however, the paper has already been contradicted, in some parts it was only partially recognized. In September 2006, Hamas and Fatah announced that they would form a joint "government of national unity" under the leadership of Prime Minister Haniyeh. However, the negotiations failed because of Hamas' continued refusal to recognize the State of Israel's right to exist (as a Jewish state) and the 1967 borders.
In September 2011, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas , submitted a motion to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. "Israel has informed the UN Security Council states and several EU states that in this case it will take 'a series of unilateral steps', writes the Israeli daily Haaretz ."
Presidents and Prime Ministers
|No.||Surname||Taking office||Term expires||Political party|
|President of the Palestinian Authority|
|1||Yasser Arafat||5th July 1994||November 11, 2004||Fatah|
|-||Rauhi Fattuh (interim)||November 11, 2004||January 15, 2005||Fatah|
|2||Mahmoud Abbas||January 15, 2005||officiating||Fatah|
|Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority|
|1||Mahmoud Abbas||April 29, 2003||September 6, 2003||Fatah|
|2||Ahmed Kurei||October 7, 2003||March 29, 2006||Fatah|
|3||Ismail Haniyya||March 29, 2006||June 14, 2007||Hamas|
|4th||Salam Fayyad||June 15, 2007||6th June 2013||Third way|
|5||Rami Hamdallah||6th June 2013||April 13, 2019||Fatah|
|6th||Mohammad Shtajjeh||April 13, 2019||officiating||Fatah|
Ismail Haniyya was deposed as Prime Minister by Mahmoud Abbas on June 14, 2007, and Abbas appointed Salam Fayyad as the new Prime Minister. Haniyya did not recognize his impeachment and continued to work with his cabinet in the Gaza Strip. (see also the fight for Gaza )
The respective government cabinets are listed under the Palestinian Authority .
There is no constitution in the autonomous areas, but legal norms from six different sources apply side by side:
- Ottoman law from before 1918 (especially in the area of land register and land expropriation)
- British mandate law (e.g. regulation 119 on house demolition )
- Jordanian law from 1948 to 1967 (e.g. in the school system), but only in the West Bank
- general Israeli laws (e.g. highway code) and specific military ordinances for the occupied territories
- Religious law (as in Israel, family law matters fall under the jurisdiction of the respective religious communities: Sharia law , canon law )
- Laws of the National Authority
The autonomy authority cannot abolish all laws and replace them with their own, because Israel has a veto right against innovations, especially when it comes to security. In addition, the PA is also exploiting the existence of old military regulations. In contrast to Israeli civil law, there is still the death penalty , which under Arafat was carried out several times by shooting . Every death sentence must be confirmed by the president. President Abbas has never done this before, but on April 15, 2010, two "collaborators" were executed in Gaza by the Hamas government - without Abbas' consent. Between 2007 and 2013, 17 people were executed in the Gaza Strip, including by hanging . At least eight of them were for collaboration. However, the Israeli military regulations applied to Palestinians still include the death penalty. Palestinians are being tried in an Israeli military tribunal for security violations. The death penalty has never been imposed there, but requests have been made several times - even if only symbolically.
Blood money still plays a role in the area of Palestinian criminal law . The relatives of victims have a say in punishment or reparation. In the event of a traffic accident with personal injury, the police will take the driver into custody, but the families involved will negotiate the compensation. The judge then takes this into account in his judgment and also imposes the penalty (removal of driver's license, detention ...).
Large clans and organizations - like the Tanzim - are able to put pressure on the police and courts and thus influence punishments in both directions. Most of the death sentences in Gaza came under pressure from the streets and from the victims' families.
The regulation that family law matters are regulated by the religious communities makes it difficult for B. the marriage of people of different denominations. There is therefore no divorce for Roman Catholic marriages . Unlike Israel, Muslims are not restricted to monogamy . On Islamic marriage certificates, the validity of the corresponding Israeli legal provision is often expressly overridden with a separate clause. In 2011, however, a law was passed that gives the wife a veto right against another marriage of her husband. Female youths can be married at fourteen and a half, male at fifteen and a half . Women who want to get divorced would have to catch the man red-handed during adultery and have their testimony, which hardly counts in court, confirmed by independent male witnesses, which is usually practically impossible. Women inherit half as much as men, but often even forego it under pressure from relatives. Rapists can avoid punishment by marrying their victims. If they do not give in to their families' urging, it is not uncommon for them to be victims of honor killing by male family members.
