Dictionary of Palestinian Political Terms




A series of joint normalization statements initially between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, effective since September 15, 2020, and later extended under US compulsion to Morocco (after the Trump administration recognized Moroccan control over the disputed Western Sahara region) and Sudan (after the Trump administration agreed to remove Sudan from the State Department list of "state sponsors of terrorism") in 2021. As part of the agreements, those countries recognize Israel's sovereignty, enabling the establishment of full diplomatic relations. The Arab League refrained from condemning the Abraham Accords while Palestinian observers noted that even if the deal had delayed de jure annexation, illegal Israeli settlement activity – a form of de facto annexation – would continue in the West Bank. As a product of President Trump’s support of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, the Abraham Accords contributed further to Israel’s sense of acceptance in the Middle East and the effective marginalization of the Palestinian issue. Motivations are also mainly economic since the Accords allow Israel to provide the Gulf states with economic, technological, military and cyber-security expertise, and later on pursue normalization with Saudi Arabia.


Legislation created by Israel in 1950 for the purpose of legalizing changes to land ownership. The law defines an “absentee” as a person who at any time in the period between 29 November 1947 and 1 September 1948, had left their resi­dence and property either for territory out­side of the 1948 borders of the State of Israel, Arab states including Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan (the latter two meaning also the West Bank and Gaza Strip), or any territory occupied by Arab military forces. Absentee prop­erty was vested in the Israeli Custodian of Ab­sentee Property, with no possibility of appeal or compensation, who then sold it to the De­velopment Author­ity, which was empow­ered by the Knesset to acquire and prepare lands for the benefit of newly arriving Jewish im­migrants. Thereby, the “absentee property” that was left behind by Palestinian refugees in 1948 (and also some of the property of Palestinians who are now citizens of Israel) was transferred to the State of Israel. This process authorized the theft of the property of approximately one million Arabs, seized by Israel in 1948. Following the 1967 War, Israeli law was applied to East Jerusalem, but it was decided that the status of absentee would not apply to residents of East Jerusa­lem. However, West Bank residents with prop­erty in Jerusalem remained in a gray area: while considered absentees under the law and prohibited from officially registering their rights to the land, it did not affect their ownership of the property in practice. Own­ers could prove their existence and claim their property even though they were consi­dered absentees under the law. In a cabinet meeting on 8 July 2004, this practice was rescinded after being in place for 37 years. In January 2005, the Israeli government de­cided to apply the Absentee Property Law to East Jerusalem property. In February 2005, Israel's Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ordered the government to cancel imple­men­tation of the law in East Jerusalem, stating that it violated obligations under in­terna­tional law. In 2015, a seven-justice panel of the Supreme Court approved the application of the Absentee Property Law to assets in East Jerusalem.


Proposal discussed in confidential talks between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLC Speaker Ahmad Qrei’a (Abu Ala’), apparently authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, in the winter of 2001. The plan suggested first a ceasefire and con­centration of weapons and weapon bearers under one authority (PA), followed by an Israeli recognition of a (demilitarized) Pales­tinian state on ar­eas presently under PA con­trol (42% of the West Bank; 80% of the Gaza Strip) and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a starting point for re­newed final status nego­tiations on final bor­ders and other outstanding issues (including Je­rusalem, settlements, and refugees). The suggested timetable for the implementation of the agreement was one year. The docu­ment remained unofficial, did not gain much support, and was neither approved by the Israeli government nor by the PA.


(also: Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades) Military wing of the PFLP (originally the Red Eagles Brigades), named after PFLP Secretary-General Mustafa Zabri, better known as Abu Ali Mustafa, who was assassinated by an Israeli missile strike at his office in Ramallah on 27 August 2001. On 16 July 2007, the Bri­gades rejected Presi­dent Mahmoud Abbas’ call on all Pal­estinian resistance groups to surrender their weapons to the PA, saying that they would not abandon their re­sistance until the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has ended.


Former Israeli military checkpoint near Rafah that controlled all traffic on the only road connecting northern and southern Gaza. The checkpoint was dismantled fol­lowing implementation of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan in 2005.


Assault by Jewish Haga­nah paramilitaries on the Jaffa neighboring village of Abu Kabir on 12-13 February 1948, in which 13 Arabs were killed and some 22 wounded. Around this time the neighbor­hood was abandoned by most of its inhabi­tants and guarded by several dozen militia­men. A second major attack on Abu Kabir occurred on 13 March 1948 in which the Ha­ganah shelled the neighborhood with mor­tars and blew up a number of houses, os­tensibly intended to destroy the area.


(formal: Framework for the Con­clusion of a Final Status Agree­ment Between Israel and the PLO) Plan drawn up by then-PLO Secretary-General Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and Is­raeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin (Labor) on 31 October 1995, the existence of which was denied by both parties for five years before being unofficially published in Sep­tember 2000. The draft, which was never formally adopted by either Israel or the Pal­estinians, envisioned the establishment of a Palestinian state no later than May 1999 and included the following proposals: Israeli withdrawal (conducted in stages until com­pletion in 2007) from territory of the future Palestinian state, Israelis remaining in set­tlements inside the Palestinian state to be subject to Palestinian sovereignty and rule of law, offered Palestinian citizenship or choose to remain as alien residents, City of Jerusa­lem (expanded to include adjacent Palestin­ian villages including Abu Dis) to be jointly administered, with autonomous sub-munici­palities for each side. West Jerusalem (Yeru­shalayim) recognized as the Israeli capital and East Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as the Pales­tinian capital (the seat of government being in Abu Dis), and the guarantee of freedom of wor­ship and access to all Holy Sites for mem­bers of all faiths and religions. The agree­ment also proposed Israeli recognition of the Pal­es­tinian right of return and compensa­tion/ rehabilitation for moral and material loss, and Palestinian declaration of readiness to accept that the realities and prerequisites of peace render the right of return imprac­ticable thus agreeing on the formation of an Interna­tional Commission for the final set­tlement of all aspects of the refugee issue.


ANO, also: Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, or Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims) Anti-Arafat faction estab­lished by Sabri Khalil Al-Banna (Abu Nidal) that split from Fatah in 1974 and, after an assassination at­tempt on Abu Mazen, was expelled from the PLO with Al-Banna sen­tenced to death. Abu Nidal himself is be­lieved to have been involved in the planning of mili­tary op­erations in Europe such as at the 1972 Olym­pic Games in Munich, at times under the name ‘Black September’. The ANO is also believed to be behind the assassina­tions of PLO ‘moderates’ in the late 1970s/ early 1980s (e.g., Said Hamami). It aimed at derailing diplomatic relations be­tween the PLO and the West, while advo­cating for the destruction of Israel. It had close ties to Sy­ria, Libya and Egypt, though all closed down the ANO’s offices in their countries by 1999. The group is listed as a ‘terrorist’ organiza­tion by the US State De­partment. Leaders and associates are now thought to be in Iraq, with cells in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Since Abu Nidal’s death in Iraq in 2002, it is not clear who the new leader is, or wheth­er his follow­ers have disbanded or just joined other radi­cal Islamic groups in Iraq. Although no major attack has been attri­buted to the group since Abu Nidal’s re­ported death, Jor­danian offi­cials reported the apprehension of an ANO member sus­pected of planning at­tacks in Jordan in 2008.


(also: Ahmad Abu Ar-Rish Brigades) Armed group that was formed in late 1993, mainly made up of "Fatah Hawks," and initially operated under Fatah but has since become more independent. More re­cently, its members have called themselves Ansar Al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) and de­clared their aims to be not only the libera­tion of Palestine but also the exaltation of God and flying the flag of Islam. In the earlier years, the Abu Ar-Rish Brigades were re­sponsible for numerous attacks, mostly di­rected against Israeli military and settler tar­gets. Since the Israeli disengagement from Gaza, they have carried out attacks and kid­nappings in Gaza, often in conjunction with Hamas activists. They take their name from the former PLO militant, Ahmad Abu Ar-Rish, who was mistakenly killed by the Israeli army in 1993 just days after turning himself in to the Israeli authorities and pub­licly laying down his wea­pons. Today the group is largely confined to Gaza.


Assault on the village of Abu Shusha (8 km southeast of Ramle) by units of the Giv’ati Brigade on 14 May 1948, during which some 60-70 residents were killed.


(also: Bench­mark Document) A document pub­lished on 4 May 2007 to facilitate progress and set a schedule for the commitments made by the Israeli Government and the PA in the 15 No­vember 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access which was facilitated by US and EU representatives. It included removal of road­blocks, opening of passages in the territories, and upgrading of Palestin­ian forces loyal to President Mahmoud Ab­bas. It urged Israel to approve requests for weapons, munitions, and equipment re­quired by defense forces loyal to President Abbas. The plan was never implemented and was nullified after the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the subsequent Israeli blockade.


Name of an Italian cruise ship with over 400 passengers and crew, which was hijacked on 7 October 1985 off the Egyptian coast by four members of the Pal­estinian Liberation Front (PLF), headed by Mohammed Zeidan (Abu Abbas). They de­manded the release of 50 Palestinian prison­ers from Is­raeli jails. After a two-day drama, during which disabled American-Jew Leon Klinghoffer was killed, the hijackers surren­dered in exchange for a pledge of safe pas­sage. However, US Navy fighters intercepted the Egyptian jet containing the hijackers and forced it to land in Sicily, where they were taken into custody by Italian authorities. Four Palestinians were jailed over the hijack, while the mastermind of the operation, Abu Abbas, was convicted in absentia but never spent time in prison in Italy (he died in US custody af­ter be­ing captured in Iraq in 2004).


Attack on Acre by Israeli troops on 17-18 May 1948, which left at least 100 Arab civilians killed, mostly resi­dents of the new city who refused to move into the portion of the old city that was being used as an Arab ghetto.


Body established in 1967 by Dr. Issam Sartawi, a prominent and outspoken Palestinian moderate, as a non-combatant medical aid organization. The or­ganization merged temporar­ily with Fatah in 1968 and rejoined it in 1971, but dissolved following Sar­tawi’s assassination in April 1983 during a Socialist Inter­na­tional meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.


Israeli term for the West Bank and, until the 2005 disen­gagement, the Gaza Strip, based on the be­lief that Israel has a legal claim to these terri­tories and that the Fourth Geneva Conven­tion does not apply.


Imprisonment by Israel of Pal­estinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip without charge or trial for a period of up to six months. Detention is re­newable and is authorized by administrative order rather than judicial decree. It is based on the British Mandate 1945 Defense (Emer­gency) Regulations which were amended and adopted by the Knesset in 1979 to form the Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emer­gency (Deten­tion).


Temporary 20-member council (10 Brit­ish, seven Palestinians and three Jews) created by British High Commis­sioner Sir Herbert Samuel in October 1920 to serve as a legislative body until a formal council dealing with self-government issues was established in August 1922 (Legislative Council or LC). Palestinians rejected the LC and boycotted the elections, arguing that its ac­ceptance would also imply acceptance of Britain’s commit­ment to the Balfour Declara­tion and did not include proportional Pales­tinian representation. Af­ter the res­ignation of seven Palestinian mem­bers in May 1923 and other problems the idea was abandoned and a Brit­ish-only advisory coun­cil took over.


National Commission of Inquiry formed by the Israeli government after the Yom Kippur War in November 1973 to examine the circumstances leading up to the war, as well as the war itself. The Com­mission was headed by Supreme Court Presi­dent Shimon Agranat and presented its final report on 30 January 1975 (which was pub­lished for public view only 20 years later). The report cleared then-Prime Minis­ter Gol­da Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan of all responsibility for the war's fail­ures, al­though both resigned due to the public’s demand. However, six high-ranking army of­ficers were held personally responsi­ble for in­telligence failures that had made Israel vulnerable to attack and recom­mended their dismissal or transfer: Chief of Staff David Ela­zar, Chief of Intelligence Eli Zeira and his dep­uty, Brig.-Gen. Aryeh Shalev, Head of the Amman Desk for Egypt Lt. Colonel Bandman, Chief of Intelli­gence for the Southern Com­mand Lt. Colonel Gedelia, and Command­er of the southern front Shmuel Gonen. Other rec­ommenda­tions included strengthening Mos­sad and research depart­ment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the appointment of prime minis­terial advisors on intelligence and defense.


(also known as Early Empowerment Agreement) Agree­ment signed by Israel and the PLO at the Erez Crossing on 29 August 1994, which put into effect the next phase (early empo­wer­ment) of the Declaration of Principles, pro­viding for the transfer of powers to the PA within the following five specified spheres: (1) Education & Culture (carried out on 29 August 1994); (2) Social Welfare (13-14 No­vem­ber 1994); (3) Tourism (13-14 No­vember 1994); (4) Health (1 December 1994); (5) Tax­ation (1 December 1994). About a year later, on 27 August 1995, another protocol was signed transferring ad­ditional spheres to the PA (see Protocol on Further Transfer of Pow­ers and Responsi­bilities).


(full: American Israel Public Affairs Committee) In­flu­ential Zionist, pro-Israel lobbyist organization in the US set up in the early 1950s. It works unflaggingly to align US diplo­matic, economic, military, and foreign policy with Israel's in­terests. AIPAC has an estimated budget of $65 million and some 100,000 members, and is considered one of the most powerful and effective lobbies on Capitol Hill.


(also: Second Intifada) Second Palestinian Uprising against the Israeli occupation that began on 28 September 2000 with Likud leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which triggered clashes with Palestinians. The outbreak of vi­olence was preceded by the breakdown in peace talks at Camp David in July 2000. Pop­ular protests and stone-throwing quickly spread to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well to Palestinian communities in Israel, and were met with large-scale repression from Israeli forces, including use of helicopters and tanks, which is seen as the reason why armed Palestinian resistance emerged soon after­wards. Unprecedented violence by Israel in­cluding targeted assassinations, mili­tary in­cursions into Area A, and ‘Operation Defen­sive Shield’ to re-take the West Bank, as well sniper attacks and suicide bombings by Pal­estinians left over 3,000 Palestinians and near­ly 1,000 Israelis killed. There was no de­cisive event that signaled the end of Intifada, how­ever the Al-Aqsa Intifada lost momentum af­ter the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 and Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.


(Arabic: Al-Ka­ta’eb Shuhada Al-Aqsa) Armed group named after Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the controver­sial visit of Ariel Sharon on 28 Sep­tember 2000 sparked the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The Bri­gades are a secular network of Pales­tinian activists and militias, were formed in 2000 as an offshoot of Fatah, and became one of the driving forces behind the second Intifada. Although they initially fo­cused on Israeli sol­diers and set­tlers within the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they later re­sorted to suicide bombings in Israel proper and Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. They were added to the US State De­partment’s list of foreign terrorist organiza­tions in March 2002. In 2007, a large number of wanted Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades mem­bers were granted amnesty by an agree­ment Israel negotiated with the PA, accord­ing to which they prom­ised to refrain from terror­ism, cut their links with the group, and obey certain movement restrictions. In Janu­ary 2008 the Al-Aqsa Mar­tyrs Brigades joined with Hamas and the Pal­es­tinian Islamic Ji­had to shoot rockets into Israel from Gaza. Israel reta­liated by block­ading the Gaza Strip.


also: Al-Ha­ram Ash-Sharif) Complex located in the southeast corner of the Old City of Jerusa­lem, covering one-sixth of its area. Al-Aqsa Mosque com­prises the entire area within the compound walls (a total area of 144 du­nums/144,000 m2) – including all the mos­ques, prayer rooms, buildings, platforms and open cour­tyards lo­cated above or under the grounds – and ex­ceeds 200 historical mo­numents per­taining to various Islamic eras. According to Islamic creed and jurispru­dence, all these buildings and courtyards enjoy the same de­gree of sa­credness since they are built on Al-Aqsa’s holy grounds. This sacredness is not exclusive to the physical structures allocated for prayer, like the Dome of the Rock or Al-Qibly Mos­que, or to the buildings located on the sur­face of Al-Aqsa’s premises. Thus, a worshiper receives the same reward for praying any­where within the Mosque in­cluding the open cour­tyards.


(English: The Land) Pan-Arab national­ist move­ment of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel founded in 1958 and active until mid-1960s, devoted to the teachings of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. It challenged the legi­ti­macy of Israel as well as the traditional lea­dership of the Palestinian community in Israel, promoting more authentically natio­nalist pol­itics. Its Central Committee in­cluded many young Israeli Arab intellectuals, includ­ing Habib Qahwaji, Sabri Jiryies, Saleh Bransi (At-Taybeh), Mansour Kardoush, Fak­hri Jdai (Jaf­fa), Elias Muamer, Abdel Rahman Yahya, Mahmoud As-Sorouji (Akka), Mah­moud Dar­wish, Fawzi Al-Asmar, Tawfiq Su­leiman Odeh, Hanna Musmar (Nazareth), Zaki Al-Bahri (Hai­fa), Mohammad Mia’ri, and Anis Kard­oush. The movement published several news­papers (e.g., Al-Ard, Shatha Al-Ard, Al-Ard Al-Tayibah, Sarkhat Al-Ard, Dam Al-Ard, Rouh Al-Ard) and founded several cultural clubs. Many of the group’s members were jailed or exiled and in 1964, Al-Ard was banned. It tried to field a list of candidates for the 1965 Knesset elec­tions under the name ‘Arab Socialist List’, but was also banned.


Haganah attack on the Jenin district village of Al-Lajjun around 14 April 1948, which left 12 Palestinians killed, 15 others wounded, and many houses blown up.


Military wing of the PRC in Gaz, initially formed by members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.


(Arabic: Harakat Amal) Shi'a politi­cal/military resis­tance movement in Lebanon established in 1974 by Imam Sadr. Its politi­cal manifesto, published in August 1974, called for an end of the ethnic-political sys­tem in Lebanon.


