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Middle East Region: Palestine

             Palestine is an area in the eastern Mediterranean region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in Asia. Palestine territories include the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and parts of modern Israel. This region has a strategic location between Jordan in the east, Lebanon and part of modern Israel to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and Negev and Gulf of Aqaba to the South. Syria, Egypt, and the Arabian nations are its neighboring countries.
             This region is also called the Holy Land because of its religious significance to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Historically, this region has been under constant strife and political instability due to many invasions, wars and more recently its boundaries with Israel. In November 2012, after a long struggle, the region of Palestine became a non-member observer state of the United Nations. The total area of this region is 6,217 sq. km, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. City of Gaza is the largest city in the Gaza Strip and Hebron is the largest city in West Bank region. Centrally located El-Bureij, Beit Lahiya in north Gaza, and Jabaliya in the north are some important regions.
             Palestine has a very complex past and this complexity continues in its current state. The earliest peoples to inhabit Palestine during the 3rd millennium BC were the Canaanites. Later in the 3rd millennium, other people such as Arabs, Indo-European, and Hebrews settled in Palestine. During the 2nd millennium BC, the area was under Egyptian control. Later in the 2nd millennium Egypt lost its control and the area was in chaos due to many invasions of various peoples/tribes. Many Canaanite cities were destroyed and which allowed one group, the Philistines, to settle the southern area of the area. The area became known as the land of the Philistines or later Palestine. Also during this time, the Israelite culture and Kingdom developed throughout parts of the area.

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