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Past to Present

Israeli soldiers and Orthodox jewish boy near Damascus Gate, on Jerusalem Day. Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. Thousands of zionist settlers from the Westbank head to the old city for a provocative march through the Arab part of town. Palestinian inhabitants are forbidden to leave or enter their own neighbourhood. Shopkeepers are obliged to close their shop. May 28, 2014 //Photo Rights Managed
Israeli soldiers and Orthodox jewish boy near Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem//Photo Rights Managed
Palestine had never been an independent, autonomous entity before July 1920, when the British Mandate was implemented. Throughout history, the land of Palestine had always been divided into smaller kingdoms, independent city-states, or had been part of larger empires, of which it was at best a province or merely part of a province. It was impregnated by other cultures: Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab and Ottoman. Nevertheless, it was the cradle of two of the great monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity, and the location of holy places for a third, Islam.

Then, after World War I, the land of Palestine was mandated by the League of Nations to the British Empire (the British Mandate), with the explicit assignment that ‘the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect (…) the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’. From this assignment originate the State of Israel as well as what is generally called ‘the conflict in the Middle East’.

The history of Palestine, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel have since been intertwined.

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