The first land register for these areas was created by the Ottomans. Since many changes were not registered under British and Jordanian rule, Israel relies on these ancient registers and their laws on land matters. An Ottoman law of 1858 is therefore applied by the Israeli civil administration in the West Bank for the expropriation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlements and roads. This means that undeveloped land can be expropriated by the state.
Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained widespread in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2016 , according to Amnesty International . Accordingly, neither the Palestinian police nor other security forces were held responsible for this. Minors were also among the victims in both areas.
According to official figures, 12% of homicides in the West Bank are so-called honor killings of women. The Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, a Palestinian women's rights organization, said there had been 29 honor killings of women in the West Bank in 2018 and 19 by August 2019.
In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , the Palestinian Territories ranked 135th out of 180 countries and territories. The situation of press freedom in the autonomous territories is classified as "difficult" by Reporters Without Borders, and both Palestinian and Israeli authorities are obstructing free press and reporting.
According to a study by Human Rights Watch published in October 2018, peaceful critics and opposition activists are systematically tortured in prisons, with arbitrary arrests and intimidation. That same year, Human Rights Watch also criticized Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for violations of the rights of Palestinian journalists.
In mid-December 2006, the violent clashes between supporters of Hamas and Fatah intensified. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya was initially refused entry to the Gaza Strip by Israel after a visit to Egypt; When he was finally allowed to enter, Haniyeh's motorcade was apparently shot at by supporters of Fatah. On December 16, 2006, President Abbas reacted to the escalating power struggle over government authority and announced early parliamentary and presidential elections. The ruling Hamas immediately rejected this announcement and spoke of an attempted coup.
On June 14, 2007, a civil war-like conflict broke out between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in Hamas taking full power in the Gaza Strip within two days. This led to the dissolution of the unity government between Fatah and Hamas and the establishment of a Fatah-led emergency government with some independents by President Abbas without Hamas.
This inner-Palestinian conflict was picked up on February 12, 2009 by two legal scholars doing research in Berlin. Under the difficult circumstances, the “Berlin Approach” suggests - at least temporarily - a solution of the confederation.
Declared independence and recognition
The State of Palestine was proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council in Algiers on November 15, 1988, before the autonomous territories were established . This act, known as the proclamation of Algiers , had no real impact on the situation in Israel and the territories it occupied, which is why the recognition of Palestinian independence by other states is ostensibly a symbolic act. Nevertheless, by the end of 1988, 82 states recognized the independence of Palestine.
Recognition by other states
138 states currently recognize the independent state of Palestine, plus the Holy See and the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic . While some of these states specifically recognize Palestine within the borders of June 4, 1967 (these include today's autonomous areas), others refer to the Palestinian Declaration of Independence , which does not mention any borders.
Since Palestine has no state quality according to the three elements doctrine , many of the other UN member states maintain diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority or the PLO without recognizing the independence of the areas. Some European states recognize the Palestinian territories as an autonomous geopolitical unit and the Palestinian Authority as its representative, but not as an independent state. In many cases, these countries maintain relations with the National Authority, which are managed through general delegations or missions.
On November 29, 2012, the German Bundestag rejected an upgrade of diplomatic relations with Palestine. A corresponding application by the party Die Linke (17/8375) was rejected by the governing parties with the abstention of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and against the votes of the SPD and the Left. A motion from Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen (17/9981) to preserve the two-state perspective for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to promote the development of the C areas and to stop demolition orders for solar systems was also against the vote of Opposition not accepted. Another motion by the Greens (17/10640) to save the two-state perspective for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also failed to find a majority, although the opposition unanimously voted in favor. The basis of the votes was a recommendation for a resolution by the Foreign Affairs Committee (17/11452).
On September 23, 2011 Mahmud Abbas applied for full membership for the territories as a state at the United Nations. The application had already been announced in the spring of the same year and had caused a stir. The USA in particular had tried to dissuade the Palestinians from their plan.
