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What is the history of the Palestinians?

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Quick Answer

The history of the Palestinian people varies depending on the definition of Palestinian used. Some would say that the history of Palestinians is a short one, with a national consciousness forming only after their conflicts with Israel, while others contend that the Palestinian people have existed since pre-Roman times and have adapted and adopted many of the cultures that have passed through and controlled the region at various times.

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Full Answer

Some scholars say the history of the Palestinian people begins in the 18th century with the advent of the Revolt of 1834 bringing together a disparate group of Arabic-speaking peoples in the region. After the First World War, Palestine was given to the British as a "mandate," disillusioning many after being promised an independent Palestinian state.

After the Second World War, Arab Palestinians rejected the proposed U.N. partition plan, objecting to the formation of two states, one controlled by recent Jewish immigrants and the other given to Arab Palestinians who made up the majority of the population. Emboldened by the independence efforts of nearby Middle-Eastern countries, tensions flared between both sides, and war broke out between the Arabs and the new Israelis. An ensuing war between Israel and the surrounding Arab states drove many Arab Palestinians out of their land. From then on, the issue of an independent Palestinian state has been a constant problem for Israel, sparking debates on the treatment and possible independence of Palestinians under the control of the Israel.

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