The Farthest Mos­que) Mosque built on the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound in the 7th Cen­tury (709-714) by the Ummayad Caliph Abdul Malik Bin Mar­wan. The mosque derives its name from the Qur'anic verse of Prophet Mo­hammed's nocturnal journey (Isra’ 17:1). It was the first holy site of Islam (before Mecca) to­wards which Muslims di­rected their prayers (Qibla), which is why it is also known as Al-Qibly Mosque. The Mosque with its large silver dome (not to be confused with the nearby gol­den Dome of the Rock Mos­que) is considered the third most important Islamic holy site af­ter the mosques in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Ara­bia. The entire com­pound on which Al-Aqsa Mosque is located is also known as Al-Aqsa Mosque (see Al-Aqsa Mosque compound).


Marginal Mus­lim group and an off­shoot of Shi’a Islam. Most Alawis live in Syria and the Levant, and hold many top military and intelligence offices in the Syrian government.


Document signed by Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders on 21 January 2002 in Alexandria, Egypt, condemning "killing innocents in the name of God," asserting the signatories’ commitment to work together for a just and lasting peace and committing leaders to use their moral authority in seeking an end to the vi­olence and resump­tion of the peace process. The decla­ration also calls on Israeli and Palestin­ian political leaders to implement the Tenet and Mitchell recommendations.


Document signed at the closing of a meeting of representatives of five Arab states (Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq) and Palestine, which took place in Alexandria, Egypt, from 25 Septem­ber to 7 Oc­tober 1944. The goal of the meet­ing was to form a unified stance re­garding the future of the Middle East and non-intervention of foreign powers. The re­sulting resolutions outlined the attendees’ agree­ments of cooperation and coordination and led to the formation of the Arab League. A special resolution concerning Palestine con­firmed that Palestine constitutes an im­por­tant part of the Arab World and called for an end to Jewish immigration, the preserva­tion of Arab lands, and the achievement of inde­pendence for Palestine.


(plural: aliyot; English: ascent) Term referring to Jewish immigration to Pales­tine/ Israel.


(also: National Water Plan) Proposal regarding the Jordan River wa­ter­shed publicized by Israel in 1951. It was based on the Lowdermilk Plan and included the draining of the Huleh Lake and swamps, the diversion of the northern Jordan River, and the construction of a carrier to the coast­al plain and the Negev.


on 23 Septem­ber 1948 by the Arab Higher Com­mittee, transforming the tem­porary civil ad­ministra­tion into a govern­ment for all Pa­lestine. The govern­ment convened its first Na­tional Council on 30 Sep­tember 1948 in Gaza, where Mufti Haj Amin Al-Hus­seini was elected as Presi­dent, Ahmed Hilmi Abdel Baqi as Prime Mi­nister, and an 11-member cabi­net was named. The Decla­ration of In­de­pendence, issued on 1 October 1948, de­clared Jeru­salem the cap­ital of Pales­tine and adopted the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt (black and white with green stripes and a red triangle) as the Pales­tinian flag. The National Council adopted a pro­vi­sional constitution providing for an in­terim parliamentary re­gime with limited ab­ilities on the ground. By mid-October, the Pa­les­tine Govern­ment was rec­ognized by the Arab on 23 Septem­ber 1948 by the Arab Higher Com­mittee, transforming the tem­porary civil ad­ministra­tion into a govern­ment for all Pa­lestine. The govern­ment convened its first Na­tional Council on 30 Sep­tember 1948 in Gaza, where Mufti Haj Amin Al-Hus­seini was elected as Presi­dent, Ahmed Hilmi Abdel Baqi as Prime Mi­nister, and an 11-member cabi­net was named. The Decla­ration of In­de­pendence, issued on 1 October 1948, de­clared Jeru­salem the cap­ital of Pales­tine and adopted the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt (black and white with green stripes and a red triangle) as the Pales­tinian flag. The National Council adopted a pro­vi­sional constitution providing for an in­terim parliamentary re­gime with limited ab­ilities on the ground. By mid-October, the Pa­les­tine Govern­ment was rec­ognized by the Arab


(also: Jiser Al-Karameh or King Hussein Bridge) Road bridge between the East and West banks of the Jordan River, named after British World War I Commander Sir Edmund Allenby. It was built over an old Ottoman bridge to facilitate the crossing of the British Army into Jordan to fight the Ot­tomans in 1918. During the 1967 War, thou­sands of Palestinian refugees fled via the Al­lenby Bridge before its destruction in the same war. It was rebuilt as a temporary bridge (King Hussein Bridge) in 1968, and is located approximately 6 km east of Jericho.

    Today, the Allenby Bridge and both the old and recently built King Hussein Bridges stand side-by-side, marking the border crossing be­tween Jordan and the West Bank, which is under Israeli control.



One of the first settlement plans put forth by Yigal Allon (Labor) in July 1967 and offi­cially adopted by the Israeli govern­ment in June 1968. Its main points included maximization of Is­raeli security while mini­mizing the inclusion of Arab inhabitants in Israeli areas, an­nexation of the strategical­ly important and sparsely po­pulated Jordan Valley, con­solidation of the Je­ru­salem corridor, and canto­ni­zation of the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (conform­ing to the Israeli auton­omy plan for Pales­tinian self-ad­min­is­tration).


Proposal for final borders for Israel and a Palestinian entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip publicized in May 1997 as an expansion of the 1968 blueprint (see Allon Plan above) and presented by then Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the cabinet in June 1997. The plan fore­saw the creation of en­claves with restricted auton­omy around Palestinian popu­lation centers in some 45% of the West Bank, while Israel would retain control of the remaining 55%, including most of the agricultural and natural grazing lands, the eastern slopes the fertile and water-rich Jordan Valley, and border areas. Palestinians rejected the plan, the im­plementation of which would have involved the destruction of thousands of Palestinian houses.


Arabic: Al-Badil) Electoral alliance for the January 2006 PLC elections consisting of the DFLP, PPP, and FIDA. The alliance was headed by Qais Abdul Karim (Abu Leila), and called for immediate perma­nent status negotiations with Israel and in­sisted on Palestinian refugees' right of re­turn. Additionally, the Alternative considered fighting unemployment and poverty a top priority, advocated full equality for women and abolishment of any legislation contra­dicting the principle of equality. They cap­tured 2.92% of the 2006 vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats. The alliance dis­banded in early 2007.


(Abbreviation for the Hebrew Agaf HaModiin – English: the Intelligence Section) Israel’s central Military Intelli­gence Directorate. Aman was created in 1950 as an indepen­dent service within the Israeli army (IDF), responsible for in­telligence evaluation for security policy, dis­semination of intelligence to army and go­vernmental bodies, training and operation of field security, operation of military censor­ship, drawing maps, and development of 'special measures' for intelligence work as well as of an intelligence doctrine in the realms of research, collection, and field se­curity. Since 2014, Aman is headed by Herzi Halevi.


Settlement movement established by the Gush Emunim in 1978. It is considered the main engine behind settlement construc­tion in the OPT and campaigns to encourage Jews and Israelis to move to settlements, claiming that its presence is protecting the conditions necessary for a Jewish State. In Spring of 2007 Amana launched a campaign for the first time in the US to convince American Jews to buy homes in the West Bank either for their own use or to rent them at cost to settlers. More recently, the organi­zation made headlines for its intention to build its new headquarters in the heart of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.


The US Jewry's overseas relief and rehabilitation agency, which was founded in 1914, initially to assist Palestinian Jews caught in the throes of World War I and living under Ottoman rule. Since then the JDC has aided millions of Jews in more than 85 countries, providing assistance for Holo­caust survivors and Jewish people in need or at risk, as well as res­ponding to cur­rent events and crises such as earth­quakes and tsuna­mis.



Joint commission proposed by British Prime Minister Attlee in response to US President Truman's pleas to admit more displaced Jews to Palestine. The resulting Anglo-American Committee was appointed in No­vember 1945 to associate the US with re­sponsibility for the Palestine Question and to examine con­tin­ued Jewish immigration into Palestine. It comprised six Americans, chaired by Judge ‘Texas Joe’ Hutcheson and six British, headed by Sir John Singleton. The committee arrived in March 1946 in Pales­tine, published its first report in April, re­commending a UN trustee­ship, and its final report on 1 May 1946, rec­om­mending in­creased Jewish im­migration (some 150,000 Jews) into Palestine, the ces­sation of the 1940 Land Transfer Regula­tions, and adop­tion of a trusteeship for Palestine. The Arab League re­jected the pro­posal as did the Brit­ish govern­ment


Peace conference held on 27 November 2007 in Annapolis, Maryland, to set up a timeta­ble for future negotiations on final status issues along the guidelines of the 2002 "road map" for peace. The conference, organized by then US Secre­tary of State Condo­leezza Rice, was at­tended by President Abbas, Prime Minister Olmert, representa­tives from over 30 na­tions, the UN Security Council, and the Mid­dle East Quartet. It resulted in a draft resolu­tion being pre­sented by the US to the UN Se­curity Council, which was immediately with­drawn after Israeli objections. A follow up conference of the Quartet took place in Sharm Esh-Sheikh on 9 November 2008.


Incor­po­ration of territory into another geo-politi­cal entity such as a country, state, county, or city. International Law forbids the annexa­tion of territory gained through war as well as the mass movement of people out of or into occupied territory. Following the War of 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and some 28 sur­round­ing vil­lages (avoiding po­pulated Palestinian areas such as Ar-Ram, Qalandia and Abu Dis/Al-Izzariyya) thereby extending the borders of Jerusalem by some 70 km2 (added to the 38 km2 of West Jeru­sa­lem at the time). The new mu­nicipal bounda­ries, now em­bracing 108 km2 (28% of which is the West Bank), were de­signed to se­cure geo­graphic integrity and a demo­graphic Jew­ish majority in both parts of the city. On 28 June 1967, the Knesset amended the Law of 1950, which pro­claimed Jerusa­lem as Israel's capital, to illegally extend Israeli ju­risdiction to the annexed part of the city. In 1981, Israel annexed Syria’s Golan Heights. Both annexations are consi­dered illegal under UN resolu­tions.


The term “Semitic” refers to a group of languages originating in the West Asia, including the Middle East, to which He­brew and Arabic belong, while “Semites” re­fers to the many racial, ethnic and cultural groups speaking one of those languages, in­cluding Canaanites, Arabs, Hebrews, and oth­ers. Anti-Semitism, though, is not opposi­tion to a Semitic language or to Semitic peoples, but specifically to Jews as a race as used by Nazi-Germany to give a “scientific” name to their hatred of Jews. The European concept of Anti-Semitism was brought to the Middle East with the various waves of Jewish immi­gration from Europe. It was injected into the culture of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after the Palestinian Nakba of 1948. How­ever, nei­ther Palestinians nor Arabs in gen­eral (wheth­er Muslims or Christians) ever had problems with Jews as an "ethnie" or Ju­daism as a reli­gion, considering Jews “people of the book” (i.e., “children of Abra­ham”, part of the fam­ily of monotheistic faiths), with whom even inter-marriage is allowed and prac­ticed to this very day. To­day, the charge of Anti-Se­mitism is primarily used to try to silence all unfavorable discus­sion of Israel in general, and all criticism of its governments’ practices in violation of human rights and in­ter­national law in partic­ular. Anti-Semitism should not be confused with anti-Zionism or anti-Israeli government policy, which would con­fuse politics with re­ligion/ethnicity. 



Israeli law prohibiting the promotion of or call for academic, economic or cultural boycotts of Israeli citizens and or­ganizations and/or against Israeli institutions or even Israeli settlements. Anyone who calls for such boycotts (namely the Boycott, Di­vestment and Sanctions movement) can face a civil lawsuit. The law was initiated in 2010 by MKs from Likud, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, United Torah Judaism and the National Un­ion, and approved in the Knesset on 11 July 2011. It was partially struck down when the Israeli High Court ruled in April 2015 that its Section 2c, which permitted the imposition of compensation payments even if no dam­ages were proven, was unconstitutional. The first lawsuit filed under the law was in 2018 by the Israeli civil rights group Shurat HaDin on behalf of three Israeli teenagers who had bought tickets for a show by singer Lorde that was cancelled after a call to boycott. Claiming "emotional damages," the Jerusa­lem Magistrate's Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered in October 2018 two New Zealand activists to pay NIS 45,000 in damages to the plaintiffs' "artistic welfare" and court fees.


Afrikaans word for ‘apartness’, originally used to describe the system of ra­cial discrimination that existed in South Afri­ca from 1948 to 1994, when the white mi­nority ruled over the black majority. The term is also used in international law to de­scribe a category of regime, defined in the UN International Convention on the Sup­pression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973), as “inhuman acts commit­ted for the purpose of establishing and main­taining domination by one racial group of per­sons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them” (Article II). The Rome Statute of the Interna­tional Crim­inal Court (2002) lists apartheid under Crimes against Humanity as “inhu­mane acts ... committed in the context of an institutio­nalized regime of systematic op­pression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that re­gime” (Article 7.2.h). Today, Israel is increasingly ac­cused of using policies consis­tent with an apartheid regime, because the system it has instituted against the Palestini­ans in the OPT meets the aforementioned definitions in that it treats Jews and Palestinians differently in almost every aspect of life, maintains sepa­rate dis­criminatory legal regimes, and acts in viola­tion of international law (e.g., by deny­ing Palestinians their right to freedom of move­ment and residence, forcibly transferring Pal­estinians to make way for Israeli settle­ments, depriving Palestinians of fundamen­tal iden­tity-based human rights, etc).



Can primarily refer in art to the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them, but is also mainly understood in the context of cultural appropriation, involving appropriation of objects associated with some cultures, showing logics of domination, oppression and spoliation to some extents. Whinto which en people refer to appropriation or misappropriation of cultural heritage, they may be referring to tangible or intangible heritage. Heritage is understood differently according to the cultural context, but broadly includes elements of a collective past that remain meaningful to a culture today. Tangible forms of cultural heritage are appropriated when an item is removed from the source community or artist. This form of appropriation has for example resulted in the accumulation in museums of objects from all around the world. Intangible heritage includes meaningful creative expressions such as designs, styles, songs, dances, stories, food, rituals, and artistic works. These forms of heritage are appropriated when the design or style is copied by someone from a different culture and/or used for a different purpose than originally intended.


Three-way summit held at the Royal Palace in Aqaba, Jordan, on 4 June 2003 between US President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, and Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas to discuss the "road map" for peace. At the end of the summit, Prime Mi­nis­ter Abbas vowed an end to ter­rorism and the militarization of the Intifada, Prime Minis­ter Sharon promised the imme­diate disman­tlement of settlement outposts and reite­rated his commitment to a two-state solu­tion, and President Bush stressed his com­mitment to "Israel's security as a vi­brant Jew­ish state" and to "freedom and state­hood for the Palestinian people.”


Economic boycott of Israel (or the Yishuv, prior to the formation of the state) formally declared by the Arab League Council on 2 December 1945 (Resolution 16). The objective has been to isolate Israel from its neighbors and the international commu­nity, as well as to deny it trade that might be used to augment its military and economic strength. The 'pri­mary' boycott prohibits di­rect trade between Israel and the Arab na­tions, the 'secondary' boycott is directed at companies that do business with Israel, and the 'tertiary' boycott involves blacklisting firms that trade with other companies that do business with Israel. The Arab League does not enforce the boycott and boycott reg­ulations are not binding on member states, although it recommends that mem­ber coun­tries demand certificates of origin on all goods acquired from suppliers to en­sure that such goods meet all aspects of the boycott. The boycott was dealt several major blows when Egypt (1979), the Palestinian Authority (1993), and Jordan (1994) signed peace treaties or agreements that formally ended the boycott; other states do not en­force it or only spo­radically. Since 1951, the boycott is adminis­tered by the Damascus-based Central Boy­cott Office.


(Arabic: Nadi Al-Arabi) One of two main national movements (the other being Muntada Al-Adabi), which emerged during Palestine’s unity with Syria (1918-20). Mem­bership was based on ideology, in contrast to the traditional organization around family heads and notables, and consisted largely of young people. The in­terests of the two na­tion­al movements were almost identical, which led to cooperation between them in all major political events, however, both dis­appeared after 1921. The Arab Club was set up in Damascus in 1918 by Palestini­ans from Nablus as an organization engaged in social and cul­tural activities and its members were drawn mainly from the Al-Husseini family and their supporters. The president of the Arab Club was Haj Amin Al-Husseini and its political goals were unity with Syria under King Faisal I and resistance to Zionism. A body with the same name emerged in Da­mascus, headed by Abdul Qader Al-Muthaf­far, and connected with the Jerusalem Arab Club. This new Arab Club became the main nationalist organization in Syria. The Arab Club ceased functioning with the de­mise of the Syrian Kingdom at the hands of the French in 1920.


Seven congresses, initially organized by the Muslim-Christian Associa­tion, were held between 1919 and 1928 throughout Palestine to formulate Pal­estin­ian national demands. The First Congress (Je­rusalem, 1919), rejected the Balfour Declara­tion and for­mulated a program to be pre­sented at the Paris Conference. The Second Congress (Jerusalem, May 1920) protested confirmation of the Palestine Mandate for Britain and was actually forbidden by the Brit­ish authorities. The Third Congress (Haifa, De­cember 1920) called for the estab­lishment of a na­tional government and elected the Arab Executive Commit­tee to di­rect and oversee the work of the Palestinian national move­ment. The Fourth Congress (Jerusalem, June 1921), led by Musa Qassem Al-Husseini, elected the first Palestinian Del­egation to London which presented the Pal­estinian case against Jewish immigration to Palestine to the British gov­ernment (a mis­sion that ended un­suc­cessfully). The Fifth Congress (Nablus, 1922) decided to boycott the Legislative Coun­cil elec­tions planned by the British and to establish an information office in London. The Sixth Congress (Jaffa, 1923) reiterated the boycott of Legislative Council elections and the rejection of the Anglo-Hijazi Treaty (for a British-sup­por­ted Arab confe­de­ra­tion of Iraq, the Hijaz, and Trans­jor­dan). The Se­venth Con­gress (Je­ru­salem, 1928) called for the establish­ment of a representative gov­ern­ment.


