History

How Powerful Is Palestine?

Palestine has been in an uphill battle since the 1940s. So, with its statehood status still in limbo, how powerful is Palestine?

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Palestine spans about 2,400 square miles (3,862 km). That is roughly the same size as the U.S. state of Delaware. It's divided into two portions: The West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The West Bank (i.e. the territory lying to the west of the Jordan river), is surrounded by Israel on three sides and Jordan to the east. The Gaza Strip shares a border with Egypt and is located on the Mediterranean coastline. Between both regions, there are 4.5 million Palestinians along with an estimated 350,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Government leadership is divided in the West Bank and Gaza. After a 2006 election, Hamas was able to seize political control in Gaza. Hamas is widely regarded as a dangerous extremist organization by the international community. The West Bank, on the other hand, is led by the Fatah party, formerly known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement. Fatah (also called the Palestinian Liberation Organization) is internationally recognized as the government that represents the Palestinian people.

Support from the international community is vital to Palestine's future. Today, more than 130 UN member states recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. In 2012, Palestine was declared a "non-member observer" of the UN. Still, Palestine has a host of problems, including very high unemployment among young adults. These issues are exacerbated by the unending Israel-Palestine conflict, but that's a topic for another video entirely.

Learn More:
U.N. Assembly, in Blow to U.S., Elevates Status of Palestine (nytimes.com)
"More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, a triumph for Palestinian diplomacy and a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel."

Security services drain Palestine's budget (al-monitor.com)
"The Palestinian Authority (PA) is going through a severe financial crisis, especially since Israel froze in December 2014 the transfer of tax funds, which amount to $130 million per month."

What's The Difference Between The West Bank and The Gaza Strip? (ibtimes.com)
"When Israel invaded the Gaza Strip Thursday, no military operation was happening in the other part of the Palestinian territories, the West Bank."

CEPR Memo: Agriculture in Palestine: a post-Oslo analysis (thecepr.org)
"Agriculture has a strong significance for Palestinian identity due to its affiliation to land, cultural heritage and social life."