To be admitted to the UN, the Security Council would have to recommend admission with a majority of nine votes and the approval of all permanent members. The General Assembly would then have to resolve the admission with a two-thirds majority. This has not happened so far after the US in particular announced its veto in the Security Council. Great Britain's approval was also considered unlikely.
On 29 November 2012, the Palestinian territories were as observer State (non member observer state) recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. 138 of the 193 UNO members voted in favor of such recognition as a state with observer status, nine against and 41 abstained, including Germany. In contrast to full membership, observer status does not require the approval of the Security Council.
Observer status is primarily symbolic; the Palestinians still do not have one vote in general assembly votes. The states that voted for observer status do not necessarily have to recognize the Palestinian territories. However, through observer status, the Palestinians can hope for membership in UN sub-organizations, broader international recognition and also the successful appeal to the International Criminal Court in The Hague . The designation as a "state" is also considered a historic step for the Palestinian territories.
Whether the State of Palestine, which envisages the territory of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories as part of the state territory, even meets the criteria of a state is a matter of dispute among constitutional lawyers. Unlike Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in 2011 was rather skeptical about the plan to achieve full state sovereignty against the will of Israel. In order to achieve Palestine independence, he insists on making this inevitable first by consolidating civil society and the economy. He said recognition would not change the reality of the Israeli occupation.
The security forces include several associations:
- Presidential Guard: The elite troops of President and Fatah chief Mahmud Abbas number between 4,200 and 5,000 men (as of June 2007). The well-trained and equipped troops receive direct support from the USA.
- National security forces: The total of 30,000 men are also commanded by the president and are considered the army of the Palestinians. These include a military secret service, the coast guard and the elite force " Force 17 ".
- Police: The 30,000 police officers are nominally under the Ministry of the Interior, but are dominated by Fatah supporters.
- General Secret Service ( Preventive Security Service ) : It has 5,000 men and reports to the President.
Armed organs under the direct control of the ruling Fatah are the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and a special force that is currently being set up as a counterweight to the Hamas Kassam Brigades, which dominate the Gaza Strip . In addition, both the PFLP with the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have their own military forces.
Security forces are only allowed to move freely in Zone A, in Zone B police officers are only allowed to investigate Palestinian matters, for crossing Zone C, e.g. B. in order to get to a location in another zone A, coordination with the Israelis is required. According to the Oslo Accords, Israeli soldiers and police officers are only permitted to enter A-areas with coordination or in the event of imminent danger. However, since the Second Intifada, they no longer adhere to this rule. Especially at night, suspects are repeatedly arrested from their homes by the army or border police. Often, units disguised as Arabs are used in cars with Palestinian camouflage plates. In some cases, the Palestinian Police are warned just to keep them away.
The autonomy authority is allowed to make all decisions relating to Zone A alone, some of them for Zone B only with the permission of the Israelis (e.g. building permits). ID cards are issued by Palestinian offices, but the issuing and revocation of the identification number is carried out by Israel. Based on the ID, a Palestinian passport can be issued at the passport office (valid for five years), but it is only valid at the border if the passport details have been sent to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. It happens again and again that this is not the case when leaving the country with a new passport and the traveler is rejected at the border ( Allenby Bridge ). Passports cannot be renewed by diplomatic missions abroad either.
The areas are divided into 16 governorates (five in the Gaza Strip, the rest in the West Bank), which constitute a separate administrative unit.