Body set up at the Third Na­tional Congress in Haifa in December 1920 to act as representative and defender of the Pal­estinian cause. The plat­form of the Haifa congress set out the posi­tion that Palestine was an autonomous Arab entity and totally rejected any rights of the Jews to Palestine. Musa Qassem (Pasha) Al-Husseini was elected Chair­man. The commit­tee led the Palestinian political movement until the mid-1930s, held seven congresses, and sent several delegations to Europe, mainly London, to present the Pales­tin­ian case against Jewish immigration. It was never formally recognized by the British and was dissolved in 1934.


Body estab­lished in 1936, during the Arab Revolt, as a representative umbrella comprised of the heads of all Palestinian political parties and headed by the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin Al-Husseini. The committee was banned by the British shortly after its establishment in 1937 and its leading members were ar­rested, ex­iled, and imprisoned for their vocal opposi­tion to the Mandate and to Zionist immigra­tion and land acquisition. In October 1937, Al-Husseini fled to Lebanon, where he re­constituted the committee under his domi­nation. The Arab Higher Committee pro­c­laimed the independence of Palestine on 1 October 1948 and established the All-Pales­tine Government. The Committee continued to exist and had a representative at the UN General Assembly until the formation of the PLO in 1964.




Voluntary um­brella organization es­tab­lished on 22 March 1945 (see Alexandria Pro­tocol) by the then in­de­pendent Arab states (Iraq, Egypt, Sy­ria, Lebanon, Saudi Ara­bia, Jordan, and Yemen) as a fo­rum for con­certed action on major issues its members face. Today the Arab League is comprised of 22 members (but Syria's par­ticipation has been suspended since Novem­ber 2011, as a con­sequence of government repression dur­ing the Syrian civil war/rev­o­lution) and repre­sents some 300 million people. In 1964, it de­cided to es­tab­lish the PLO “to organize the Palestinian people enabl­ing them to play their role in the liberation of their country and to achieve self-determina­tion”, and at the 7th summit meeting in Rabat in October 1974, it recog­nized the PLO as the “sole rep­resenta­tive of the Pales­tinian people”. In 1976, the PLO was admitted as a full mem­ber, and since 1989 it has been a member as "the State of Palestine". At its March 2002 sum­mit, the Arab League mem­bers unanim­ously en­dorsed the Saudi peace initiative and in its March 2007 summit it was re-en­dorsed by all except Hamas dele­gate Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who abstained. Cur­rent Sec­retary-General of the Arab League is Ahmed Aboul Gheith (since 2016).


(Arabic: Al-Jeish Al-‘Arabi) Armed forces of Transjordan (since 1921), and then subsequently the regular army of the Hashe­mite Kingdom of Jordan (since 1949). The Legion was formed in 1921 by British Lt. Colonel Frederick Gerard Peake as a police force to keep order among Transjor­danian tribes and to guard the Je­rusalem-Amman Road. From 1939-56 the Arab Legion was commanded by British officer John Ba­got Glubb (Glubb Pasha), who made it the best trained Arab army in the world. The Arab Legion played an im­portant role against the Zionist forces in the War of 1948, when it conquered the Old City of Jerusalem and se­cured the West Bank for Jordan. On 1 March 1956, the Legion was renamed as the Arab Army (today Jordanian Armed Forces).


(Arabic: Jesh Al-In­qadh; English: Army of Salvation) Arab volun­teer military force formed in late 1947, based on an Arab League decision, to fight against the UN Partition Plan and defeat Zionism. It was led by former Leba­nese Ot­toman army officer Fawzi Al-Qawuqji and Adib Shishakli, who later became President of Syria. Only a small proportion of the army ever entered Pa­les­tine, mainly the northern and cen­tral re­gions, and its mission was un­suc­cessful. The Arab Libe­ration Army was officially disbanded in March 1949.


(Arabic: Jab­hat At-Tahrir Al-‘Arabiyya) Iraqi-sponsored, pan-Arab, and leftist mili­tary PLO faction, founded as a guerrilla group in 1969 by Iraqi Ba’athists to in­flu­ence the Pales­tinian resis­tance movement. It was originally led by Zeid Heidar, and is now headed by Rakad Salem. The ALF's ideology is similar to As-Saiqa's, but it carried out fewer operations. The ALF played a substan­tial role within the Re­jec­tionist Front in the 1970s and followed Iraqi government policy on all matters. It opposed the Oslo Accords and insists on the liberation of all of Palestine. The organiza­tion is based in Baghdad, where it was the main faction active in Iraq's small Palestinian population, while it was a very minor group in other Pal­estinian communities. It is cur­rently repre­sented in the PLO Executive Com­mittee by Mahmoud Ismael. It main­tains an office in Ramallah and publishes the monthly journal Sawt Al-Jamahir (Voice of the Masses). ALF has not been involved in armed attacks on Israel since at least the early 1990s, and is no longer believed to pos­sess any significant mili­tary ca­pa­bilities.


(Arab­ic: Haraket Al-Qawmiyun Al-Arab) Po­litical movement, the core of which was formed in Beirut in 1948 by Arab Muslim and Christian intellectuals. The ANM was more formally created in Jordan in 1952 by George Habash and Wadi Haddad (Palestine), Ah­mad Al-Khatib (Kuwait), and Hani Al-Hindi (Syria), and soon had branches throughout the Arab world. The initiators of the move­ment in the West Bank were two physicians, Dr. Salah Ana­btawi from Nablus and Dr. Subhi Gho­sheh from Jerusalem. After the mid-1950s, the ANM unquestion­ingly tied its fate to Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, who ef­fec­tively ran it, and the movement was strongest in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After 1967, it publicly abandoned 'Nasserism' and instead espoused Marxist-Len­inist principles. The ANM called for pan-Arabism and Marx­ism, aimed at unifying the Arab world to confront Israel, and was a forerunner of the PFLP.


(also: Palestine Arab Party; Arabic: Al-Hizb Al-Arabi Al-Filastini) Political party es­tablished by the Husseini clan and their sup­porters (Al-Majlisyoun) in March 1935, partly to counter the rival Nashashibi clan’s Na­tion­al Defense Party. It was first headed by Jamal Al-Husseini and was strongly backed by the Mufti Al-Hajj Amin. The Arab Party struggled against the Balfour Declaration, Jewish immi­gration, the British Mandate, and land sales to Jews, and called for immediate and com­plete Pales­tinian in­dependence. The party became nearly irrelevant following the 1936 Arab Revolt, when the British banned politi­cal organizing and ex­iled many of the party’s leaders.


Proposal, based on the 2002 Saudi peace initiative and adopted at the March 2007 Arab League summit in Riyadh, for an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and normalization of rela­tions between Israel and the Arab world. It called for an Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, Israel’s ac­ceptance of an independent Pales­tinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a “just settlement” to the issue of Pales­tinian refu­gees. While the Palestinians en­dorsed the initiative, Israel mainly rejected it, although some political leaders expressing reserved support for certain aspects of the plan. Other proposals have since been floated to reintroduce and update the initia­tive.

ARAB REVOLT (1916-1920)

Arab uprising that be­gan June 1916 against the Ottoman Em­pire, triggered by the British promise (see Hussein-MacMahon Correspon­dence) to create a greater Arab Kingdom (Hijaz, Syria and Iraq), if the people of the region re­volted against Is­tanbul. The Arab Revolt left its marks, including the col­ors of its flag, black, green, white, and red (used to­day by Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, and the Ba’ath Party). In the event, the UK and France ended up dividing the Arab region under the Sykes-Picot Agreement.



Societies Political-literary clubs and other patriotic organizations formed in the years 1900-1914, mainly in Constanti­nople, but with branches in Beirut, Damas­cus, and other Arab cities. Prominent secret societies were Al-Qahtaniya and Al-Fatat, seeking Arab independence. Following the Arab Revolt of 1916, they merged with the emerging Arab national movements.


Israeli attack on the village of Arab Suqrir on 29 August 1948 as part of Israel’s 'Cleansing Campaign' (“Mitz­va Nikayon”) in the area currently known as Ash­dod, in which at least 10 Pales­tinian far­mers were murdered.


Tomb built in the Mu­qata'a complex in Ramallah over the burial place of PLO Chairman and PA President Yasser Arafat, who died on 11 November 2004 in Paris. The burial site is considered temporary until his remains can be taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The mau­soleum has become one of Pales­tine's more than 2,000 mazara’at (shrines), dedicated to deceased persons of political, historical, or religious significance. The new complex, which was inaugurated in November 2007 on the 3rd anni­versary of Yasser Ara­fat's death, also in­cludes a mos­que and a mu­seum.


Region/geographic name for the area that stretches between the Dead Sea in the North and the Red Sea (Aqaba and Eilat) in the South. However, the modern use of the term is restricted to this southern sec­tion alone. It is part of the Syrian-African Rift and includes both Israeli and Jordanian terri­tories with varying levels and densities of agricultural and urban settlements on both sides of the border.


Region/geographic name for the area that stretches between the Dead Sea in the North and the Red Sea (Aqaba and Eilat) in the South. However, the modern use of the term is restricted to this southern sec­tion alone. It is part of the Syrian-African Rift and includes both Israeli and Jordanian terri­tories with varying levels and densities of agricultural and urban settlements on both sides of the border.


Jurisdictional divisions created in the West Bank in 1995, under the Oslo II Agreement. Area A, initially being the urban centers only, came under PA administrative and inter­nal security responsibility and even­tually comprised 17.2% of the West Bank. Area B, being the built-up areas of the re­maining principal villages and eventually 23.8% of the West Bank, remained under Israeli military occupation, but the PA be­came responsible for services and civilian administration. Area C, eventually being 59% of the West Bank, remained under exclusive Israeli civil and military administration. After late 2001, Israeli military incursions and reoccupations eroded the cur­rency of the ju­risdictional divisions of Areas A, B, and C. While one of the aims of the Oslo Accords was to eventually move Area B and Area C away from Israeli to Pales­tinian control (Area A), this has not been the case. Today, Areas A and B are not contiguous territory but con­sist of over 200 enclaves. Area C - where Israel retains full control - covers roughly 60% of the West Bank; 70% of this (about 44% of the West Bank) is classified as set­tlement areas, firing zones, or nature re­serves - off limits to Palestinians, for whose development less than 1% of Area C is desig­nated. Until this day, Israel retained overall security responsibility for all areas, including the right of ‘hot pur­suit’ into area A. On 31 July 2019, PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh stated that the classification of land into Areas A, B and C was no longer valid due to Israel’s vi­olations of the Oslo Accords, and on 25 Au­gust, the PA Ministry of Local Government issued a directive instructing all local au­thorities to expand their master plans on the natural basins (i.e. across the A/B/C divide).


Series of separate ceasefire agreements signed between Israel and Egypt (24 February 1949), Lebanon (23 March), Jordan (3 April), and Syria (20 July in 1949), fol­lowing the 1948 War. No separate agreement was signed with Iraq. The agree­ment was meant to end hostilities and es­tablish armistice lines between Israeli forces and Jordanian-Iraqi forces, also known as the Green Line. The agreements were mostly ne­goti­ated on the Greek island of Rhodes under the auspices of the UN (see also Rhodes Talks).


(Arabic: Jesh Al-Islam) Small, armed Islamist group that operates in Gaza and is led by Mumtaz Dughmush, who origi­nates from a powerful clan in Gaza. The group split from the Popular Resistance Commit­tees, and has since been shunned by both Hamas and Fa­tah. The Army of Islam seeks liberation of Palestine and an Islamic state and is said to be influenced by Al-Qaeda. The group was involved in the cap­ture and hold­ing of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who was later released, and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. In 2010, senior Army of Islam leader Moham­mad Namnam was as­sas­si­nated in a targeted killing when the car he was driving in Gaza City was hit by a missile fired from an Israeli military heli­cop­ ter. The group is linked to nu­merous attacks in Israel and Egypt and was des­ignated a For­eign Ter­rorist Organiza­tion by the US and the UAE in May 2011.


(Arabic: Jesh Al-Jihad Al-Muqaddas) Local Pal­estinian military organization created in the 1940s to fight Zionism. The organization was head­quartered in Birzeit and led by the legendary leader Abdul Qader Al-Hus­seini until his death in combat at Qastel in April 1948, after which the army’s commandership went to Emil Ghouri. The Army of the Holy Strug­gle was disbanded and integrated into the Transjordanian army in 1949.


Jews who derive from north­ern and eastern Europe, primarily from re­gions in modern day Germany, Po­land, and Russia. Ashkenazi Jews constitute around 50% of Israel's Jewish population. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel is since 2013 David Lau.
(See also Sephardim).


Arabic name for the Mount of Olives neighborhood in Arab East Jerusalem.


(English: Crown of the Priests) Ex­tremist Jewish institution whose goal is to Judaize the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City, as well as East Jeru­sa­lem, by taking over Palestinian property and foster­ing settle­ment construction. The group is funded by Jewish-American busi­nessman Irving Moskowitz. Ateret Cohanim supports numerous Jewish families living in the afore­mentioned neighborhoods, and is in­volved in the settlement building at Jabal Mukabber, Ras Al-Amud, Abu Dis, and Sil­wan. The organization has been involved in a num­ber of legal dis­putes such as claim­ing owner­ship to houses despite court ruling.


Scheme proposed by for­mer Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset in December 1977, calling for an end to the military occu­pation of “Judea, Samaria [the West Bank], and Gaza,” and the es­tablishment of a de­mo­crat­ically elected 11-member Palestin­ian “admin­is­trative council” which would have responsi­bility for civil matters (e.g. educa­tion, health, industry, agriculture, construction, transpor­tation, commerce, and labor), while Is­rael would maintain control of secu­rity and pub­lic order. Palestini­ans could ac­cept either Israeli or Jordanian citizen­ship. Palestinians rejected the plan as it did not go beyond offering some kind of admin­is­trative auton­omy for the Pal­es­tinians in the OPT.


Plural of Waqf (see Waqf).


Group of nations (Germany, Italy, and Japan) which were opposed to the Allies during World War II and formed a mili­tary alliance on the signing of the Tripartite Pact in Berlin in September 1940. Other countries (e.g., Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, and Slova­kia) joined the Axis Powers later, but mem­bership was fluid and World War II ended with their total defeat.




Tent village established by Palestinian activists on 18 January 2013 to protest Israel's land confiscation and settle­ment building in the area of Beit Iksa north­west of Jerusalem. The Bab Al-Karameh (Gate of Dignity) encampment was in­spired by the erection of the Bab Al-Shams protest village a week earlier and faced the same fate: after three days, Israeli troops demolished the tents and evacuated the ac­tivists.


(English: Gate of Mercy) (1.) (also known as Golden Gate) Name for an ancient historical gate carved into Al-Aqsa’s eastern wall probably during the Umayyad era, and the building attached to it. The gate consists of two doors, one to the south (Ar-Rahma – “The Mercy”) and one to the north (At-Tawbah – “The Repentance”) and was named after the cemetery located in front of it. It is believed that the Islamic scholar Imam Al-Ghazzali wrote his famous book The Re­vival of Religious Sciences while staying in a room located in the structure above the gate, where the Islamic Heritage Committee had the headquarters of its advocacy activi­ties from 1992 until it was dissolved by the Israeli occupation authorities in 2003. Since then, the building has been closed on the basis of an Israeli order, which is re­newed periodi­cally. The gate itself was shut by Saladin after conquering Jeru­salem to protect the city from future raids, and remains closed to the present day. In February 2019, a number of events caused some controversy and clashes between Israeli forces and Palestini­ans praying in the area. (2.) Name of one of the oldest Islamic ceme­teries in Jerusalem, located in front of Bab Ar-Rahmeh, which contains the remnants of Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) companions Ash-Shadad bin Aws and Obada bin As-Sa­met. In recent years, the cemetery has been subjected to a series of Israeli violations, in­cluding the uprooting of trees, digging up of graves, and fencing to prevent new burials. These activities are aimed at seizing the cemetery under the pretext that it is a de­clared antiquities site and part of the “Jeru­salem Walls” national park, and that digging and burial there­fore con­stitute damage to antiquities.


(English: Gate of the Sun) Temporary tent camp erected on private Pal­estinian land in the E1 area by some 250 Pal­estinian and foreign activists on 11 Janu­ary 2013, to es­tablish ‘facts on the ground’ with the aim to eventually turn the site into a vil­lage called Bab Al-Shams (inspired by the re­nowned book by Palestinian-Lebanese no­velist Elias Khoury). The camp was demo­lished within 48 hours by Israeli police, who evicted the activists and arrested about 100 of them. Other protest camps were founded in its wake.


Trade and truck load­ing system that is part of Israel’s closure re­gime anywhere in the West Bank where roadblocks hinder the transportation of goods. Due to existing movement restric­tions, export goods must be offloaded, then loaded onto new vehicles at the other side of a roadblock. In addition to creating delays and uncertainties, it significantly raises costs of trade and often re­sults in substantial dam­age to goods due to the unloading-re­loading procedure.


Monotheistic religion founded in Persia in 1862 by Mirza Hussein Ali 'Baha’ullah' (Glory of God) that grew out of Babism, a sectarian deviation of Shi’ite Islam. The Ba­ha'í faith’s central theme is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. Its principles stress the unity of all re­ligions, world peace, and universal education. At times, the Baha’i faith and community were banned and persecuted in Persia and other Islamic countries. Main holy places are the Tomb of the Bab in Haifa and the Tomb of the Ba­ha’ullah (the ho­liest spot on earth in the Baha'i reli­gion, to which they turn in prayer each day) in Bahj, near Acre.


