Palestine is not a country, but a geographical region between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. The birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, Palestine is recognized by the United Nations as a Non-Member Observer State.
Prior to the Israelis and Palestinians, a number of groups have controlled the region throughout history, including the Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and British. A cultural, political and religious crossroads, Palestine is marked by the longstanding conflict between Muslims and Jews within the territory. The Palestinian national Council declared independence from Israel in 1988, and 134 countries recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, as of 2014.