The following list provides an overview of the largest cities in the Palestinian Territories, which comprise a sub-area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip:
- Al-Bireh ( Arabic البيرة)
- Bait Jala (بيت جالا)
- Bait Hanun (بيت حانون)
- Beitunia ( Arabic بيتونيا)
- Bethlehem ( Arabic بيت لحم Bait lame )
- Bir Zait (بير زيت)
- Deir Al-Balah (دير البلح)
- Gaza (غزة)
- Hebron (الخليل al-Chalīl )
- Jenin (جنين)
- Jericho (أريحا Arīhā )
- Chan Yunis (خان يونس)
- Nablus (نابلس)
- Qalqiliya (قلقيلية)
- Rafah (رفح)
- Ramallah (رام الله)
- Tubas (طوباس)
- Tulkarem (طول كرم)
- Zababdeh (الزبابدة az-Zabābda )
In planning or construction:
- Rawabi (روابي)
With the occupation in 1967 Israel gained not only land, but also a sales area for its products. Today, 75 percent of goods are imported from Israel and 90 percent are exported there. All imports go across Israeli borders and must comply with Israeli regulations. The Palestinians are still the second most important export "country" for the Israeli economy after the USA. At six percent, the proportion is larger than the Israeli trade volume with Italy and France combined. In addition, Israel has the option of selling second-choice products here that cannot be exported to other countries.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of the autonomous areas was 12.74 billion US dollars in 2014. The gross domestic product per capita in the same year was 2,960 US dollars. In 2013 it was $ 2,992. The economy contracted by 0.4% in 2014. The unemployment was 16% in the West Bank and 45% in Gaza.
In 2012, the Palestinians purchased goods to the value of 16.4 billion ILS; in 2009 it was 11.8 billion. The trade surplus was 9.1 billion and 6.4 billion, respectively, with wages for in Israel working Palestinians dropping 4.3 billion. One reason for this trade deficit with Israel is that in many areas the customer prefers to buy quality Israeli products rather than goods imported from Arab states.
While the Palestinians were initially welcome cheap labor, especially in construction and factories, since the first Intifada there have been fewer and fewer work permits for Palestinians in Israel and in Jewish settlements. The number fell from 180,000 (1987) to 7,500 (2002) and was 33,000 in 2004. Many Palestinians have now been replaced by Romanians, East and Southeast Asians. In April 2010, the Palestinian Authority passed a law prohibiting work in settlements. In the absence of alternative employment opportunities, however, this law cannot be enforced.
The main agricultural product is olive oil. 45 percent of the agricultural area is planted with an estimated 10 million olive trees. This results in 128,000 tons of olives, 90 percent of which are processed into oil (32,000 tons). This branch of industry is hampered by expropriation and deforestation for "security reasons". In addition, the harvest is repeatedly hindered by settlers, so that the olive pickers now even have to be protected by the Israeli army. The roadblocks and the “ security fence ” impede access to the fields and to the markets. Under pressure from the United States, in June 2009 the army reduced the number of roadblocks in the West Bank from 35 to ten in order to improve the economy.
There are only small manufacturing plants and a few larger Israeli-operated plants on the borders. Many investors who came to the country from 1996 onwards withdrew because of the Second Intifada . Many EU investments have also been affected by the fighting. The complicated and blocked transport routes severely hamper the economy. Textile wage labor for Israeli companies in the Gaza Strip has come to a complete standstill because of the isolation by Israel.
After the Israelis withdrew from the Gaza Strip, many glass houses (flowers, strawberries) were taken over by the Palestinians. But at the moment the export of agricultural products is impossible because of the long transport times. The exchange of goods between the West Bank and Jordan works well via the Allenby Bridge .
Textiles (Gaza), leather goods and ceramics (Hebron) are produced in small family businesses. Imports from China have also caused great damage here. In the meantime, goods worth USD 2 billion are being imported.
A booming branch of the economy is currently the construction industry ( main construction trade ). New buildings are being built everywhere, mainly financed with funds from emigrated Palestinians. The construction workers who previously worked in Israel are now dependent on work and are therefore cheaper than before. Cement and stones (Bethlehem area) are produced in-house and also exported. The production of the quarries accounted for 25 percent of the total production volume and four percent of the gross national product in 2007. The largest project in the private sector is the new town of Rawabi, which is currently under construction . It was initiated at the Palestine Investment Conference .
The tourism industry (Bethlehem and Jericho) was so depressed after the Second Intifada that many hotels newly built for the year 2000 are closed again. While previously many tour groups preferred to stay in the cheaper Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem, now the border crossing between the two cities even makes a short afternoon trip to the Church of the Nativity a cumbersome affair. The sealed off Jericho was hardly visited at all. The sector has only been recovering since 2006.
In the Paris Protocol of 1994, economic ties with Israel were contractually established. Accordingly, all trade relations must run through Israel and tax regulations must be adopted. The increase in VAT in Israel that took place on September 1, 2012 also had an impact in the autonomous regions. This also makes it impossible to obtain cheaper fuel or gas directly from Arab countries. This price fixing to Israel led to the first protests against the autonomous authority in early September 2012, which then asked Israel to reconsider the protocol.