Five ‘sug­gested points’ for Palestinian-Israeli talks formulated by US Secretary of State James Baker and formally released by the US State Department on 6 December 1989. The Pales­tinians viewed them as positive but ex­pressed reservations, stressing the need of further develop­ment of a role for the PLO and a desire to have the framework become part of a com­prehensive package leading to an independent state. The five points were as follows: (1) The US understands that Egypt and Israel have been working hard and that there is now agree­ment that an Israeli dele­gation will conduct a dialogue with a Pales­tinian delegation in Cairo. (2) The US under­stands that Egypt cannot be a substi­tute for the Palestinians in that dia­logue and that Egypt will also consult with the Pales­tinians on all aspects of the dialogue. Egypt will also consult with Israel and the US on this matter. (3) The US understands that Israel will at­tend the dialogue after a satis­factory list of Pales­tinians has been worked out. Israel will also consult with Egypt and the US on this mat­ter. (4) The US under­stands that the gov­ern­ment of Israel will come to the dialogue on the basis of the Israeli government initia­tive of 14 May. The US further under­stands that the elections and negotiations will be in ac­cor­dance with the Israeli initiative. The US understands, there­fore, that the Palestinians will be free to raise issues that re­late to their opinion on how to make elections and nego­tia­tions suc­ceed. (5) In or­der to facilitate the process, the US proposes that the foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt and the US meet in Washington within two weeks.                    


(Hebrew acronym for: Brit Le'umit De­mokratit, English: National Democratic As­sembly; Arabic: Al-Tajamu' Al-Watani Al-Di­muqrati) Arab national-liberal party, estab­lished by Azmi Bishara towards the 1996 elections and led by him until his resignation in April 2007 over charges of treason and es­pionage, laid against him by Israeli security services. Since then led by Jamal Zahalka, Balad seeks to transform Israel from a “state of the Jews" to a "democratic state with equal­ity for all of its citizens." The party sup­ports the creation of two states based on pre-1967 borders and the right of return for refugees. In January 2015, Balad, which since its incep­tion has been aligned with the Ta’al faction of Ahmed Tibi, signed an agreement with the other three Arab-dominated par­ties, Hadash, the United Arab List and Ta'al, to form the ’Joint List’ after the Knesset raised the elec­toral threshold from 2% to 3.25%. in the run-up to the April 2019 elec­tions, the Joint List disbanded and Balad decided to join forces with Ra’am (the United Arab List), mainly in order to minim­ize the risk of failing to pass the electoral threshold. Ahead of the Sep­tember 2019 elections, Balad reestablished the alliance with the Joint List. After the large turnout of Joint List voters in the elec­tion, the Joint List's three Balad MKs ab­stained from en­dorsing Gantz as the rest of the Joint List had, putting Gantz behind incumbent PM Ne­tan­yahu in total recom­mendations.


Attack on 31 December 1947-1 January 1948 in which the Palmach, an arm of the Haganah, at­tacked the Palestinian village of Balad Ash-Sheikh near Haifa at night. The attack came in retalia­tion for the killing of Jews during the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre the day before. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, the Jewish forces had orders to kill “maxi­mum adult males.” Morris also reports that the Haga­nah General Staff recorded be­tween 21 and 70 resi­dents were killed and 21 injured (in­clud­ing at least two women and five child­ren) when the Palmach fired into and blew up hous­es, pulling out adult males and shooting them. Following the raids, many families fled the two villages to Nablus, Jenin and Acre. Jewish committees after the mas­sacre noted that many of the Arab workers had not par­ticipated in the attack at the refi­nery and a few had actually had protected Jews but the raids on Balad Ash-Sheikh and Hawassa were conducted indiscriminately.


Letter sent on 2 No­vember 1917 by Brit­ish Foreign Secretary Ar­thur James Balfour to Baron Lionel Walter de Rothschild of the British-Jewish community, pledging British support for “the es­tab­lish­ment of a Jewish national home in Pales­tine.” It was henceforth referred to as an official British statement and was in­cluded word for word in the British Mandate document rati­fied by the League of Nations in 1922. The declaration was controversial as it was made by a European power about a territory not in its possession and contradicted two previous British promises, the 1915 Hussein-McMahon correspondence and the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agree­ment (see both below).


Founding meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955. Israel's invita­tion to the conference was aborted by a threat of an Arab boycott of the meeting.


Originally refers to separate ho­meland for black South Africans set up by the South African Apartheid regime. The term is increasingly used in the Palestinian narrative to describe the areas isolated by Israel's settlements, the Separation Barrier, by-pass roads, and road closures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It encompasses the logic that the 1993 Oslo Accords granted Palestinians "autonomy" while assimilating or even subjugating them in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Clandestine Jewish organization named after Simeon Bar Giora, one of the leaders of the Jewish Revolt against the Romans. It was formed in Jaffa in 1907 to defend the right to work and guard Jewish settlements as well as to develop new ones. It was responsible for the protection of Se­jera (Ilaniyah) and Mesha (Kfar Tavor), be­fore merging with a new defense body, Ha­shomer, in 1909.


Defense system made up of a series of 30 strongholds along the east side of the Suez Canal, which was named after and devised by Chaim Bar Lev, Israeli chief of staff from 1968-72, to block attacks from Egypt after 1967. Egypt's troops overran these fortifica­tions in the 1973 Yom Kippur War but the Is­raeli forces quickly re­gained the upper hand.


Political agree­ment adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean confe­rence on 27-28 November 1995 in Bar­celona by the Foreign Ministries of the 15 EU mem­ber states, 11 Medi­terranean coun­tries (Al­geria, Cyprus, Egypt, Is­rael, Jordan, Leba­non, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tuni­sia, and Tur­key), and the Palestinian Authority, marking the first attempt in modern history to create dur­able and strong bonds between the shores of the Mediterranean. The declara­tion in­tended to establish a comprehensive Euro-Mediter­ranean partnership in order to turn the Me­di­terranean into a common area of stability, peace, and prosperity through the rein­force­ment of political dialogue and secu­rity, an economic and financial partner­ship, as well as a social, cultural and human partnership.


Zionist platform formulated and adopted at the First Zionist Con­gress (World Zion­ist Organization) convened in Basel, Switzerland in 1897, by Theo­dor Herzl. The pro­gram de­clared the goals of Zionism, stating that it "strives to create for the Jewish people a home in Eretz-Israel [Pales­tine] secured by Public Law."


Israeli legislation dealing with the formation and role of the principal state's in­stitutions, relationships between the state's authorities, and civil rights. These laws have been used in lieu of a formal constitution, al­though the laws do not cover all constitu­tion­al issues. Basic laws have been issued on vari­ous subjects, including: The Knesset (1958), The People's Lands (1960), The Presi­dent of the State (1964), The Govern­ment (1968), The State Economy (1975), The Army (1976), Je­ru­salem, the Capital of Israel (1980), The Judi­ciary (1984), The State Comptroller (1988), Hu­man Dignity and Li­berty (1992), The Gov­ern­ment (1992), Free­dom of Occupation (1992 and 1994), The Government (2001), and con­tro­versially, Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People (2019). Once all basic laws are enacted, they are supposed to become – with an introduction and several gen­eral rulings – the constitution of the State of Israel.


Section of the Silwan neigh­borhood located on the steep slope south of the Old City, where over 700 Palestinians are threatened with displacement to the advan­tage of Jewish settlers. In November 2018, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the residents’ appeal and ruled in favor of the Ateret Cohanim settler association, thus pav­ing the way for their eviction.


Palestinian factional fighting in June 2007, which left over 100 people dead and resulted in Hamas’s seizure of control in Gaza. The week-long battle was a climax in the conflict between the two movements that had escalated following the 2006 parliamen­tary elections, in which Hamas had gained the majority of seats in the PLC. Following the takeover, President Abbas dissolved the Ha­mas-led unity government and declared a state of emergency, resulting in the de facto division of the Palestinian territories into two entities, the PA-governed West Bank and the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.


Israeli invasion into Jenin ref­ugee camp in the West Bank during 1-11 April 2002 as part of ‘Operation Defensive Shield’ during the Second Intifada. Claimed by Israel as a defensive measure against sus­pected militants, Palestinians considered the assault as collective punishment and a show of Israel’s military might. There were allega­tions of a massacre, with over 50 Palestini­ans killed (ac­cording to Human Rights Watch in some cases constituting war crimes). While the army blocked humanita­rian and medical as­sistance to the residents, a large section of Jenin refugee camp was razed to the ground (according to HRW, 35% of the camp) leaving 3,000 Palestinians home­less. The invasion was met with fierce Pales­tinian resistance and left over 20 sol­diers dead.


Legendary battle that took place on 21 March 1968 at Karameh, Jordan, in which Jordanian and PLO forces repulsed an Israeli raid (codenamed Opera­tion ‘Inferno’) on the town, which served as a base for PLO/Fatah guerillas, as well as on the nearby village of Safi. The raid was in re­prisal for a series of attacks by the Palestin­ian guerillas against Israel. After the battle, the PLO's strength began to grow, which eventually led to the 1970 Black September in Jordan (see below). The partial defeat in­flicted on the Israeli troops at Karameh (al­though most of the Karameh camp was de­stroyed and hundreds of prisoners were tak­en) was the political and military turning point in Palestinian resistance, as it restored the dig­nity and self-esteem of the Palestini­ans and of the Arab World at large, espe­cially after the deci­sive loss of the 1967 June War. Pales­tini­ans still mark its an­ni­ver­sary.


English: Renaissance or rebirth) Pan-Arab so­cialist party with branches in several Arab countries, most no­tably Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. The movement was created in Damascus in the 1940s by Michel Aflak and Salah Eddin Bitar and became known as Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party in 1953. The core of the Ba’ath doctrine is Arab unity and anti-imperialism. A branch of the Ba’ath Arab Party was founded in Ramallah in 1952 by Bahjat Abu Gharbiyyeh, Abdullah Rimawi, and Abdullah Nawas. The party was com­monly associated with Saddam Hussein's re­gime in Iraq (1979-2003) and Syria under Hafez Al-Assad (1971-2000), where the rul­ing parties retained the name, although both states moved away from Ba'athist principles.


(also: Beach Camp Reconciliation Agreement) Ac­cord on Palestinian unity negotiated by Fa­tah and Hamas officials without outside me­ditation, which was named after a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip where it was finally achieved (at the home of the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya) on 23 April 2014. The deal, which included a technocratic gov­ern­ment under President Abbas’ leadership, plans to restructure the security sector, and elections within a six-month frame, referred sensitive issues (such as incorporating Ha­mas and the Islamic Jihad to the PLO) to a specialized committee. The breakthrough was said to have been reached because both sides needed an agreement to escape from crises each one faced: Hamas was unpopular at home, short of funding and boxed in by Egypt and Israel, and Fatah suffered from failed efforts to revive the stalled US-run peace process while facing rising economic woes in the West Bank. Soon after the sign­ing of the agreement, Presi­dent Abbas swore in a new government on 2 June 2014, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. However, due to the Israeli assault on Gaza that sum­mer, no further steps were taken.


(full: National Agree­ment Re­garding the Negotiations on the Per­manent Settlement with the Pales­tinians) Agree­ment regarding future negotia­tions with the Palestinians reached between Labor and Likud MKs, headed by Yossi Beilin of Labor and Michael Eitan of Likud (with the blessing of then Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) in 1997 (publicized on 26 Janu­ary 1997). It foresaw the establishment of a demili­tarized Palestinian entity in the OPT, the area of which was yet to be negotiated but would clearly not imply a return to the 1967 bor­ders nor the dismantlement of set­tlements, which would remain under Israeli sove­reignty and whose ter­ritorial contiguity with Israel would be assured. The Jordan River would be Israel’s security border and the army would be dep­loyed in a special se­curity zone in the Jordan Valley. Je­rusalem would become the undi­vided unified capital of Israel and be recog­nized as such by the new Pal­estinian entity, whose governing center would be outside the city’s existing municipal bor­ders. Muslim and Christian holy places in Je­ru­salem would be granted special status. As for refugees, there would be no return to Israel, while entry to the new Pales­tinian ent­ity would be subject to nego­tiations. Neither the Likud nor the Labor Party endorsed the plan.


Military assault by Jew­ish forces on the Gaza-district village of Beit Daras on 11 May 1948, in which some 50 people were killed, in some accounts many of them women, elderly and children fleeing the fighting. In Historian Benny Mor­ris’s ac­count, Beit Daras and some nearby villages were to be surrounded and called upon to surrender and relinquish their arms. If they de­clined, they were to be mor­tared and stormed. For Beit Daras specifi­cally, if it re­sisted, it was to be “destroyed (…) and dealt with in the manner of scorched earth.” Beit Daras had already been severely hit in a retaliatory strike on 20-21 April, when about 100 villagers were killed and wounded and many fled. On 10-11 May, Beit Daras was attacked for the last time. The village did resist and suffered about 50 ca­sualties, many houses were destroyed, wells and granaries were sabotaged, and through­out the area there was ‘mass evacuation.’


Military occupa­tion of enemy territory, i.e., the effective control by one or more ruling powers over a territory which is not under the formal so­vereignty of that/those power(s). Because such control has often been the outcome of the exercise of military force, this regime has been titled ‘belligerent’ occupation. The ac­cepted definition of what amounts to an oc­cupation is laid down in Article 42 of The Ha­gue Regulations as: “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupa­tion extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.” Belligerent occupation is as­sumed to be short-lived and provisional and implies that the sovereignty of the occupied terri­tory is not vested in the occupying power. However, even in the case of pro­longed occu­pation, the Laws of Belligerent Occupation, which govern the relationship between the occupying power and the occu­pied state and its inhabitants, including refu­gees and state­less persons, must be fully respected. Belli­gerent occupation is mainly governed by the 1907 The Hague Regula­tions, the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, and the customary laws of belligerent occu­pation.


Plan put forward by then Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer (Labor) in July 2002, based on the "vi­sion of two states for two peoples,” UN Se­curity Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 1397, as well as the Clinton parameters and the Arab Peace Initiative (also: Saudi Initia­tive). The plan included fighting against ter­rorism, se­curity separation (in­cluding the erection of a fence between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip), negotiations, the establish­ment of a demilita­rized Palestinian state in “most” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with territorial continuity in the West Bank, and special ar­rangements for travel between the West Bank to Gaza. Israel would abandon set­tle­ments in Gaza and isolated ones in the West Bank, annex the large settlement blocs adja­cent to Israel proper (with territorial swaps), and limit construction to the natural growth needs of existing settlements. West Jerusa­lem would be enlarged, including set­tle­ments in East Jerusalem, and be recog­nized as the capi­tal of Israel. The Old City of Jeru­salem and its holy sites would need a ‘special regime’, in which no one would obtain sove­reignty over Haram Ash-Sharif. As for the 1948 refugees, the plan re­jected their right of re­turn and called for reset­tle­ment in the future Pal­es­tin­ian state or the grant­ing of citi­zen­ship in their current host countries.


Report prepared by Ms. Ca­therine Bertini, under the auspices of UN-OCHA, as Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary General. The report was pub­lished on 19 August 2002, and con­cluded that “There is a serious humanitarian cri­sis in the West Bank and Gaza. The crisis is not a 'traditional' humanitarian crisis, such as those caused by famines or droughts, but is inextricably linked to the ongoing conflict and particularly to the measures imposed by Israel." The report was not binding, and was rejected by Israel.


Hebrew acronym for: Brith Yousef Trum­peldor) Zionist movement established in 1923 as the youth movement of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky’s Revisionist party and named after Joseph Trumpeldor, who died de­fend­ing the settlement of Tel Hai. The move­ment emphasized Hebrew lan­guage, cul­ture, and self-defense, as well as the goal of a Jew­ish state "on both sides of the Jor­dan." Its members fought against the British dur­ing the Mandate. They have been tradi­tion­ally linked to the Likud party (and its prede-cessors). Today, Betar pro­motes Jew­ish leadership on university campuses as well as in local communities in Israel and in­ternationally.


(Arabic: Al-Izzariyya) Biblical village recorded in the New Testament as the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Simon the Le­per, as well as the place from where Jesus parted from his disciples at the Ascension. Today it is commonly identified with the Pal­estinian suburb of Al-Izzariyya some 2 km east of Jerusalem, which has been bi­sected by the Israeli Separation Barrier.


(Arabic: Beit Lahim) Palestinian governorate and city located 10 km south of Jerusalem. The go­vernorate, which inter alia also includes the adjacent municipalities of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour as well as the refu­gee camps of Dhei­sheh, Beit Jibrin (‘Azza) and Aida, has an es­timated population of 217,400, Bethlehem city itself of almost 29,000 (PCBS, 2019). The city’s main attrac­tion is the Church of the Nativity, which is considered the birthplace of Jesus and thus makes it a prime destina­tion for Christian pilgrimage. The city’s econ­omy is primarily tourism-driven.


Arabic term traditionally referring to the region of the Levant or ‘Greater Syria’, i.e., the regions of the east­ern Mediterranean (modern day Syria, Leba­non, Palestine/Israel, and Jordan).


West Bank village 12 km west of Ramal­lah that has gained international attention for its weekly non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli Separation Barrier begin­ning in 2005. The protestors include Pales­tinians (nearly all 1,800 villagers in Bil'in have parti­cipated in the protest), Israelis, and in­terna­tionals. Over 1,000 people have been injured during and arrested as a result of the pro­tests. In September 2007, the Israeli Su­preme Court ordered the Israeli government to redraw the route of the Barrier near the village. However, no im­plementation of the order took place. In De­cember 2008, the High Court of Justice found the Israeli De­fence Ministry in con­tempt for failing to im­plement its ruling on the Separation Barrier and stated that the government must comp­ly with their decision "without any fur­ther delays." A film por­traying the protests shot from the perspec­tive of the people of Bil'in over many years starting in 2005 called 5 Broken Cameras, by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, became popu­lar after its release in 2012 and was nomi­nated for Best Documen­tary Feature in the 85th Academy Awards. In March 2018, +972 Magazine reported that the protests had continued for then 13 years. It further noted that after years of struggle and “a Supreme Court ruling, the wall was repositioned in 2011, returning some 600 dunums of land back to the village, but over 1,000 remain on the other side of the wall, near the ultra-or­tho­dox settle­ment of Modi’in Ilit.”


