What Is the Origin of the Palestinian People?


Quick Answer

The Palestinian people were originally known as the Palestinian Arabs, indicating Arabs who lived in Palestine. Before 1964, those living in Palestine with Arab roots were usually called Palestinian Arabs. Some Jews living in Palestine were also called Palestinians. As of 2015, the vast majority of Palestinians are culturally Arabs.

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Full Answer

The area of Palestine was named by the Romans in ancient times after they removed the Jews from the land that was previously called Judea. The current Arab population of Palestine came from Arabs settling in the area after the Muslim conquests of 640. During the Ottoman Empire in the 1800s, most Arabs living in Palestine considered themselves Ottomans.

The revolt in 1834 became the beginning of a Palestinian identity that continues into the present day, as of 2015. At the time, Palestine was under the rule of an Egyptian vassal under the control of the Ottoman Empire which was conscripting peasants against their will. Arab Jews also fell under the moniker of Palestinian at that time.

The Palestinian identity was further pushed along by the rise of Zionism in Europe and eventually the British Mandate after World War I. Conflicts between Palestinian Arabs and Jews escalated at this time. After World War II, the Jewish state of Israel was created, and the conflict between Arabs and Jews in Palestine increased.

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