In 2018, exports from the Palestinian Territories exceeded one billion dollars for the first time.
Since there is no currency of their own, the banks are also firmly anchored in the Israeli banking system (sort codes, payment transactions). Even the regular exchange of old banknotes in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli National Bank is being processed despite the blockade . The dissolution of the customs and currency union with Israel is indeed being called for by radical Palestinian organizations, but it would have catastrophic consequences for the already ailing economy in Gaza and the West Bank and was therefore rejected by the autonomous authority in the first few years. However, since May 2010 there have been plans for a separate currency after independence, which is to be called the pound (again). The Jordanian dinar is used as a second currency (for postage and postage stamps, prescribing taxes, bride price , ...). Since this has been as stable as the shekel in recent years, the difference is not relevant. Contracts are sometimes made in US dollars. The few ATMs that also work with European cards (in Ramallah: HSBC and Palestine Bank) even offer a currency option.
Although the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) has its own, it does not have the capabilities of a national bank . According to the Paris Protocol of 1994, Palestinian banks are therefore allowed to deposit their cash reserves into accounts in Israeli banks and convert them into foreign currencies. These transactions had a monthly volume of 300 million shekels until Israel banned them from shekel transactions with Israeli banks in May 2014 following the “reconciliation” between Fatah and Hamas.
Since the National Authority was set up in 1993, about $ 10 billion in international aid has flowed into the country. With around two billion euros in the past ten years, the EU was the largest donor of the Palestinian territories.
Allegations that EU aid funds were misused have been investigated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). After the final report, based on the data available, there were no indications that EU funds were used to finance armed attacks or “illegal activities”. However, the report also points out that the misuse of aid funds cannot be completely ruled out, as the “internal and external” control mechanisms of the Palestinian Authority are “underdeveloped”.
The infrastructure is underdeveloped. Economic, social and transport development suffer from the lack of territorial connection between the individual cities and counties in the Palestinian territories.
The Israeli security measures, controls and procedures of the Israeli military, the inadequate public services of the administration, the generally relatively underdeveloped infrastructure, constant environmental pollution and the poor legal certainty additionally hamper economic development.
There are currently no railways or highways in the Palestinian Territories.
During the time of the British mandate, there was a coastal railway line connecting what is now Israel and Egypt. The line still exists in the Gaza Strip, there is also a Palestinian railway administration, but operations have ceased. See: Railways in the Gaza Strip .
The high-level road network that crosses the West Bank serves primarily the settlers and is currently largely closed to Palestinian private traffic.
- Road 1: Jerusalem - Jericho (open to everyone)
- Road 60: Be'er Scheva - Hebron - Jerusalem - Nablus - Jenin - Afula (no longer goes through Ramallah and Bethlehem)
- Road 90: Jordan Valley (no longer runs through Jericho)
- Road 443: Modi'in - Jerusalem
The other roads, which are not important for settlers, were neglected and only renewed by the autonomy authority, financed by the World Bank, but badly damaged again in the Second Intifada. While all Jewish settlements can be reached through their own "safe roads", some Palestinian places have been cut off from the main roads by building earth walls. In the Gaza Strip there was recently a completely separate road system for settlers so that they did not come into contact with the Palestinians. At intersections, Palestinian traffic was often stopped for a long time in favor of the Israelis. Since the withdrawal, all of these handicaps have disappeared.
While taxis are fairly new, most of the private fleet was very outdated. Now that the Autonomous Authority itself is responsible for importing cars, it is no longer possible to buy used Israeli cars, which used to be the norm. Now it is only possible to import new or almost new vehicles (as in Israel). This is now increasingly leading to a modernization of the vehicle fleet. The vehicle administration is the responsibility of the Autonomous Authority (allocation of license plates , taxation, technical controls, liability insurance), but the data must be transmitted to the Israelis. The driving licenses correspond to the Israeli and therefore also the European class division. They are issued in the modern credit card format. The tests are carried out on the computer according to Israeli specifications.