Series of eight resolu­tions adopted by the May 1942 Zionist Con­ference, which took place at the Biltmore Hotel in New York (thus sometimes referred to as Biltmore Conference), after the real di­mensions of the Holocaust became known. Among the nearly 600 delegates were Zionist leaders from the US and 17 other countries. The program to­tally rejected the British 1939 White Paper and called for the es­tablish­ment of a Jewish state. It urged that "Pa­les­tine be es­tablished as a Jewish Common­wealth inte­grated in the structure of the new demo­cratic world (after World War II)." There was opposition to the proposal by the non-Zionists and those who believed in a bi-na­tional state. After approval of the resolu­tions by the Zion­ist Gen­eral Coun­cil in Pales­tine, the Bilt­more Pro­gram be­came the plat­form of the World Zionist Or­gan­i­za­tion.


Concept of a single secular state providing a national home for both Israelis and Palestinians on the same terri­tory (a one-state solution as opposed to par­tition/two-state solution). The idea of a bi-national state goes back to the 1920s, when it was pro­posed in one form or another by Jewish intellectuals, and has recently been revised in the face of the ongoing Israeli-Pal­es­tinian violence, continuous Israeli unila­teral measures to cre­ate facts on the ground in Palestinian territories, and the im­passe in the negotiations. Nevertheless, it is esti­mated that a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians still reject the idea of a bi-na­tional state. Main forms of bi-nationalism in­clude the consocia­tional democracy (e.g., Northern Ireland) and the federal model (e.g., Switzerland).


Term most generally referring to the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship. Birthright Israel (also known as Taglit, which means ‘dis­covery’ in Hebrew), is a program created in 1999 offering free “heritage” trips to Israel for young Jews, who are encour­aged to dis­cover their Jewish identity and connection to Jewish history and culture. To counterbal­ance Birthright Israel, Birthright Unplugged was formed in 2003 with the goal of expos­ing Jewish and non-Jewish visitors to Pales­tinian communities and the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


(Arabic: Al-Fahd Al-Aswad) Para-military secular group formed by Fatah during the first Intifada in the northern West Bank. It became mainly known for executing Palestinian collaborators and attacking Israe­li forces. Its apparent brutality and out­right rejection of the peace process pro­voked public rebukes from the mainstream Fatah leadership. Following a harsh Israeli crack­down on their members and the signing of the Oslo Accords, which they jointly re­jected with other groups such as the Fatah Hawks and Hamas, they lost strength but main­tained arms and continued low-level vi­olence. In 2005, a group under the same name (re-)emerged in Gaza, claiming re­sponsibility for a number of kidnappings of foreign journal­ists and aid workers.


Military confrontation be­tween the Jor­danian army and Palestinian guerrillas in Jordan in Septem­ber 1970 after PFLP commandos hijacked four air­planes "to pay special attention to the Palestinian prob­lem," blew two of them up, and de­clared the Irbid region in Jordan a “liberated area”. The civil war-like confrontation began on 15 Sep­tember 1970, when King Hus­sein, challenged by PLO attempts to create a ‘state within a state’, declared martial law and the US-backed Jordanian army began attacking the headquarters of Palestinian organizations, first in Amman, then in other locations as well. The fight­ing left some 2,000 dead and led, after weeks of bitter fighting, to the expul­sion of the PLO lead­er­ship and troops from Jordan. When the PLO set up its new bases in Bei­rut, Israeli retaliatory air raids on Lebanon began.


Palestin­ian group founded by Fatah members in the 1970s as a small cell and named after the 1970 'Black September' conflict between Jor­danian military forces and Palestinian figh­ters (see entry above). The organization was joined by members of other factions and groups determined to take revenge on King Hussein and the Jordanian army, and oper­ated from bases in Syria and Lebanon. The Black September Organization became known for the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.


(1.) The Arab confe­rence that con­vened in 1937 in Bludan, Syria, in response to the 1937 Peel Commission Par­tition Plan. Participants rejected partition of historic Palestine and a Jewish state and con­firmed Palestine as part of the Arab World. (2.) Arab League conference held on 8 June 1946 in Bludan. Participants de­nounced the findings of the 1945-46 Anglo-American Com­mission of Inquiry, criticized Western/US policy, and discussed ways in which Arab states could assist the Palestini­ans, including re­constituting the Arab Higher Com­mit­tee and dis­patch­ing forces from vari­ous Arab armies in­to Pales­tine in the case of war.


(coalition) see Kahol Lavan


Border demarcation between Leba­non and Israel drawn by the UN on 7 June 2000 to determine whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon. The Blue Line is based on the deployment of the Israeli army prior to 14 March 1978, when Israel launched Op­er­ation Litani and occupied the en­tire south­ern part of Lebanon. The blue line has been violated mul­tiple times by both Israel and Lebanon.


(officially: State Property De­limitation Team) Unit established by the Israeli Civil Administration in 1999 to ex­amine Israel’s declarations of state land in the West Bank. The team, consisting of car­tographers, legal experts and inspectors, re­draws existing maps (mostly from the 1980s) as “state land”, which is a necessary step for the allocation of land for settlement expan­sion or the retroactive “legalization” of unau­thorized outposts, without warning the Pal­estinians living in those areas and without making the results public. The aim is to con­firm that territory now designated state land is indeed land over which Israel has legal ju­risdiction (retroactive legalization – often of outposts). Since the team began operating in 1999, it has remapped over 320,000 dunums of land, some 200,000 east of the Separation Barrier and 121,000 west of it.

Blue Wolf System

 System the Israeli army has been using since 2019, which consists of a database into which the photos and details of West Bank Palestinians are uploaded, whether they are connected to terrorism or not, enabling their tracking and monitoring. The details include, among other things, ID number, age, gender, residence, vehicle license plate numbers, contacts with other people and whether they are allowed to work in Israel. The soldiers are required to take the photos of randomly chosen Palestinians with their cell phones and upload their details to the system. According to estimates, the system holds the photos of thousands of Palestinians – including children and the elderly.


(English: Sons of the Covenant) The world's oldest and largest Jewish frater­nal and charitable organiza­tion, founded by a group of German-Jewish immigrants in 1843 in New York, with the goal of uniting Jews and protecting Jewish in­terests around the world. Today B'nai B'rith fights against Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias, provides senior housing and advo­cacy on issues of vi­tal concern to seniors and their families, helps communities in crisis, and promotes Jewish identity through cul­tural activities. Its work is implemented by several centers. In recent years, B’nai B'rith reported hundreds of thousands of mem­bers and supporters, mainly in the US, and had a budget of $14 mil­lion.


US base near Wash­ington, d.c., where Israeli and Palestinian del­egations led by Oded Eran and Yasser Abed Rabbo held intense and se­cluded talks in spring 2000. Negotiations focused on some of the tough outstanding ‘final status’ issues with the aim of reaching a framework agree­ment by May 2000 and a final agree­ment by 13 September 2000. However, the talks ended without the hoped-for breakthrough.


also known by its Hebrew abbreviation Magav) Military branch of the Israeli police, mainly profes­sional officers on payroll and field po­licemen redirected from the army. All border police­men receive combat training and con­se­quently are employed in unquiet areas, where there are greater risks for violence. They serve mainly in the countryside, in Pal­estin­ian villages and towns (along with the regu­lar police), near the bor­ders, and in the West Bank. The Border Guards heaviest area of operation is the city of Je­ru­salem.


Israel has never officially fixed its territorial borders, which are still based on those established by the British Mandate. When the state of Israel was es­tablished on 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion refused to de­fine its borders, saying, “We are an­nounc­ing the creation of a state in the West­ern part of our country.” Some Israeli Jews still refer to the West Bank as Judea and Sa­maria and con­sider it part of ‘Greater Israel’ or ‘Eretz Yisrael.’ Israeli peace groups, such as Gush Shalom, call for the pre-1967 bor­ders, or Green Line, to be accepted as the 'border of peace.' In January 2001, agree­ments at Taba, Egypt (later repudiated by Israel), ac­knowledged the 1967 borders as the basis for lasting peace. Israel’s borders with Egypt and with Jordan have been for­malized in peace treaties. The border with Lebanon is part of the 1949 Armistice Agreement, while the borders with Syria and the Palestinian territories are still not settled and have yet to be negotiated. The pre-1967 borders are internationally recognized and enshrined in international law.


Proposal for a new municipal mechanism for Jerusalem drafted in 1945 by Sir William Fitzgerald, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Palestine during the Brit­ish Mandate, which never materialized. The plan placed the preservation of the city’s unity at the center and suggested separate Arab and Jewish councils be created with a degree of autonomy over respective bo­roughs. The Jewish borough was to be si­tuated to the northwest of the Old City, while the Arab borough ran north to south with the Old City at its center.


International campaign and movement launched on 9 July 2005 by 171 Palestinian NGOs, calling for boycott (withdrawing sup­port for Israel and Israeli and international companies that are involved in the violation of Palestinian human rights, as well as com­pli­cit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic in­stitutions), divestment (urging banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and uni­ver­sities to withdraw investments from Israeli and international companies involved in vi­olating Palestinian rights) and sanctions (pres­suring governments to fulfill their legal obliga­tion to hold Israel accountable, e.g., by ending trade agreements or expelling Israel from in­ternational forums such as the UN and FIFA) against Israel until it complies with interna­tional law and universal principles of human rights. Refers to non-violent punitive meas­ures aimed at pressuring Israel to rec­ognize the Palestin­ian people’s right to self-determi­nation and to comply with its obliga­tions un­der interna­tional law. The three stated goals of the campaign are (1) an end to Israel's “oc­cupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall," (2) Israel’s recogni­tion of the "fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality," and (3) Israeli respect, protec­tion, and promo­tion of "the rights of Pales­tinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as sti­pulated in UN resolution 194." In March 2017, the Knesset passed a law (Amendment No. 27 to the Law of Entry to Israel), denying entry to alleged suppor­ters of the BDS campaign. Israel subse­quently announced a list of 22 NGOs whose staff or members were banned. These in­cluded: AFPS (The Association France Pales­tine Solidarité), BDS France, BDS Italy, ECCP (The European Coordination of Commit­tees and Associa­tions for Palestine), FOA (Friends of Al-Aqsa), IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Norge (The Palestine Committee of Norway), Palestinakomitee, PGS (Palestine Solidarity Association in Swe­den), Palestina­grupperna i Sverige, PSC (Pa­lestine Solidarity Campaign), War on Want, BDS Kampagne, AFSC (Ameri­can Friends Ser­vice Committee), AMP (Amer­ican Muslims for Palestine), Code Pink, JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace), NSJP (Na­tional Stu­dents for Justice in Palestine), USCPR (US Campaign for Palestin­ian Rights), BDS Chile, BDS South Africa, and BNC (BDS National Committee).


Amendment to the Entry into Israel Law passed by the Knes­set on 7 March 2018, which empowers the Israe­li Interior Minister to revoke the per­manent re­sidency status of any Palestinian suspected of a “breach of loyalty” to Israel (i.e., terror, betrayal, or other anti-Israel ac­tivities) and have him/her deported. Based on this, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is­sued an order on 29 April, stripping three Pal­estinian PLC members – Mohammad Abu Teir, Ahmad At­toun, and Mohammad Totah – as well as for­mer PA Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh (all affiliated with Hamas) of their residency rights. Three legal centers for human rights in Israel, HaMoked, Adalah, and ACRI, issued a joint response to the law, stating: “This law is unconstitutional and is intended to result in the illegal expul­sion of Palestinians from Jerusalem, the city of their birth. Even though the revocation of resi­den­cy entails a severe violation of basic rights – including the right to family, the right to free movement, and the right to freedom of em­ployment – members of the Knesset nev­ertheless chose to grant the in­terior minister the authority to do as he wishes. East Jerusa­lem is occupied territory, and its Palestinian residents are a protected population under in­ternational humanitarian law. It is there­fore forbidden to impose upon them an obli­gation of loyalty to Israel, let alone revoke their permanent residency sta­tus for "breach of loyalty," essentially re­sulting in their ex­pulsion from the city.”


Israeli army tactic to “punish” Palestinians who partici­pated in the First Intifada. Then Defense Mi­nister Yithzak Rabin gave orders in January 1988 to break the bones of “Palestinian inci­ters”. According to Save the Children Swe­den “23,600 to 29,900 children required medical treatment for their beating injuries in the first two years of the intifada”, one third of whom were children under the age of 10. In July 1990, the Knesset rejected a motion to set up a special commission to in­vestigate whether Rabin had given soldiers orders to break the bones of Palestinians and decided not to investigate the charges against Rabin.


(formally: State Education Law (Prevention of Activity in an Educational Institution of External Bodies Acting Against the IDF or the Goals of Educa­tion) Legislation approved by the Knesset with 43:24 on 16 July 2018, which stipulates that organizations delegitimizing the State of Israel, acting against soldiers and the objec­tives of the Israeli education system will not be per­mitted to enter school premises or meet with students. The law is named after its main target, Breaking the Silence, an or­ganization made up of former Israeli soldiers who report about their negative experiences serving in the OPT. Critics have called it the “occupation silencing law”.


Six-point plan for the Middle East pre­sented by then Soviet Presi­dent Leonid Brezh­nev on 15 Sep­tember 1982. The plan in­cluded: (1) the inad­missibil­ity of the ac­quisition of ter­ri­tory by force, and thus (2) the need for a com­plete Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories oc­cupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem; (3) the exer­cise of the in­alienable rights of the Palestinians to self-de­termina­tion and to the establish­ment of their own independent state; (4) the safe­guard­ing of the right of all states in the region to se­cure an inde­pend­ent exis­tence and de­vel­opment; (5) the termi­nation of the state of war and the establishment of peace be­tween the Arab States and Israel; and (6) the elabora­tion and adoption of interna­tional guaran­tees of a peaceful set­tlement. The six points were subsequently reaffirmed on 5 January 1983 by the Political Consultative Committee of the States Parties to the War­saw Treaty.


Form of administrative con­trol given to the British by the League of Nations, based on the decision of the 1920 San Remo Conference awarding to France the mandate for Syria and Leba­non and to Britain that of Palestine, Transjordan and Me­sopota­mia (Iraq). The fact that the British mandate included references to the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of a Jew­ish homeland was a severe blow to the Arabs. The League of Nations Council for­mally ap­proved the mandate on 24 July 1922 with­out the consent of the Palestini­ans – which then became offi­cial on 29 September 1923. Sir Her­bert Samuel was appointed first High Commissioner. By the power granted under the mandate, Britain ruled Palestine in the years 1920-1948. In 1947, Britain de­cided to terminate the Mandate and submit­ted the Question of Palestine to the UN. On 15 May 1948, the Man­date of­ficially ended.


(also: Oc­cu­pied Enemy Territory Administration OETA) Military rule in Palestine that followed the British conquest of Palestine in 1917 and lasted until 1920 when the British Mandate and its civil administration replaced it.


Document Palestinians must obtain from the Israeli authorities (ex­cept in PA-controlled ar­eas) in order to be able to build on their land. Because Israel’s pol­icy is politically motivated, it is very diffi­cult for Palestinians to obtain building per­mits, which is particularly true with regard to East Jeru­salem, where Israel aims to main­tain a Jew­ish majority. Even if a permit is granted, there are still very high costs ac­companied with it. Consequently, many Pal­estinians build without permits and their homes are thus ‘illegal’ under Israeli law, making them vul­nerable to Israel’s house demolition pol­icy. One of the main obstacles in obtaining build­ing permits are Is­raeli dec­larations of land as ‘unfit for building’ or as ‘green’ or ‘open space,’ where construction is forbid­den. Often this is the case in areas ear­marked for future build­ing by Israel (e.g., settlement expansion). Additional obstacles to obtaining permits in­cludes inability to prove land ownership, which was not docu­mented under Ottoman rule, the British Mandate, Jordanian, or Israe­li rule, and high costs of permits.


(English: lightning) According to Is­lamic belief, a winged horse-like creature that first bore Mohammed on his Isra’ (night jour­ney) from Mecca to a place in Jerusalem near the Western Wall of the Second Tem­ple, and then to heaven on his Miraj (ascen­sion) in the com­pany of the angel Jibril. Tra­ditions also state that Al-Buraq was the mount of all the prophets.


Structure built on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound next to its western wall, known as Al-Buraq Wall. The main gate of Al-Buraq Mosque, located in Al-Aqsa’s western wall, is permanently sealed, but it is still open for prayers to worshipers via anoth­er entrance located in the western cor­ridor of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Mos­que derived its name from a ring that is nailed to its wall which Muslims believe Proph­et Mohammad used in order to tie Al-Buraq, the magnifi­cent creature that carried him from Mecca to Jerusa­lem in the night journey of Al-Isra’ wa Al-Miraj.



Part of Al-Haram Ash-Sharif, remnant of Herod's Temple, and holy to both Jews and Muslims. To Jews it is the Western or Wailing Wall (see entry below), while Muslims remember this as the wall where Prophet Moham­med tied his winged creature, Al-Buraq, before ascending to hea­ven on his journey from Mecca to Jerusalem (Isra’ wa Al-Miraj), where he received his re­velations of Islam and lead the other proph­ets of God in prayer.


Attack by Palmach forces on Burayr, northeast of Gaza City, on 12-13 May 1948. According to the sources of Israeli historian Benny Mor­ris, Jewish forces killed a large number of villagers, executing dozens of army-age males, and raping and murder­ing a teenage girl. Remaining inhabitants fled to Gaza.


(1.)  At­tack on Bureij refugee camp, located in cen­tral Gaza, carried out on 28-29 August 1953 by the notorious Unit 101 led by Ariel Sharon. The UN report states that “Bombs were thrown through the windows of huts in which refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons. The casualties were 20 killed, 27 se­riously and 35 less seriously wounded. An article by Arab public intellec­tual and politi­cal philosopher Azmi Bishara put the number killing 43 people, including 7 women, and wounding 22. Other Israeli his­torians place the number killed around 30. The Mixed Ar­mistice Commission called it “a ruthless re­prisal raid” and “an appalling case of delibe­rate mass murder.”

