A declaration of a "State of Palestine" was approved on November 15, 1988, by the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The proclaimed "State of Palestine" is not an independent state, as it has never had sovereignty over any territory. Moreover, the declaration was ignored, and eventually rejected, by the State of Israel. Israel controls the territories since 1967 Six-Day War when it captured them from Egypt and Jordan.
Interim governing body appointed July 1994 to take over the management of Palestinian affairs from Israel in newly liberated Gaza Strip and Jericho . It is headed by Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO. The PNA has jurisdiction over the whole of the formerly occupied areas, except Israeli settlers and nationals, Israel retains responsibility for external defence and foreign affairs.
The first elected Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was initially
conceptualized with the Declaration of Principles (DOP). The idea was
further developed in the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in
which the structure, jurisdiction, functions, size, and responsibilities of
the Council were determined.
The Council established eleven permanent committees at its second meeting on April 4, 1996. Under Title III of the Standing Rules, the committees review and propose amendments to legislation, report to the Council, receive constituent complaints, and study and review plans, programs, agreements, and treaties submitted to the Council by the Executive Authority. The committees discuss and report to the Council on any proposals referred by the Council or by the Speaker. The committees usually meet twice a week and may hold additional meetings at the call of the chairman, or by request of the Speaker or a majority of the members of the committee, with at least 24 hours notice. The committees meet in secret but can decide to hold public meetings. The quorum for a committee meeting is a majority of its members and decisions of the committees require a simple majority. Each committee has a chairman and a secretary elected from among its members. A committee may request, through the Speaker, that any relevant Minister or responsible person within the Palestinian National Authority give information or clarify any issue within the committee’s mandate. A committee may also ask the Speaker to request, through the President of the Authority, the attendance of any relevant Minister at a committee meeting.
Lands and Settlements Committee
Committee for Refugees and Palestinians Abroad
Committee for the Economy
Committee for the Interior
Education and Social Affairs Committee
Natural Resources and Energy Committee
Human Rights, Public Freedoms, and General Purposes Committee
The Palestinian national anthem, Biladi ("My Country"), is the national anthem of the State of Palestine, adopted in 1996 in accordance with Article 31 of its declaration of independence in 1988. It was written by Said Al Muzayin, and its music was composed by Egyptian maestro Ali Ismael, and it was known as the "Anthem of the Palestinian revolution".
Gaza, (Arabic Ghazze), city and port near the Mediterranean Sea, about 32
km north of the Egyptian border. This ancient city has given its name to
the Gaza Strip , a territory that was occupied by Israeli forces from 1967
until 1994. The Gaza Strip covers about 378 sq km (about 146 sq mi) and
extends northeast from the Sinai Peninsula along the Mediterranean for
about 40 km (about 25 mi).
West Bank, territory in southwestern Asia, in the Middle East, located west
of the Jordan River, occupied by Israel since 1967 . It covers an area of
about 5879 sq km and supports a population of about 973,500. All of the
people are Palestinian Arabs. There is some Jews who have settled in the
area since 1967. The West Bank was part of the British League of Nations
Palestine mandate from 1922 to 1948, after the first Arab Israeli war in
1948 , Jordan took control of the region in 1949 . In 1967 the area was
seized by Israel during the Six Day War.
Jerusalem (Arabic al-Quds) largest city in the West Bank , situated between
the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea . Jerusalem is a holy city for the
world's major religions: Islam, and Christianity . In 1948 Jerusalem was
under Israel occupation (West Jerusalem) , and Jordan controlled the other
part of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem) including the Old City. In 1967 Israel
occupied East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, Since then , both west and east
Jerusalem has been under Israeli occupation.
Hebron, city in the West Bank, near Jerusalem. Israel has occupied Hebron
since 1967, when it captured the West Bank and other territories in the
Six-Day War. Hebron is one of oldest communities in the world. Among the
interesting features of Hebron are the narrow, winding streets , the
flat-roofed stone houses , the bazaars , and the mosque of al-Haram
al-Ebrahimi. The mosque is built on top of the cave that is believed to
hold the tombs of Abraham and his family. In the top of this cave is
Bethlehem (pop. 16,313) is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. It lies about 5
miles (8 kilometers) south of Jerusalem in a region of the Middle East
called the West Bank.
Principal city of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is located on the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea, north of the Sinai Peninsula and southwest of Jerusalem.
A city of historical and religious importance, Gaza has been disputed since
ancient times. Along with the rest of the Gaza Strip, Gaza came under
Israeli occupation in 1967. In May 1994 the city became the headquarters of
the new Palestinian Authority, which administers Palestinian areas in the
Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Excavations at ancient Jericho, identified as Tell al-Sultan, 10 km (6 mi)
north of the Dead Sea , have revealed remains of the oldest city yet
discovered by archaeologists. The earliest occupation of the site, dating
from the 10th millennium BC, consists of remains of the NATUFIAN culture
and includes what may have been a shrine. During the 8th millennium BC the
site was greatly expanded under a culture known as the Aceramic, or
Prepottery Neolithic , and a wall standing 5.2 m (17 ft) high was erected
around the settlement . On the west side were found remains of a round
tower that stood 7 m (23 ft) high and included an internal flight of steps.
Market town on the West Bank of the river Jordan, North of Jerusalem , the largest Palestinian town, after east Jerusalem , in Israeli occupation , population (1971) 64,000 . The British field marshal Allenby's defeat of the Turks here 1918 completed the conquest of Palestine.
Also spelled RAMALLAH, town, central Palestine, adjacent to the town of
Al-Birah (east) and north of Jerusalem. Ram Allah has since the Six-Day War
of 1967 been under Israeli occupation as part of the West Bank territory.