Public transport is handled by buses and shared taxis . Palestinian vehicles are no longer allowed to enter Israel and East Jerusalem.
- air traffic
The only Palestinian Yasser Arafat airport near Rafah (code GZA) in the Gaza Strip was made unusable by the Israeli army in January 2002. The former Jordanian airport Kalandia near Ramallah is claimed by Israel under the name Atarot -Jerusalem Airport (code JRS), but has been closed for security reasons since 2001. Palestinians are no longer allowed to use Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). West Bank residents must make their international flights from Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport (AMM). One travel day is usually lost for the arrival and departure over the Allenby Bridge . During the peace negotiations it was therefore proposed to leave Kalandia to the Palestinians or to make a separate exit into the autonomous area there so that direct international flights are possible for Palestinians.
- Maritime transport
Construction of a seaport near Gaza has started, but because of Israel's current blockade policy, the sea routes remain closed.
- Safe passage
The main problem, besides the lack of freedom to leave the country at will, is the inability to travel between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Even with the detour via Egypt and Jordan, a Palestinian is not simply allowed to travel to the other part. The aim is to create a transport link that enables the Palestinians to travel freely between the two parts of the country without border controls. There are various ideas for this “safe passage”, which was promised in the Oslo Accords:
- Guarded bus and truck convoys: This solution was implemented between Erez and Turkamiye in the Hebron Governorate in 1999/2000. Another connection between Erez and the Governorate of Ramallah / Al-Bireh failed because the exact end point was determined. The Second Intifada ended the project.
- Corridor train : This solution is sought by Israel, but it is expensive and complicated. However, because of the reloading process, it allows the Israelis complete control over people and goods.
- Autobahn: Like the Germans once through the GDR to West Berlin , you could go on a z. B. drive your own car through Israel on stilts or a road built as a tunnel. This solution is an issue in the current peace negotiations.
The Palestinian company Paltel (al-Intisalat) has taken over the telephone network of the Israeli Bezeq and fully digitized and expanded it in a short time. Although there is now a separate Palestinian area code +970, the networks are not separated by number. Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Ramallah use the area code 02, although a phone call between these cities is no longer a local call. All numbers can also be reached from abroad with the Israeli prefix +972. In spite of this fact, most telephone providers recognize the actual call destination and charge higher fees for Palestine than for Israel.
The expansion of ADSL is currently being pushed, even if the standard speed is only 128 KB / s. With a modem dial-in number and an anonymous login, the Internet is open to everyone.
The subsidiary Palcel operates the first GSM network with Jawwal (area code 059), and on November 1, 2009 a second network from the Kuwaiti company Wataniya (area code 056) was added. Jawwal is so closely connected to the Israeli network that the Palestinian code +970 did not work within the network for years. Israeli mobile phone providers ( Pelephone , Cellcom, Orange ) competed with the Palestinians through transmitters in the Jewish settlements, and their prepaid cards were available everywhere. By 2010, these companies served 30 percent of the market without paying taxes or license fees to the local authority. In April 2010, the Palestinian Authority therefore issued a ban on the sale of contracts and prepaid cards from Israeli providers in their area. Since these products are now threatened with confiscation, they are only sold clandestinely. They used to do targeted advertising. The network coverage of these providers is not so good in the Palestinian metropolitan areas, but is also given in Israel and East Jerusalem. Due to the current travel restrictions, this advantage has largely disappeared. In return, Jawwal was not allowed to set up a transmitter in Israel or in the Area C areas. Since Israel has sovereignty over the frequencies, preference is given to the Israeli networks. Since 1996, Jawwal has had a frequency range of 4.8 MHz for 1.5 million customers today, while Cellcom 37 MHz is available for 3.2 million customers. 3.8 MHz was only released for Wataniya in autumn 2009, although the company should have received “only” 4.8 MHz by January 1, 2009. This was agreed with Israel in a contract under the leadership of Tony Blair in May 2008. In addition, technical systems were held up for months by the Israeli customs during the import process (sending stations six to 18 months). As a result, the official start could only take place in November 2009. To date, the Palestinian providers cannot offer 3G services. It was not until November 19, 2015, nine years after the introduction of 3G in Israel, that the Palestinians were granted 3G and 4G frequencies. In late March 2016, the World Bank announced that the restrictions on frequencies and imports of technical equipment had caused the Palestinian cellular sector to lose $ 1 billion in profits over the past three years. In addition, Wataniya has still not been able to set up a network in the Gasa Strip, which prevents competition there. It wasn't until 2018 that the two mobile phone providers were able to use 3G standard mobile internet for the first time.