(2.) 16 April 2018 attack on the refugee camp by Israeli forces after a Hamas ambush that killed three Israeli soldiers on the pre­vious night. According to Reuters, the Israeli attack killed eight by-standing minors and a Reuters cameraman named Fadel Shana. The soldiers who fired on Shana and those around him were not held accountable for the deaths, leading to outrage among media and press protection organizations.


(English: Storks Tower) Site located at the northeast corner of the Old City, which was built in 1537. The site was acquired by Burj Al-Laqlaq Community So­ciety from private Palestinian owners to be used for social, educational and recreational activities. Due to its size and location, the center has become a target for harassment by Israeli Occupation forces. On 25 July 2005, the West Jerusalem Planning Commit­tee ap­proved a plan (dating back to 1990 when Ariel Sharon was housing minister) for con­struc­tion of a Jewish settlement (21 housing units and a synagogue) on a 3.8-du­num site next to the center. The Israel Land Adminis­tration owns 1.9 dunums (absentee prop­erty) of the land in question while Hi­manuta Ltd., a sub­sidiary of the Jewish Na­tional Fund, owns 1,3 dunums, which were report­edly acquired pri­vately from the White Russian Orthodox Church in 1982. In 1998, settlers from Ataret Cohanim – protected by Israeli soldiers – laid the 'cornerstone' for the new settlement and moved land ca­ra­vans to the area. How­ever, due to the en­suing confrontations with Pal­estinians, the process was halted in June 1998 by the Israeli government, which ‘com­pen­sated' the settlers by allowing exca­vation works at the site. In addition, it should be noted that the construc­tion proposed at the site represents a tech­nical and engi­neering violation of the Old City reg­ula­tions since Burj Al-Laqlaq is not only an arc­heo­logical site but also a 'green area' where building of any kind is prohi­bited. According to Palestinian hu­man rights organization Al-Haq, as of Ra­ma­dan 2019, three demoli­tion orders were pend­ing against the center.


Refers to the murder of two Palestinian hijackers of an Israeli bus by agents of the Shin Bet, and the subsequent attempt within the Shin Bet to hide the truth. In April 1984, four PFLP activists hi­jacked Egged Bus No. 300 en route from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 41 passengers and forced it to drive to the Gaza Strip in order to press for the release of some 500 prisoners from Israeli jails. In Deir Al-Balah, the bus was stormed by Israeli forces. During the op­eration, one passenger and two of the hi­jackers were killed, while the other two re­portedly were wounded and died en route to a hospital. However, a government report later revealed that the two detained hijack­ers were tortured and beaten to death by agents on order by then Shin Bet chief Avra­ham Shalom.


Section of Sil­wan village outside the Old City, which con­tains some 90 houses. Most of the houses were built in the 1980s and 1990s, which the West Jerusalem Municipality’s city engineer Uri Shetreet ordered to be demolished in November 2004 to expand of the ‘King’s Valley archeological park.’ In June 2005, the municipality handed the inhabitants of Al-Bustan demolition orders for 88 houses, home to over 1,500 people. After residents requested that the Attorney General prevent the destruction and interna­tional pressure to halt the demolitions mounted, then-Mayor Uri Lupoliansky re­tracted the plan in 2005, asking Palestinian residents to propose a plan that would meet their development needs, which they pre­sented in 2008. How­ever, city engineer Shlomo Eshkol in­formed them that the plan would not be considered in the immediate future, and that the muni­cipality was pro­ceeding with the plan to build a national park on the site. Several homes were demo­lished in the neigh­bor­hood, and on 22 Feb­ruary 2009, Israeli Au­thorities of the Jerusa­lem Municipality served citizens of Al-Bustan notices to eva­cuate their houses within 72 hours or face forced evac­uation. In early 2010, the munici­pality filed a new plan for the area, including a tourist park called King’s Valley or King’s Garden, which would destroy 88 houses and displace some 1,400 people. Several plans were been submitted in the following years to license the threat­ened homes to no avail. The muni­cipal­ity postponed the demolition orders of Al-Bustan homes un­til March 2017, and al­though several hous­ing structures were destroyed in October and December 2017, other demoli­tions remain out­standing. On 15 January 2019, Israel handed demolition orders to ten families in Al-Bustan.


Term that emerged from the Oslo Ac­cords, referring to roads built for and used by Israelis to link settle­ments with each other and with Israel proper to circumvent Palestinian built up areas. The main rationale behind these roads is the ‘security’ of the settlers, but many also argue that they also serve the purpose of dividing the West Bank into isolated ‘cantons’ and blocking Pales­tinian development. It is argued that bypass roads entirely bury the possibility of estab­lishing an independent contiguous and via­ble Palestinian state. Bypass roads are under Israeli control and entail a 50-75-m buffer zone on each side of the road in which no construc­tion is allowed. Typically, they are built at the expense of Palestinian agricul­tural land and devel­opment plans. According to OCHA, as of September 2018, Israel had con­structed some 400 km of bypass roads in the West Bank. Palestinians are denied access to most of them (often enforced with cement blocks, trenches, earth-mounds, barb­wires and iron gates) under the pretext of military and/or security purposes. The largest bypass road networks are in the Ra­mallah and He­bron areas. 



Israeli plan to build a ca­ble car to transport tourists and others along the Old City’s southern walls and across Sil­wan, to be completed in 2021. The project was defined by the Israeli Ministry of Tour­ism as a “national priority,” a cate­gory usual­ly reserved for advancing infrastruc­ture. Arc­hitects, preservationists, and tour guides op­pose the cable car project due to its visual implications for the Old City and the Historic Basin and because it would not actually re­duce traffic patterns as claimed. Palestini­ans were not even consulted about it. Oppo­nents say it serves larger ideological inter­ests and prioritizes politics over sustai­nabil­ity. Under the cur­rent plan, the cable cars would pass from near the First Station (west) over Abu Tor, the Hinnoam Valley, and the Old City Walls, stop at Mount Zion, and then atop the Dung Gate at an archeo­logical site and a yet-to-be-built tourist cen­ter run by the right-wing City of David Foun­dation in the Pales­tinian neighborhood of Silwan. Two addition­al stops – one at the Gethsemane Garden and the other at the Mount of Olives – would be implemented at a later stage.


(1.) Egyp­tian-mediated agreement reached on 27 April 2011 and formally signed on 4 May 2011 by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo, pav­ing the way for a transitional technocratic government, preparation for elections, and Hamas’ access to the PLO. However, per­sis­tent differences between the two sides led to the suspension of further talks.

(2.) Reconciliation Accord signed by Hamas and Fatah in Cairo on 20 May 2012, to carry out the previous Doha Agreement, signed three and a half months earlier, and prepare for elections of a new unity government. How­ever, because of continued disagree­ments between the two sides, the agree­ment was terminated.

(3.) Understanding reached between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PLO Chair­man/PA President Mahmoud Abbas and signed on 25 September 2014 in Cairo, sti­pulating that the Palestinian Unity Government would assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip and allow the PA to take control over the border cross­ings, work on lifting the siege and re­con­structing the Gaza Strip, convene a donor con­ference, re­vive the PLC, and implement the understanding laid down in the 2006 and 2011 Na­tional Conciliation Documents. How­ever, no further steps were taken to­wards a unity government.

CAIRO AGREEMENT (Israeli-Palestinian)


Docu­ment signed on 19 March 2005 by Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP and DFLP in a bid to unite the Palestinian factions against the Israeli occupation. This first attempt at Intra-Palestinian conciliation also called for re­forming the PLO so as to include all Pales­tinian groups.


Bomb attack on 31 March 1948, in which Zionist pa­ramili­taries planted explosive mines on the track as a Haifa-bound train from Cairo passed the Jewish town of Benyamina. According to a New York Times article from the following day, 40 Arab civilians were killed and 60 oth­ers wounded. The article stated that the mines, which were said to have been laid by “terrorists,” had the shape and markings of Jewish make and that a Jewish source attri­buted the attack to the Lehi “Stern” gang. The last two cars of the train were carrying British soldiers and did not derail so the sol­diers escaped uninjured.


(Arabic: Khalifa) Combining the notions of ‘successor’ and 'deputy', referring to Proph­et Mohammed’s successors to lead the Muslim community. The four caliphs, known as Rashidun (the rightly guided ones), are Abu Baker Sadiq, Omar Ibn Al-Khat­tab, Oth­man Ibn Affan, and Ali Ibn Abu Taleb.


(also: Camera Law) Legislation proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu's Li­kud party ahead of the second general elec­tion held in Israel in 2019 (after the failure to form a government following the first elec­tion), which would permit representatives of political parties to film both outside and in­side polling stations on Election Day. While filming people casting their actual vote would not be permitted, the law would allow party representatives to film any conversa­tion between election committee members and voters "at the polling place or its vicin­ity” as well as keep the video and audio do­cumentation. The draft law, which was moti­vated by Netanyahu’s fear of elections fraud, especially among the Palestinian electorate and which critics said was aimed at intimi­dating those voters, was approved by Neta­nyahu’s cabinet on 8 September 2019 but voted down a day later in a Knesset hearing.


US presidential retreat outside Washington, D.C., where numerous Mid­dle East negotiations have been held, including Egyptian-Israeli talks in 1978, bro­kered by President Jimmy Carter, which led to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. More recently, Camp David was the place where President Clinton un­successfully at­tempted in July 2000 to achieve a similarly historic final settle­ment between Israel and the Palestini­ans.


Israeli-Egyptian agree­ments signed by Egyptian President Sa­dat and Israeli Prime Minister Begin, wit­nessed by US President Carter at the White House on 17 September 1978 after 12 days of secret negotiations at Camp Da­vid. The first agree­ment dealt with all aspects of with­drawal from the Sinai and of­fered a frame­work for the conclusion of an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The second agreement estab­lished a format for the conduct of ne­gotia­tions for the establish­ment of an auto­nom­ous regime in the West Bank and Gaza. In November 1978 the Arab Summit in Bagh­dad rejected the accords and ostracized Egypt from the Arab League. The actual Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed on 26 March 1979.

Campaign Against Conditional Funding

Statement signed by tens of Palestinian organizations to reject conditional funding, even if it leads to their collapse or inability to perform their vital work. Reaction to the donors’ obligation (mainly European Union) to stipulate anti-terrorism clauses and policies in order for Palestinian community-based and non-governmental organizations to obtain funding. The escalation of such clauses is perceived as policies and approaches aimed at obliterating Palestinian national rights. The campaign demands the revocation of this condition from any contracts with Palestinian civil society institutions, the issuance of a clear declared position on the part of the PLO and PA rejecting such conditions, and condemnation by the international civil society of conditional financing policy and pressure.


Report submitted in 1907 to British Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman by a committee of scholars from seven European coun­tries that were commissioned to study ways to assure the continuity of European colonialist interests. The report emphasized that Arab countries and the Muslim-Arab people living in the Ottoman Empire presented a very real threat to European coun­tries, especially if and when they are liberated, are united, and progress. It recom­mended that the British gov­ernment should split and divide the Arab world in order to weaken it and gain control of it. It thus recommended disintegration, division, and separation in the region to es­tablish artificial political entities that would be under the authority of the imperialist countries. This would fight any kind of unity – whether intellectual, religious or historical, and practical measures would be taken to divide the region’s inhabitants. To achieve this, the report proposed a “buffer state” in Palestine, populated by a strong, foreign pres­ence that would be hostile to its neigh­bors and friendly to European countries and their interests. As the report was strategi­cally important it was suppressed and until today never released to the pub­lic. However, ref­erence was made to it by lawyer Antoine Canaan in various lectures in 1949, as well as by renowned Egyptian writer Muhammad Hassanein Haikal and others.


Discriminatory regula­tion, introduced by Israel in 1995, autho­riz­ing the confiscation of ID cards from Pales­tinian Jerusalemites who are unable to offer proof to the Interior Ministry and the Na­tional Insurance Institute that Jerusa­lem has been their center of life for the past seven years by producing tax receipts, educational certificates, employment records and utility bills that demonstrate conti­nuous residence in the city. This measure made applications for family reunification very difficult and was also applied with regard to granting permits to visit the Occu­pied Territories to residents living outside. Revocation of residency rights has to date affected over 14,000 East Jeru­salemite Palestinians who are denied the right to live and work in Jerusalem and have lost access to social benefits for themselves and their families.


(Hebrew: Hamercaz) Short-lived moderate party in Israel (1999-2003) established by Yitzhak Mordechai, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Roni Milo and Dan Meridor to carve out a centrist position between Labor and Likud. They called for a separation be­tween Israel and the Palestinians but did not rule out the option of uprooting set­tlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and sup­ported territorial compromise in the Golan Heights. The Center Party began to unravel following Mordechai's resigna­tion from the Barak led government in 2000, amid a sex scandal, and the party did not run in the 2003 elections.


Traditional system of rabbinic distribution of remittances from Jewish com­munities abroad to fund religious com­muni­ties in Palestine – especially in Jeru­sa­lem. It was the primary source of income for Jewish communities in Palestine until the advent of Zionist immigration and produc­tion-based eco­nomic activities.


Name under which Hamas ran in the January 2006 PLC elec­tions when they obtained 42.9% of the vote, win­ning 74 of 132 parliament seats, par­tially due to public impatience with the PA’s corrup­tion and its inability to win con­cessions in negotiations with Israel. In the election ma­nifesto, Hamas omitted its call for the elimi­nation of Israel, calling instead for the "es­tablishment of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem." Hamas also vowed an end to corruption and law­lessness in the Palestinian territories and advocated cutting ties with Israel, while strengthening relations with Arab countries. Further, Hamas prom­ised to build an in­de­pendent economy, ef­fec­tive health and educa­tion systems, and to re­construct the Pales­tinian infrastructure.


(Arabic: hajez, Hebrew: mah­soum) Roadblocks and other barriers im­posed by the Israeli army or border police permanently or temporarily throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to control/restrict the movement of Palestinians be­tween vil­lages and towns. In many cases, especially with regard to permanent checkpoints, Pal­estinians require previous permits issued by the Israeli authorities in order to be eligible to pass. Checkpoints cause immense travel delays and restric­tions. As a result, deaths occasionally occur when individuals, includ­ing women in labor and/or ambulances, are pre­vented from reaching hospitals/medical care, and often agricultural products are spoiled due to delays lasting up to several days. By 2019, B’Tselem identified 66 per­manent staffed checkpoints within the West Bank (24 of which are in Hebron), 34 tempo­rarily staffed checkpoints, not including hundreds of physical road­blocks.


(Arabic: hajez, Hebrew: mah­soum) Roadblocks and other barriers im­posed by the Israeli army or border police permanently or temporarily throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to control/restrict the movement of Palestinians be­tween vil­lages and towns. In many cases, especially with regard to permanent checkpoints, Pal­estinians require previous permits issued by the Israeli authorities in order to be eligible to pass. Checkpoints cause immense travel delays and restric­tions. As a result, deaths occasionally occur when individuals, includ­ing women in labor and/or ambulances, are pre­vented from reaching hospitals/medical care, and often agricultural products are spoiled due to delays lasting up to several days. By 2019, B’Tselem identified 66 per­manent staffed checkpoints within the West Bank (24 of which are in Hebron), 34 tempo­rarily staffed checkpoints, not including hundreds of physical road­blocks.


Belief system in support of the state of Israel and the develop­ment of a Jewish commonwealth. Belief that the found­ing of the state of Israel and the ga­thering of Jewish exiles is the first stage of the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The second stage is then the return of the Messiah to the land of Israel. Their theologi­cal position is that in the end of days all Jews will be killed with the ex­ception of 144,000 who accept Christ. The International Chris­tian Embassy in West Jerusalem, which is non-governmental, represents these Chris­tians, but is not recog­nized by the historic churches in the Holy Land.


The Christians in Israel and Pales­tine, and throughout the Middle East, belong to the Eastern Orthodox (the Greek Ortho­dox Church being the largest and most prom­inent), Oriental Orthodox (including the Cop­tic Orthodox Church and Ar­menian Apos­tolic Church), Catholic Church (mainly Latin Cath­olic, Greek Catho­lic/Melkite, and Maro­nite), and the Evangelical/Protestant Church (main­ly Anglicans and Lutherans). All of these de­no­minations are members of the Middle East Council of Churches, which serves as an um­brella organization. The num­ber of Chris­tians in the region has de­clined significantly during previous decades, either because of per­secu­tion, or as a con­sequence of voluntary emi­gration. As a per­centage of the total popula­tion, their decline is even more significant because they gener­ally have lower birth rates than the sur­rounding Mus­lim society. De­clines are most acute in Pales­tine where the size of the Christian commu­nity has dropped from ap­proximately 10% of the total popula­tion in 1948 to less than 2% today.



Site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus since the 2nd Cen­tury, which makes it a prime destina­tion for Christian pilgri­mage. In 339 CE, for the first time a church was com­pleted there and the edifice that replaced it after a fire. In 2012, it became the first UN­ESCO World Heritage site to be listed under “Palestine.” Inscribed as “Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Na­tivity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine),” it was also was also placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger to the poor state, from which it was, however, re­moved in June 2019 after extensive restora­tion and renovation works had taken place.


(also: White Pa­per of 1922) British policy statement on Pa­lestine, named after the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Winston Churchill, which was issued by British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel in June 1922 in the wake of escalating violence. The memorandum stated that Arab hostility against Jews stemmed from Jewish immigration and Zionist policy and reasserted British support for the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine, for which “it is necessary that the Jewish com­munity in Palestine should be able to in­crease its numbers by immigra­tion.” How­ever, it stated that the British government did not wish to see Palestine become "as Jewish as England is English", but rather see the establishment of "a center in which Jew­ish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride." Further, the memoran­dum ite­rated that Jewish immi­gration should not ex­ceed the economic ab­sorptive capacity of the country.



