On 29 November 2012,[34] UN General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to "non-member observer state" status in the United Nations.[36][37] The change in status was described as "de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine".[17]

The Islamist Hamas movement, which runs Gaza, explicitly rejects Oslo and its charter calls for Israel's "nullification".

In 2005, Israel completed the withdrawal of all its troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip but it retains control of the airspace, seafront and access - including deliveries of food and other goods - apart from the crossing with Egypt.

Reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices

0–14 years: 44.7% (male 343,988/female 325,856) 15–64 years: 52.7% (male 403,855/female 386,681) 65 years and over: 2.7% (male 16,196/female 23,626) (2008 est.)

Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem - Report of the Secretary-General (A/71/364)

Local elections on the West Bank in October 2012 undermined Fatah's position, as it won only two-fifths of the seats contested on a turnout of 55%, with independents and Fatah dissidents making gains. Hamas boycotted the poll, and allowed no elections at all in Gaza.

In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.[31] Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, 135 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States.

Hamas should be given a clear choice, with a clear deadline: they either accept a new government that meets the Quartet principles, or they reject it. The consequences of Hamas' decision should also be clear: If Hamas does not agree within the prescribed time, you should make clear your intention to declare a state of emergency and form an emergency government explicitly committed to that platform.[70]

"Palestinian territories" and "occupied Palestinian territories" (OPT or oPt) are descriptions often used to describe the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, which are occupied or otherwise under the control of Israel.[7][8][9] Israeli governments have maintained that the area involved is within territorial dispute.[10][11] The extent of the territories, while subject to future negotiations, have frequently been defined by the Green Line.

The Fatah faction of the PLO ran the PNA until 2006, when Hamas won a majority in Legislative Council elections.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) emerged as its leading umbrella group shortly before the Six-Day War of 1967, during which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and conducted a protracted campaign of violence against Israel.

By the 1988 declaration, the PNC empowered its central council to form a government-in-exile when appropriate, and called upon its executive committee to perform the duties of the government-in-exile until its establishment.[135]

Uneasy co-existence between PNA President Mahmoud Abbas and a Hamas-led government led to violence between armed wings of Fatah and Hamas, culminating in Hamas seizing power in Gaza in June 2007 and President Abbas dismissing the government.

According to The Guardian (2008) the Palestinian territories have one of the fastest growing populations in the world, with numbers surging 30% in the past decade (2008). There was 3.76 million Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, up from 2.89 million 10 years earlier.[108]

UN Security Council Resolution 242 introduced the "Land for Peace" formula for normalizing relations between Israel and its neighbors. This formula was used when Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1979 in exchange for a peace treaty. While that treaty mentioned a "linkage" between Israeli-Egyptian peace and Palestinian autonomy, the formerly Egyptian-occupied territory in Gaza was excluded from the agreement, and remained under Israeli control.

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

The PLO under Yasser Arafat gradually won international recognition as the representative of the Palestinian people, culminating in the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993.

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, with its continuing settlement building and military checkpoints, and Palestinian attacks, have slowed progress towards a final agreement and led many on both sides to dispute the worth of the Accords.

Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/71/352)

This failed to gain the required support, but UNESCO - the UN cultural and educational agency - did admit the "State of Palestine" as a member in October.

definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 91.9% male: 96.3% female: 87.4% (2003 est.)

total: 14.92 deaths/1,000 live births male: 16.73 deaths/1,000 live births female: 13.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

After the vote, the US Ambassador Samantha Power said that "raising the Palestinian flag will not bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer together".[73] US state department spokesman Mark Toner called it a "counterproductive" attempt to pursue statehood claims outside of a negotiated settlement.[74]

Former U.S. President George W. Bush stated, during his presidency, that he did not expect Israel to return entirely to pre-1967 borders, due to "new realities on the ground."[101]

Report of the Secretary-General on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the Occupied Syrian Golan (A/71/355)

Water supply and sanitation in the Palestinian territories are characterized by severe water shortage and are highly influenced by the Israeli occupation. The water resources of Palestine are fully controlled by Israel and the division of groundwater is subject to provisions in the Oslo II Accord.

Its civilian and security writ runs in urban areas (Area A) under the Oslo Accords, with civilian but not security control over rural areas (Area B).

People Of Palestinian Territories

According to the U.S. Census population growth mid-1990-2008 in Gaza and West Bank was 106% from 1.9 million (1990) to 3.9 million persons.[109]

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (A/71/554)

There are a number of newspapers, news agencies, and satellite television stations in the State of Palestine. News agencies include Ma'an News Agency, Wafa, Palestine News Network and the satellite television includes Al-Aqsa TV, Al-Quds TV, Sanabel TV.

According to the United Nations, the Palestinian population was 4.4 million in 2010.[10] According to the PCBS, population density in 2009 was 654 capita/km2, of which 433 capita/km2 in the West Bank including Jerusalem and 4,073 capita/km2 in Gaza Strip.[11] In the mid-2009, the share of population less than 15 years was 41.9% and above 65 years 3%.[11]

Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)

The PNA made a symbolic bid for recognition at the UN as the "State of Palestine" in 2011, mainly in an effort to highlight the lack of movement in relations with Israel.

Arabic is the official language within the Palestinian Authority.[126] Palestinian Arabic is the vernacular. Hebrew and English are widely spoken. 16.1% of the population speaks Hebrew as their native language and Hebrew is also a second or third language to many other Palestinians.[127][128]

The State of Palestine consists of the following institutions that are associated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO):

The following demographic statistics come from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

These accords established a Palestinian National Authority (PNA - also referred to as the Palestinian Authority, or PA) as an interim body to run parts of Gaza and the West Bank (but not East Jerusalem) pending an agreed solution to the conflict.

Football is the most popular sport among the Palestinian people. Rugby is also a popular sport. The Palestine national football team represents the country in international football.

The State of Palestine is divided into sixteen administrative divisions.