The Palestinian Post took over post offices from the Israeli army and has more than doubled the number of offices since 1995; it continuously modernizes the structure and the product range. There are own postage stamps which are denominated in fils (1 Palestinian dinar = 1000 fils), but are sold in Israeli shekels (fixed exchange rate: 1 dinar = 6 shekels). After many stamps were issued between 1994 and 2001, most of which were produced by the Bundesdruckerei Berlin, there were hardly any new releases for several years. Since 2009, more editions have been published again, separately for the West Bank (printing in Tunisia or Bahrain) and the Gaza Strip (printing locally).
Shipping abroad is exclusively via Israel and takes a very long time, as the mail items are brought to special "sorting systems" for inspection, censorship and harassment are the order of the day, even when mail is exchanged within the autonomous areas. There are intensive efforts to find ways for mail abroad independent of Israel.
Postage to the Gaza Strip was stopped by Israel in 2007. It was resumed in 2015, only to be reinstated a year later after items were sent that were banned by Israel. However, due to the rigorous control of each package with X-ray machines, these were all recognized and confiscated.
The Middle East is one of the most arid regions in the world. In addition to the lower Jordan River, groundwater is an important natural resource in the West Bank. The control of water resources in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories has been exercised by the Israeli military authority since 1967, although the 1995 Oslo Accords allowed the Palestinians to set up their own water authority. To this day, the construction of new wells requires an Israeli permit, but this is only rarely given to the Palestinian communities and then only for the purpose of drinking water. The depth of Palestinian wells is limited by the Israeli military authorities, but there are no restrictions for wells within the Israeli settlements. Therefore, illegal well construction is not uncommon. In the area of irrigated agriculture, the Palestinians in the West Bank have not been able to develop further since 1967. According to an international agreement, the autonomous areas have access to the groundwater horizon and the Jordan . The non-governmental “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Monitoring Program” (WaSH MP) to improve the water supply has existed since 2002 with financial support from Oxfam and UNICEF . According to the 1995 agreement, the Palestinians are allowed to extract 118 million m³ of water per year in the West Bank, Israel 483 million m³. From the outset, Israel has been supplying the Palestinian Authority with higher and rapidly increasing quantities of fresh water than agreed, which has led to a 10% increase in per capita consumption in the autonomous regions in the period 1967-2009, while per capita consumption in Israel fell 73% over the same period. Some poorer villages in areas under full Israeli control (Area C) are still not connected to an aqueduct, although neighboring settlements have one. They have to be supplied by tank trucks. When Martin Schulz addressed the water injustice in a speech to the Knesset on February 12, 2014 , there was a tumult. The Israeli embassy then published a comprehensive account of the water situation, which contradicts Martin Schulz's account in essential parts. It must be taken into account, however, that Israel can use desalinated and treated water for irrigation and industrial purposes, while such sources are not available to the Palestinians. However, a memorandum signed between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians in December 2013 is intended to change this. However, this project is controversial among environmentalists.
In the Gaza Strip there is only one diesel power plant with an output of 60 megawatts. Israel will supply 120 MW, while Egypt will supply 20 MW. The diesel fuel for the power plant is also obtained from Israel. The Israeli electricity company IEC supplies a total of 4 million kilowatt hours of electricity to the autonomous regions, 7 percent of its own production. 1 million kWh go to the Gaza Strip, the costs for this are deducted directly from Israel's transfer payments. The rest of the energy goes to the West Bank to the Autonomous Authority and the three utility companies JEDECO (around Jerusalem), NEDCO (north) and SELCO (south). After a large part of the bills were not paid, huge debts accumulated. Since there was no power plant in the West Bank until 2019, all of the electricity had to be imported, 95 percent from Israel and 5 percent from Jordan. The utility companies are struggling to collect outstanding utility bills from households. As a countermeasure, prepay electricity meters will increasingly be installed from 2014 onwards . Since the autonomy authority refused to pay for the electricity supplies in the Gaza Strip as a means of pressure against Hamas, there were repeated delivery stops and bottlenecks there. In January 2020, the first two installments paid off more than half of the total debt of 466 million euros.
