Guarded Domains of the Kingdom of Palestine
مناطق مملكة فلسطين المحروسة
Manatiq Mamlakat Filastin al-Mahrusa
Motto: مملكة المتحدة
|Ethnic groups |
90% Levantine-Arabian |
|Government||Unitary Islamic constitutional monarchy|
|Kadin bin Mustafa|
|Chamber of the Court|
|Chamber of the Representatives|
from the Ottoman Empire
• Partition from the Ottoman Empire
|6 October 1902|
• Kingdom proclaimed
|13 October 1908|
• Constitution adopted
|6 November 1910|
|82,145 km2 (31,716 sq mi)|
• 2019 estimate
• 2020 census
|240/km2 (621.6/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Palestinian dinar (ܦ) (PLD)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AH)|
|ISO 3166 code||PS|
Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين, Filastin), officially the Guarded Domains of the Kingdom of Palestine (Arabic: مناطق مملكة فلسطين المحروسة, Manatiq Mamlakat Filastin al-Mahrusa), is a sovereign state in the Levant region of Arabia, in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Hashemite Arabia on the east, and Egypt to the west. Yafa is the economic, technological, and cultural center of the country, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is al-Quds. The term "Palestine" has been associated variously and sometimes controversially with this region that the country occupies, which some have asserted also includes parts of Hashemite Arabia. Both the geographic area designated by the name and the political status of it have changed over the course of some three millennia. The region (or at least a part of it) is also known as the Holy Land and is held sacred among Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
Palestine provides evidence of the first migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes have been discovered dating back to the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah formed during the Iron Age. At around 720 BCE, the Neo-Assyrian Empire devastated Israel. The Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic empires subsequently invaded Judah, which had previously existed as Jewish independent regions. The effective Maccabean Revolt resulted in an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE became a client state of the Roman Republic, which later installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE and established the Roman province of Judea in 6 CE. Judea remained a Roman province until a series unsuccessful Jewish revolts resulted in extensive damage, the deportation of the Jewish inhabitants, and the territory being renamed Syria Palaestina from Ludaea. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. The Arabs conquered the Levant from the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century CE, and it remained under Muslim rule until the First Crusade in 1099, followed by the Ayyubid invasion in 1187. In the 13th century, Egypt's Mamluk Sultanate extended its authority over the Levant until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517, which would effectively hold on to the area until 1908.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Arab nationalism and Pan-Arabianism was on the rise. The Ottoman Empire continued to control or have a suzerainty over most of the Levant, with the British controlling Egypt, and the Sinai peninsula. Subject to this suzerainty, Palestine was essentially governed under the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem. In 1888, a former Mutasarrifate official and leader of the Banu Shahin tribe (a tribe nestled into the Arabian Peninsula), Najeeb bin Hussein al-Shahin (known as ibn-Shahin in the West) formed the Arabian Fatherland League (AFL) in Hedjaz, whose goal was to free Ottoman Palestine from Turkish domination. The AFL rode the wave of an anti-West sentiment, and was built upon a traditional Islamic methodology of governing, specifically, the Sha'riah Law. In the foundation years of the AFL, ibn-Shahin was able to consolidate alliances with a number of other Arabian tribes—namely, the Banu Tamim, Banu Hannan, Banu Ashraf, Banu Karimi, and Banu Dar tribes. One of ibn-Shahin's primary courses-of-action with the AFL was the development of an armed wing, which later came to be known as the al-Quwa Brigades (AQB). In 1902, the AQB managed to infiltrate Jerusalem in a partially bloody coup, and the AFL took control. The AFL would then set up the Interim Government of Independent Arabian Palestine (IGIAP). The IGIAP primary worked to secure the outskirts of Jerusalem, and by the time the Young Turk Revolution happened in Istanbul, the borders of the newly independent, still unrecognised, Palestinian state had grown to the lower echelons of Beirut, down to the peak of the Sinai, and rightwards to occupy a good majority of Dimask.
For the next 4 years, until the end of 1908, the IGIAP slowly transitioned into the Guarded Domains of the Kingdom of Palestine (GDKP). The decision for establishing a monarchy over Palestine was made internally by the AFL because, "...it best reflects the principles of our faith, and the people of our Fatherland will benefit the most under the rule of a determined, unnerving, and steadfast leader—unbound by Western myths of governance, and adherent entirely to the command of Allah". The candidates for the seat of the monarchy were the two senior-most members of the IGIAP—ibn Shahin himself, and Khalid bin Auon al-Hannan (ibn-Hannan), who was the Commander of the al-Quwa Brigades. Eventually, ibn-Shahin was instated as the monarch after a discourse within the IGIAP. Along with the transition into a monarchy, a constitution was written, and semi-democratic government was established. A parliament was established, along with an upper and lower house; and in charge of the government was to be a Grand Minister. The al-Quwa Brigades were restructured into the Palestinian National Army, with ibn-Hannan being instated as the first Field Marshal of the Palestinian National Army (PNA).
Under ibn-Shahin, there was a relative amount of peace. That peace, however, was disturbed towards the end of the his rule, in 1918. Terminally ill, determining a successor to ibn-Shahin became a question mark. On one front, ibn-Shahin's son Najeeb II was rallying for legitimacy to the throne by virtue of lineal primogeniture; one the other front, the "royal" tribes were rallying for an elective monarchy, allowing for an equal opportunity to rule. Following ibn-Shahin's death, the Pursuit for the Throne (or, Palestinian War for Succession) came into effect. Najeeb II was backed by the (PNA) and the Second Interim Government of Palestine (SIGP); and the other front was backed by anti-Shahin parties in the form of Great Britain. The Pursuit was eventually won decisively by Najeeb II, who assumed the throne towards the end of 1919, because of the uncoordinated efforts of the opposing front. Najeeb II's reign was also peaceful, until the dawn of the First World War, where a rapid militarisation of the Sinai border took place. A German-supported Arab Uprising led to the creation of new Arab states in the Mesopotamia and Levant regions, while the Italian and Spanish-led North African Campaign, while initially successful, was repulsed from Algeria and Egypt. Palestine, effectively being the only independent Arab state, was at the forefront of the effort, geopolitically. Unfortunately, this period also saw a rapid decline in the status of Jewish rights, as most Jews were labelled "enemies of the land" for their apparent favour of the British, and calls for a "British mandate" on Palestine. Small-scale Jewish uprisings were extinguished swiftly.
In its Constitution, Palestine defines itself as a Islamic and semi-democratic state, and the nation state of the Arabian people. The country is a constitutional monarchy with a pseudo-parliamentary system, almost proportional representation, and universal suffrage. The Grand Minister is head of government and the Majlis is the legislature. With a population of around 19 million as of 2020, Palestine is a developed country and an OECD, OPEC, and LN member. It has the world's x-largest economy by nominal GDP, and is the most developed country currently in conflict. It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training, percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree, research and development spending by GDP percentage, life expectancy, innovativeness, and happiness. The country does, however, have a troubling track-record when it comes to the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, freedom of expression and speech, and what some may consider "outdated" laws.