(formally: Na­tionality and Entry into Israel Law 'Temporary Order' – 2003) Legislation passed by the Knesset on 31 July 2003, prohibiting citizen­ship, permanent residency and/or temporary residency status to West Bank/Gaza Pales­tinians married to Israeli citizens. Nearly all of the affected Israeli families – over 21,000 – are Arab. The law also denies citizenship to children born to an Israeli citi­zen and resi­dent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Via special permission from Israel's Interior Mi­nister, children will be al­lowed to remain with their family in Israel until the age of 12, when the child will be uprooted and forced to leave the state. The Law has been extended several times since its creation.


(also referred to as Natio­nality Law) Israeli law of 1952, which details the provisions for the acquisition and loss of the Israeli nationality. It stipulates that, “Every emigrant under the Law of Return will become a citizen of Israel as a direct result of the return” (Article 2(a)) and at the same time deprives Palestinians who were resi­dents of Palestine prior to 1948 of the right to gain citizenship or residence status in Israel (Article 3). Amendment No. 10, enacted on 28 March 2011, allows courts to revoke the citizenship of persons convicted of treason, espionage, assisting the enemy in time of war, violating state sovereignty and acts of terrorism. The amendment was pro­posed following the arrest and indictment of Arab civil society leader Ameer Makhoul on charges of espionage and has since been used dis­cri­mi­nately against Palestinians.


Narrow promontory beyond the southern edge of Haram Ash-Sharif and the Old City, where Israelis claim King David created the city of Jerusalem over 3,000 years ago. The area is part of the Palestinian village/neighborhood of Silwan, which maps issued by the Israeli government and Israeli organizations include as the City of David. Since Israel gained control over East Jerusa­lem in 1967, Jewish settler organizations (Elad and Ateret Cohanim) have sought to re-establish a Jewish pres­ence in Silwan, par­ticularly in the Al-Bustan neighborhood (see above). Jewish set­tlers have taken several houses and apartments in the area and it is estimated that at least 500 of them live in Silwan (2018).




Israeli law of 1952 which established the limits of the state's liability for the pay­ment of compensation for damage caused by se­curity forces acting on its behalf in a "war-time action". Amendment No. 4 of 2002 re­defined "wartime action" as “any action of com­bating terror, hostile actions, or insur­rec­tion, and also an action as stated that is intended to prevent terror, hostile actions, or insurrection committed in circumstances of danger to life or limb" whether the af­fected parties are innocent or not. Amend­ment No. 8 of 2012 created further obstacles to justice and accountability as it widely ex­empts Israel from its lia­bility for injuries and damages inflicted by its forces on Palestini­ans in or from the OPT.


(also: Clinton Proposal) Guidelines for final accelerated negoti­ations between Palestinians and Israelis formulated by then US President Clinton, who hoped to conclude a com­prehensive agreement be­tween the two sides be­fore the end of his term in office. The parameters, giv­en orally to Israeli and Palestinian nego­tia­tors at a trilateral meeting in the White House on 23 December 2000, built upon pre­vious negoti­ations with Israel, but fell short of the inter­national legal stan­dard for ending Israel’s oc­cupation and recognizing the rights of Pales­tinian refugees. The parameters were offi­cially outlined in Clinton’s speech to the Israeli Policy Forum on 7 January 2001 in New York and served as the basis for the Taba Talks later that month (Prime Minister Barak and President Arafat both accepted the pa­ra­meters, with reservations, as the ba­sis for further talks, but the election of Ariel Sharon in February effectively ended the peace process). The parameters included: (1) the es­tab­lishment of a non-militarized "sove­reign, viable Palestinian State that would ac­com­modate Israel's security requirements and the demographic realities" in most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with few land swaps; (2) a solution for the refugees that would allow them to return to a Palestinian state, resettlement in their current locations, or in third countries, as well as compensa­tion from the international com­munity for their losses and assistance in building their new lives; (3) an international presence to provide border security and monitor imple­mentation of the final agree­ment; (4) "fair and logical propositions" regarding Jerusa­lem to remain an open and undivided city with assured freedom of access and worship for all with incorporation of the principle ‘what is Arab should be Palestinian’ and ‘what is Jewish should be Israeli'; and (5) an official end to the conflict.


Areas de­clared by the Israeli army to be closed in or­der to deny access to civilians, including journalists, for instance to prevent demon­strations or civil disobedience. Those decla­rations are based on the emergency rules created by the British Mandate in 1945. Usually Closed Military Zones are characte­rized by a massive increase in military pres­ence and heavy surveillance of the local Pal­estinian population. While Palestinians are forbidden to enter these areas without au­thoriza­tion from the Israeli military com­mander, Israeli citizens, Jews from through­out the world, and tourists are permitted to enter without special per­mits. Considerable parts of such closed areas are used by set­tlers for the benefit of expanding settle­ments.


(also referred to as siege or block­ade) Israeli-imposed movement restrictions for Palestinian goods and labor under the pretext of ‘security.’ There are three basic forms: internal closure (movement restric­tion within the West Bank and Gaza Strip through a network of military checkpoints, reinforced by curfews); external closure of the West Bank and Gaza borders with Israel; and external closing of international borders (e.g., Gaza international airport, border cross­ings with Jordan and Egypt). Closures are of unspecified duration, may be total or partial, and are often imposed without ex­planation. Whole cities or only certain areas can be closed off or a partic­ular population group (e.g., men under the age of 35) can be excluded from move­ment. Closures seriously disrupt daily life, preventing Palestinians from reaching hos­pitals and other medical care, schools and universities, as well as working places and places of worship.


Checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers imposed by the Israeli army or border police permanently or tem­porarily throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to control/restrict the movement of Palestinians between villages and towns. In many cases, especially with regard to per­manent checkpoints, Pales­tinians require pre­vious permits issued by the Israeli au­thorities in order to be eligi­ble to pass. Checkpoints cause immense travel delays and restric­tions; as a result, deaths occasio­nally occur when individuals, including women in labor, and/or am­bulances are pre­vented from reach­ing hospitals/medical care, and often agricul­tural products are spoiled due to delays that can last for several days. Accord­ing to OCHA, there were 705 clo­sure ob­stacles blocking in­ternal Palestinian move­ment in the West Bank as of September 2018, including 140 permanently or partially staffed checkpoints.


Underground layer of wa­ter-bearing permeable rock stretching along the Mediterranean coastline of Israel and the Gaza Strip. Its length from north to south is 120 km and its width 7-20 km. The active sto­rage of the aquifer is esti­mated at 20 bil­lion cubic me­ters of water and its safe yield is close to 300 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters (mcm)/year with an estimated annual re­charge of 55‐65 mcm. The aquifer contri­butes some 20% of Israel’s fresh water supply and is also the main aqui­fer in the Gaza Strip. Increased seawater intrusion, in­filtration of contaminants, par­tic­ularly chlo­rides and nitrates, through the surface soil layer, and dropping water levels due to over-exploitation have all decreased the fresh wa­ter storage in the aquifer (with total pump­ing exceeding total recharge).


(Arabic: Al-Amil) Term refer­ring to those who betray their own people, generally out of a position of weakness or suffering (i.e., under torture) or driven by per­sonal benefits. In the Palestinian context, collaborators are individuals who cooperate with Israeli authorities, providing intelligence information on people within their own community or performing other tasks on be­half of the occupiers. There are four primary types of collaborators: land dealer (simsar al-‘ardi), interme­diary (al-wasit), armed (al-amilal-musallah), and informer (jasous). The Palestinian collaborator is an expression of Israel's larger 'defense' policies, in which the collabo­rator serves the purpose of creating mistrust, spreading confusion and under­mining collective self-confidence within Pal­estinian society. Masterminding this strategy is Israel’s secret police Shin Bet. The PA has offered on various occasions an amnesty to collaborators in return for a full confession. Over the years, several collaborators found guilty of helping Israel to assassinate Pales­tinian activists have been sentenced to death and formally executed. Other (sus­pected) col­laborators have been killed (sometimes hung in public) by activists from the various factions. Some collaborators are motivated by financial benefits while in other cases Palestinians have been black­mailed by Israeli intelligence officers.


Israeli practice of punishing entire Palestinian families, neigh­borhoods, communities, or cities for the act of one or a few. Forms of punish­ment in­clude the sealing or demolishing of homes, imposing curfews, erecting road­blocks, con­fiscating personal property, uprooting trees, destroying agricultural land and infrastruc­ture (e.g., water systems), and closing com­mercial, educational and cultural sites. In Gaza, collective punishment of the people has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis, as Israel has closed all border crossings, de facto isolating the strip from the rest of the world, has disrupted power supplies and fuel shipments, in­creased monitoring of funds, ceased visits to prisoners, and allowed only essential food and medicine to be brought in. Collective punishment is expressly forbid­den by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Con­vention and is prohibited by Israel's own laws as well.



Non-violent form of eco­nomic protest that emerged during the first Intifada, initially as an on-the-spot pro­test at Israeli army actions and later orga­nized throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip with shops being shut down for days and sometimes weeks. Due to the resulting loss of income, tax revenues to Israel were dras­tically reduced. In more recent years, one- or two-day commercial strikes are called for by the various political factions in response to Israeli attacks, assassina­tions or other actions. During strike days, Palestini­ans are encour­aged to take to the streets in peaceful pro­tests.


(also: Young Turks) Turkish revolutio­nary na­tionalist reform party, which had its origins in secret societies of progressive students, army officers, and government officials, who operated underground after the constitution was abrogated by the Sultan. In 1908, CUP leaders led a rebellion against Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore constitutional rule. The rebellion was widely supported by both Arab nationalists and Zionists and resulted in Ha­mid being de­posed and exiled. Soon after, Muslims, Christians and Jews joined together to found a branch of the CUP in Jerusalem. The CUP effectively ruled the Ottoman Em­pire from 1908 until 1918, but it soon be­came clear that their goal was the Turkifica­tion of the Ottoman domain rather than grant­ing local autonomy to minorities. In re­sponse, Arab intellectuals in Beirut, Cairo and Da­mascus formed clandestine political societies (e.g., the Ottoman Decentralization Party, Al-Ahd and Al-Fatat), though these lacked sup­port among the masses.



see Refusenik


(also: Realignment Plan) Plan formulated by Prime Minister Ehud Ol­mert during the election campaign for the 17th Knesset in 2006 claiming that, if he was elected Prime Minister, he would unilaterally remove Israeli settlements from most of the West Bank within four years and consolidate them into large groups of settlements near the 1967 border. In fact, the plan foresaw the annexation of some 10% of the West Bank, including settlements and historic areas in East Jerusalem, along a perimeter defined more or less by the Separation Bar­rier (all area west of it). Israel would expand settle­ments west of the barrier and with­draw its settlers from the remaining areas, while main­taining exclusive security control over all territories as well as over the border crossing points to Jordan.


Head of a unit, subordinated to the Israeli Defense Ministry, which is in charge of coordinating civilian is­sues between the Government of Israel, the army, international organiza­tions, diplomats, and the PA. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, it has branches in the fields of economics, infra­structure, international relations and foreign affairs, public ap­peals, spo­kes­person office, and an ad­visor for matters related to Pales­tinian affairs.


(English: separate body) Status proposed for Jerusalem and sur­rounding areas, including Bethlehem, by the UN General Assembly within the Parti­tion Plan of November 1947. The city, within an area of 186 km2, was to be interna­tionalized under a UN trusteeship, which would have guaranteed freedom of access to holy places, provided an international police force, and remained responsible for foreign affairs. Af­ter a ten-year period a plebiscite was to be held, after which further recom­mendations would be discussed by the trus­teeship coun­cil. UN General As­sembly Reso­lution 303 of 9 December 1949 reiterated the UN commit­ment to the in­ternationaliza­tion of Jerusa­lem, and designated it a "cor­pus separatum."


Israeli law, passed on 15 June 2016, which includes dra­conian measures for investigating political detai­nees, expands the use of secret evi­dence, and sub­stantially expands the powers of the police and the General Security Services. It allows the Defense Ministry to designate any “body of persons” a terror organization, as long as its activities fit within the legal para­meters of the term (Sec­tion 3 a). As the law’s defi­ni­tions of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist or­ganiza­tions’ are rather broad and vague, it empow­ers the security establishment to le­gally implicate organi­zations that simply ex­press solidarity with allegedly militant Pales­tinian groups. The law is often exploited by law en­forcement authorities to criminalize legiti­mate ac­tions of Palestinians, including clos­ing of institutions (as was the case with the Elia Association for Youth in East Jerusa­lem in April 2018).


Atrocities and offences committed against a civilian popu­lation before or during war. These include inhumane acts such as murder, ex­termina­tion, deportation, enslavement, and mass sys­tematic rape, as well as persecu­tions on political, racial, or religious grounds.


Form of collective punishment and means of control employed by the Israeli government/army whereby inhabitants of a Palestinian community are forced to stay in­doors for a specified period of time (hours, days and sometimes weeks) with occa­sional breaks to stock food and other supplies. Curfews were used particularly during the first Intifada, for instance, to prevent the spread of public protests.


Archer Cust in September 1929 regarding the status quo arrangements and rights governing the holy sites in and around Jerusalem, which had been in place since 1757. Cust’s report described in detail which rooms, lamps, stairs, hours of wor­ship, etc. belonged to which religious com­munity and which rites may be practiced in each of the holy places by each reli­gion. The report served the mandatory authorities as a guide in dealing with the poli­tics of the holy places. Although his report did not include all sites (e.g., not the Al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound), the report has since been consi­dered an au­thoritative source on the status quo.

CYBERCRIMES LAW (Palestinian Authority)

Law (Law No. 16) passed by President Mah­moud Abbas in secret in June 2017 officially aimed to reduce cybercrime. Prior to this, there had been difficulties in prosecuting illegal activi­ties in the digital sphere, such as blackmail and identity theft. However, it was quickly used to prosecute hu­man rights ac­tivists and reduce internal opposition leading to calls from civil society, journalists and human rights organizations for it to be re­formed on the grounds that it infringed upon privacy and freedom of expression. Concerns were also raised with regard to the vague specifi­cation of the law. For example, Article 20 op­posed the propagation of news that threat­ened “national unity” but such vague termi­nology could be interpreted in terms of the PAs goals. As a result of objections, the law was amended in 2018 (Law No. 10) with changes such as, inter alia, the removal of Article 20, reduction of harsh punishments, and the omission of criminalization related to loosely defined terms. Despite these changes, many still object to the law as hav­ing re­sulted in decreased press freedom and many suggest that a broader cyber security strat­egy is needed. 



(also spelled Dabkeh) Traditional folk dance of both men and women in the Levant and the national dance of Lebanon, Pales­tine, Syria and Jordan. Dabkeh translates as stomping of the feet. Stomping, as well as jumping and kicking, are moves that are represented in the dabkeh. The leader, called raas (head) or lawwih (waver), is al­lowed to improvise the type of dabkeh being per­formed, while simultaneously twirling a handkerchief or string of beads known as a masbha (similar to a rosary). Meanwhile, the dancers use vocalizations to energize the perfor­mance and punctuate the rhythm. It is also a dance of solidarity and a way of ex­pressing nationalism through art.


(also spelled Dahya or Da­hieh) Israeli military strategy of asymmetric warfare, first outlined by recent Israeli army Chief of General Staff Gadi Eizenkot in 2006, then the Head the Northern Command of the Israeli army. It encompasses the destruc­tion of the civilian infrastructure of regimes deemed to be hostile – i.e. Hizbullah and Ha­mas – and endorses the employment of "dis­proportionate force" to cause great damage and destruction. The doctrine is named after the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, where the Israeli army heavily bombed apartment buildings during the 2006 Lebanon War, claiming they were also used as Hizbullah command centers and built over their bunk­ers. Israel has also implemented the “strat­egy” in Gaza, "designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population", as the Goldstone Report (commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council as part of the Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in Janu­ary 2009) concluded. Critics call the use of ex­cessive and disproportionate force and the targeting of government and civilian infra­structure during military operations a war crime.


(1.) Bombing by the Irgun at Damascus Gate outside the Old City of Jerusalem on 12 December 1947, which according to controversial Israeli mili­tary historian Uri Milstein, left 20 people killed and 50 wounded.
(2.) Attack on 29 December 1947 reported by the Australian Cairns Post via a Reuter’s rep­resentative in Jerusalem, in which Irgun pa­ramilitaries threw a barrel full of explosives at a crowded Arab orange market near Da­mascus Gate in Jerusalem which resulted in the death of at least 5 Palestinians, including a young boy, as well as a British constable. The Scottish Glasgow Herald reported that the at­tack was aimed at a bus queue near the orange market killing 13 Arabs and still other sources maintain that 20 people were killed with 27 wounded.


(also: Alliance of Palestinian Forces or Damascus Alliance) Umbrella group of ten Palestinian factions – DFLP, PFLP, PFLP-GC, PPSF, PLF, Fatah-Uprising, PRCP, Al-Sa‘iqa, Hamas & Islamic Jihad – formed in Sep­tember 1992 as the 'National Democratic & Islamic Front' to oppose the peace negoti­a­tions with Israel and reaffirm the legi­timacy of all forms of struggle to liberate the Pales­tinian homeland. The coalition is based in Damascus and has been largely ineffec­tive, in particular because of fundamental ideo­logical differences between the Islamic groups such as Hamas and secular factions like the PFLP. In 1998, the Damascus Ten re-estab­lished itself as the 'Palestinian Follow-up Com­mittee' in opposition to the signing of the Wye River Memorandum, and a year later the DFLP and PFLP were expelled for their reconciliation with the PLO leadership under Arafat. In 1999, Syrian government au­thorities issued an instruction to the Da­mascus-based factions to end armed actions, a move which meant that the idea of the al­liance as a coordination of armed struggle was abandoned. Thus, today, it has a largely marginalized structure.