The first of four planned solar parks was inaugurated in Jericho on May 22, 2019. The four solar fields could meet 30 percent of Palestinian needs and thus reduce dependence on Israeli energy supplies.
The Palestinian school system is organized on the model of Jordan. Even during the occupation by Israel, the system was not brought into line with that of Israel. In the past, Jordanian school books were mainly used. The autonomy authority is now creating its own curricula and approving the books for teaching. First, Jordanian books were reprinted in an adapted manner. In the meantime, with financial support from the European Union, own material is being published. There is always criticism of its content when it comes to the teaching content "Israel". In addition to the state schools, there are also private schools, which mostly belong to Christian organizations ( Quakers , Catholic orders) and are of a higher level. However, school fees have to be paid for these. The final examination at the end of the 12th grade is called Tawdschihi (Arabic توجيهي). This centrally organized written exam takes place at the end of June in all schools for each school type. The evaluation is also carried out centrally and the results will be published in special editions of the daily newspapers and on the Internet at the end of July. The grading is given in percentage points; 50 points are required to pass. The best student of 2016 achieved 99.7 percent. If you fail, you can compete again next year.
The universities in Palestine are mostly private and therefore charge tuition fees of 1,500 to 1,800 euros per academic year. In 2017 there were around 214,000 students in Palestine, 59.9 percent of them women. In addition, around 21,000 Palestinians study abroad, most of them in Jordan. 37,833 master's and bachelor's degrees and a doctorate were awarded. For a long time, the Palestinians had a reputation for being the Arab people with the highest level of education and - due to the numerous lecturers who worked in the region - were considered "teachers of the Arab world". Even today, the autonomous areas still have a good higher education system. In the Arab world, Bir Zait University ranks 50th, al-Quds University 61st, Nablus University 65th, Gaza Islamic University 87th and Bethlehem University 98th “Community colleges” only award degrees below the bachelor's degree. The 17 universities of applied sciences usually only offer two-year diploma courses and rarely also bachelor programs. The open university with 22 branches only awards bachelor's degrees, the 14 universities bachelor's and master's degrees. The university study is regulated according to the American model, the bachelor and master degrees of the universities are international and with a few exceptions also recognized in Israel. The four doctoral programs (chemistry, physics, social sciences and Islamic law) have so far produced one graduate (in Islamic law ).
The portrayal of Israel and Jews in Palestinian textbooks does not serve to communicate between Israelis and Palestinians, but promotes the emergence of an intellectual climate of violence. The texts consistently make negative references to Israelis and Jews, who are often demonized, the fight against Israel is glorified.
Pre-school education in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories is also overshadowed by the Middle East conflict. In the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Islamist Hamas, children in kindergarten were repeatedly put into play situations in which they "killed" Israelis. The killing of Israelis and the subsequent martyrdom was glorified in a play on the occasion of the Festival of Education.
The Palestinian culture is influenced by Arabic. Spoken Palestinian Arabic .
- Riad Al-Rafati (kickboxing)
- Mustafa Hassanen (bodybuilding)
- Mohammad Abu Hamous (long distance running)
- Fadi Lafi (soccer)
- Roberto Kettlun (soccer)
- Mohamed Hassan (soccer player)
While there is even a national women's football team in the West Bank, women athletes face particular difficulties in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip: women's football is prohibited there, and a marathon run has also been canceled.
The native music in the autonomous areas follows the tradition of Arabic music , with both its classical and popular currents being represented.
In the Islamist milieus that dominate the Gaza Strip, Western music is largely frowned upon, and even the songs of Umm Kulthum , once an icon of Palestinian-Arab nationalism, are now considered haram there . Hamas supporters only prefer Naschids .
In June 2013, Mohammed Assaf won the second season of the casting show Arab Idol . Hamas denounced his participation in the competition and ran a Facebook campaign against him, but then sent an official from the Ministry of Culture to meet him at the border on his return.
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