Dance of flags

an Israeli national holiday celebrating the “reunification” of Jerusalem following the Six Days War in 1967 which led to the occupation of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and later on, the formal annexation in 1980 through the Basic Law “Capital of Israel”. One of the celebrations during this day (see Jerusalem Day) is the ‘Dance of flags,’ a parade mainly led by extremist religious Zionists through the occupied - and emptied from Palestinians by the police - Old City. The parade is accompanied by police-protected hate speech and violence from the settlers, including screaming “deaths to Arabs” and “may your village burn” while roaming through Palestinian neighborhoods.


(English: House of Arab Children) School located in East Jerusalem that was established by Hind Al-Husseini as an orphanage for victims of the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948. The school is in Dar Hus­seini in Jerusalem, in the home her grandfa­ther built, and has grown into a school, mu­seum, and adjoining college.


Attack by Israeli forces (89th Battalion) on the village of Da­wayima northwest of Hebron on 29 October 1948 as part of “Operation Yoav,” in which men, women, and children were killed in their homes, in the streets, and in the hills as they fled. Many sources contain conflicting numbers of casualties but the massacre was likened by some to Deir Yassin. Israeli histo­rian Benny Morris writes that 80-100 were killed in what was reported as the “first wave” of the attack but notes that other sources reported numbers as high as 500 to 1,000 (the American Consul-General in Jeru­salem). According to a Jewish informant by the name of Sh. or Shabtai Kaplan, the second wave of attacks included blowing up houses with men and women inside them, at least one case of rape, and Kaplan quoted a sol­dier as stating that “cultured soldiers” had turned into “base murderers.”


Days of mass protests called for by Palestinians to express their outrage against certain policies, decisions or inci­dents. They take the shape of demonstra­tions and protest marches, sometimes spark­ing wide­spread riots, and are often accompa­nied by general strikes.


Palestinian security person­nel trained by US-American private contrac­tors and the Jordanian Public Security Direc­to­rate under the mission of US Security Coor­dinator for Israel and the PA, Keith Dayton, during 2005-2010. Lt. General Day­ton was in charge of the vetting, train­ing, equip­ping, and strategic planning of PA spe­cial battalions (nicknamed “Day­ton Forces”). The training fa­cilities (located outside of Am­man) were pro­vided by the US and equipped by Egypt. The mis­sion was controversial with some senior Pen­tagon offic­ers arguing that a US training mis­sion may raise serious objec­tions among Arabs and Israelis claim­ing they were a threat. Many Palestinians in­deed viewed the forces as an exten­sion of the occupa­tion and a means to sup­press PA dis­sent in the West Bank, and there were many accounts of torture and abuse of power.



back-channel peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, announced as a general goal by Presi­dent Donald Trump first during his presiden­tial campaign in 2016. After taking office, he commissioned his son-in-law and senior ad­visor, Jared Kushner, his long-time chief legal officer, Jason Greenblatt, and US ambassa­dor to Israel, David Friedman, to work out such a peace blueprint. Their approach dif­fered from previous “mediation” efforts as they did not envision engaging in a nego­tiating process that would lead to an agree­ment. Instead, they worked backward: pre­senting a comprehensive solution first, and then figuring out how to get there. While the “deal” is yet to be published in its entirety and has been postponed repeatedly it is ex­pected to clearly prioritize Israeli interests over Palestinian rights and ignore basic prin­ciples of international law as well as the idea of two sovereign states. The first part of the peace plan was unveiled during the “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop held in Manama, Bahrain on June 25-26 2019. The workshop showed that the plan focuses on economic cooperation, investment and de­velopment in the Palestinian territories – in line with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s “eco­nomic peace” preference, assuming that in exchange for improving Palestinian lives they will compromise on their rights and aspira­tions. However, Palestinian leaders as well as civil society have already expressed their re­jection of the “deal” in the period leading to the workshop due to the plan failing to ad­dress the Israeli occupation, the calls for Pal­estinians rights and self-determination. Also, the EU and other international organizations such as the IMF have questioned the feasi­bility of the plan due to its lack of providing a political solution and departing from the two-state solution.


(Arabic: Al-Lamar­kaziyya) Party founded in Cairo in January 1913 by Arab elites from Greater Syria to promote reforms, including administrative decentralization in Arab provinces and equal rights for all Arabs within the framework of a multinational Ottoman state. The Decentrali­zation Party was accused of being an agent of Western powers and was opposed by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) and other conservative groups. The party also es­tablished branches in Nablus, Jenin, Jaffa and Tulka­rem, but never became very influen­tial.


(1.) State­ment issued by the Arab Higher Committee on 1 October 1948 in Gaza proclaiming “the full independence of the whole of Pales­tine as bounded by Syria and Lebanon from the north, by Syria and Transjordan from the east, by the Mediterranean from the west, and by Egypt from the south, as well as the establishment of a free and demo­cratic sove­reign State.”

(2.) Document issued by the 19th Palestine National Council convening in Algiers on 15 November 1988 (written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish) declaring the formation of the independent State of Palestine, "The Palestine National Council, in the name of God, and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people; hereby proclaims the establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Holy Jerusalem (Al-Quds Ash-Sharif)", and explicitly endorsing the notion of two states for two people, one Jewish and one Palestinian. The document has thus far been recognized by 160 nations.


(formally: Decla­ration of Principles on Interim Self-Govern­ment Arrangements) Agreement reached be­tween PLO members and Israeli officials af­ter being secretly negotiated in Oslo, Nor­way, and later signed in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993. It provides the guide­lines for future negotiations as well as for a five-year interim autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, followed by a permanent settlement based on UN Secu­rity Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The declaration postponed difficult issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, water, security, and borders, and was accompanied by letters from Yasser Arafat promising to change the PLO Charter, which called for the destruction of Israel, and from Yitzhak Rabin, proclaiming Israel's intent to allow normali­za­tion of life in the occupied territo­ries. Con­tinued negotiations led to the 1994 Oslo I and 1995 Oslo II Accords (see Gaza-Jeri­cho Agreement and Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip).


Term first articulated by Harvard University researcher Dr. Sara Roy in 1987 with regard to the deteriorating eco­nomic situation in the OPT, specifically the process of lowering its economic standard as compared to the pre-1967 period by denying permits to build factories or repair infra­struc­ture. More recently, key features of this process are the effects of the Israeli closure regime, which has defined the Pales­tinian economy since the Oslo period, includ­ing the separation of Gaza and the West Bank, the isolation of Jerusalem, and the checkpoint and permit policies, all of which make any prospects for economic improve­ment and development impossible.


Set of provisions enacted by the British Mandate government in September 1945 against il­legal immigration, establishing military tri­bun­als to try civilians without granting the right of appeal, allowing sweeping searches and seizures, prohibiting publication of books and newspapers, demolishing houses, sealing off particular terri­to­ries, de­taining individu­als administratively for an indefinite period, and imposing curfews, etc. Israel in­corpo­rated the Regulations into its law in 1948 (Gov­ernment and Law Arrangements Ordin­ance) and used them as the legal basis for the military rule imposed on Israel's Palestin­ian citi­zens in the early 1950s. Since the 1967 oc­cupation, Israel has used these regu­lations extensively in the OPT, mostly as pre­text for (collective) punishment and deter­rence (e.g., demolition and sealing of houses, deporta­tions, administrative detention, im­po­sing closures and curfews, and search­ing, con­fiscation and expropriation of prop­erty).


Israeli air attack, bombing the refugees’ food distribution cen­ters in Deir Al-Balah and Khan Younis, Gaza, in January 1949. According to Palestinian re­searcher Salman Abu Sitta and journalist Terry Rempel, an ICRC delegation visiting Gaza detailed six separate incidents of inten­sive Israeli aerial and artillery bombing on Gaza’s city center and the refugee camps of Khan Younis, Breij, Rafah, and Deir Al-Balah. They recorded some 190 civilian deaths and over 400 injured over the course of six days (2-7 January) and stated that the attacks were “acts of cruelty without military objec­tives.”


Arab village on the western out­skirts of Jerusalem which was attacked by Ir­gun and Stern Gang units on 9 April 1948, al­though it had a non-aggression pact with the Haganah. During the assault over 200 vil­lagers were murdered, including many child­ren and women, and the remaining inha­bi­tants were ex­pelled. The mas­sacre, which was condemned by the Jewish Agen­cy, was one of the main incidents that spurred the Arab ex­odus from other loca­tions in Pales­tine. The ‘Deir Yassin Massa­cre’ is comme­morated an­nual­ly on the same day


Coalition launched be­fore the Palestinian local government elec­tions (that were initially scheduled for 2016 but then postponed until May 2017) as a third party option to Fatah and Hamas. It was made up of five left-wing factions (PFLP, DFLP, Palestinian People's Party, Palestinian Democratic Union - Fida, and the Palestinian National Initiative), along with several unaffi­liated independent candidates, and was coor­dinated by Mohammed Hamarsheh.


Israeli Russian and so­cialist immigrant party founded in 1999 after splitting from Natan Sharansky's Yisrael Ba'­Aliya faction. At first it was called the So­ciety and Reform Party and its constituency was made up almost entirely of Russian im­mi­grants. It won two seats in the 1999 elec­tions and ran in a joint list together with the Meretz and Shahar parties in 2003, gain­ing six seats. Two months before the 2006 Knes­set elections the party withdrew its can­di­dacy following party founder Roman Bronf­man's decision not to run in the election. The party did not run in any subsequent elec­tions.


(Arabic: Al-Jabha Ad-Dimu­qratiyya li-Tahrir Filastin) Left-wing Pal­es­tin­ian group formed by Nayef Hawat­meh (Abu Nouf) on 22 February 1969 after a split from the PFLP follow­ing an ideological dis­pute over the neces­sity of adopt­ing a Marxist program. The DFLP began a dialogue with the Israeli extreme left in 1970 and was the first PLO faction to call for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestin­ian conflict based on the two-state solution. The party adopted pragmatic posi­tions and attempted to find a midway posi­tion be­tween PLO Chairman Arafat and his oppo­nents. The DFLP was a member of the United National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU) during the first Intifada, but split in 1990-91 over policy differences with Yasser Abed Rabbo, who formed the non-Marxist FIDA. The DFLP re­fused to attend the Madrid Peace Confe­rence in 1991 and opposed the Oslo process. The majority of its leaders have returned to Palestine since 1996 and re­con­cil­iation with Arafat took place in Cairo in August 1999, where both sides defined red lines on perma­nent status negotiations. The DFLP is represented in the PLO Executive Com­mittee by Taysir Khaled. The group launched an at­tack on an Israeli army base in August 2001 in Gaza, marking the first such attack in 10 years. In 2006, the DFLP held its own na­tional conference and participated in the PLC elections, with politburo member Qais Abdul Karim (Abu Leila) gaining a seat. The party is surrounded by a suite of popular and demo­cratic organizations which have their own pro­grams dealing with the interests of youth, women, and workers.


Democratic Reform Current

Name of the Fatah branch of dismissed Mohammed Dahlan and his supporters, who were ostracized from Fatah in 2016. Dahlan, now living in the UAE after being ousted from the West Bank by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, repeatedly contested the Fatah/PLO and its internal organizations by calling for reform, protesting corruption, and taking part in the 2007 Gaza clashes (see Battle of Gaza) as head of the National Security Council. The Democratic Reform Current submitted a list called “The Future” for the 2021 Palestinian elections (that never took place).


Joint electoral list estab­lished in the run-up to the September 2019 Israeli elections by three parties: Meretz, Democratic Israel and the Green Movement. The list won 4.3% of the votes and 5 seats in the Knesset.


Punitive measure prohibited without exception by Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) but used by Israel against Palestinian civilians. Since 1967, some 1,700 Palestinians have been de­ported. The latest and largest deportation oc­curred in December 1992, when 415 al­leged Islamist activists were expelled to Marj Az-Zuhur in South Lebanon. The UN Security Council re­peatedly condemned Israel for its deporta­tion policy, most recently in 1992 (Resolu­tion 799). Until 1992, none of the de­portees had been charged with a criminal of­fence, nor tried and convicted. Since the sign­ing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993 most deportees have been allowed to return and Israel has not deported any Pales­tinians from the OPT. How­ever, during the Al-Aqsa Intifa­da (2000-05), Israel adopted a new “deter­rent” measure, forcibly trans­ferring relatives of Pal­estinians who had killed and injured Israe­lis from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. In addition, the cases of deporta­tion of for­eign nationals (in­cluding foreign passport-holding Palestini­ans) work­ing in Pal­es­tinian civil so­ciety or stud­ying at Palestinian univer­sities and sup­port­ing BDS activities have con­sidera­bly increased.


An Israeli army unit turning settlers in the West Bank into soldiers. The “Desert Frontier” is mainly made up of settlers originally from the “hilltop youth” (see Hilltop Youth), a religious-nationalist youth who establish outposts without an Israeli legal basis in the West Bank, following the Kahanist ideology (see Kach/Kahane Chai). The idea is that serving in the unit is a way to rehabilitate them. Integrating them to the army also allows the Israeli military to fulfill the “security vacuum” in the Judean Desert with members who grew up in these outposts, worked as shepherds from a young age, and developed skills in tracking and navigation in the field.


Term used by Jews and Palestinians to denote Jews/Palestinians living outside Israel or in exile from Palestine, respectively.



Refers to Jordan’s severance of all administrative and legal ties with the occupied West Bank which was announced by King Hussein on 31 July 1988, a day after he formally dissolved Parliament, ending West Bank representation in the legislature, and three days after he had canceled a $1.3 billion development program for the West Bank, explaining that the measure was de­signed to allow the PLO more responsibility for the area. While King Hussein claimed the move was merely acquiescence to the wishes of the PLO, it was also seen as a clear mes­sage to all of the major players in the Middle East peace process that the notion of the "Jordan option" was not viable from Jor­dan's standpoint.


Plan proposed by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Herzliya Conference on Security on 18 December 2003 to evacuate all settlers from Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank with a stated goal of creating "maximum secu­rity with minimum friction" between Israelis and Palestinians. The Disengagement Plan was introduced in early February 2004, at the peak of international criticism of Sha­ron's project of the Separation Barrier and just ahead of the hearings at the Interna­tional Court of Justice in The Hague. On 16 Feb­ruary 2005, the Knesset passed the Dis­en­gagement Implementation Law by a vote of 59-40 (with 5 abstentions). The plan was implemented during August and Sep­tem­ber 2005. However, Israel retains con­trol of all land borders, air space, and sea access to Gaza.


Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who were either absent (abroad) or displaced during the War of 1967 or who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the Israeli census of September 1967 and were prevented from coming back by Israel. Negotiations on displaced persons started in 1995 but an inability to agree upon the definition of the term ‘displaced persons’, with Israel agreeing to only accept those displaced during the war, brought nego­tiations to a standstill in 1997 (see also Internally Displaced Persons).


Term frequently used by Israel and the US to soften or intention­ally confuse the status of areas occupied by Israel in 1967.


Coor­dinating body established as a result of the September 1995 Oslo II Agreement and jointly operated by both Israelis and Pales­tini­ans to serve as a contact point for of­fi­cials from the two sides. The DCO has mo­ni­tored and managed matters of a joint nature that required coordination, such as se­curity (e.g., joint patrols), incidents involv­ing Israe­lis and/or Palestinians (e.g., road ac­cidents), and administration (e.g., permit re­quests). Currently it is mainly charged with issuing Palestinian residents of the district magnetic cards, work permits for Israel, per­mits for one-time entry reasons, various po­lice per­mits, etc.


(sometimes also: Disinvestment) Activity where people/shareholders with­draw their monetary investments from com­panies or countries. Divestment (or disinvest­ment) is thus the opposite of an in­vestment, i.e., the process of selling an asset for either social, financial, or political goals. With regard to the Israeli occupation, it re­fers to a campaign initiated in 2002, con­ducted by religious and political entities with the aim to pressure the Israeli government to put an end to the oc­cu­pation of Palestin­ian territories. Divest­ment campaigns – disin­vestment from cor­po­ra­tions engaged in or profiting from the occu­pation – targeting Israel can be traced back to the early 1990s but first received media attention in 2002, thanks largely to a petition at Harvard Univer­sity and the Mas­sachusetts Institute of Technology. This was followed later that year by calls from South African anti-Apar­theid activist Desmond Tutu for the interna­tional community to treat Israel as it treated South Africa under Apar­theid. In 2003, the To­ronto assembly of the United Church of Canada voted to boycott goods pro­duced by Jewish settlements; in July 2004, the Pres­byte­rian Church (USA) voted to initiate a process of divestment; and in 2005, the Ge­neva-based World Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, and the New Eng­land Conference of the United Methodist Church followed suit. In May 2006, the On­tario sec­tion of the Canadian Union of Public Em­ployees (CUPE) approved a resolution to "sup­port the international cam­paign of boy­cott, divestment and sanc­tions against Israel until that state recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination." Britain's Na­tional Union of Journalists called for boycott in April 2007, and in May 2008, the largest Irish public sec­tor and services trade union criticized Israeli suppression of the Palestini­ans and endorsed a boycott of Israeli goods and services. In June 2014, the pension board of the United Methodist Church voted to divest from companies con­tributing to the Israeli occu­pation, and the Presbyterian Church voted to divest from Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Moto­rola Solutions – all multinational corpora­tions operating in Israel involved with demo­lition and surveil­lance activities against Palestinians.


Deal reached between Fatah and Hamas and signed on 7 February 2012 aimed at forming a transi­tional government of independent tech­no­crats with a limited mandate (prepar­ing for presidential and legislative elections and starting Gaza reconstruction) with diplo­macy resting with the PLO. Both sides agreed that Mahmoud Abbas would serve as both PA President and Prime Minister of the inte­rim cabinet to overcome international con­cerns about Hamas’ participation and Ha­mas’ re­fusal to appoint then Prime Minister Fayyad as the head of the unity government. The initiative was seen as a step forward in the stalled implementation of the Hamas-Fa­tah reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo on 27 April 2011, but failed to truly reconcile the two Palestinian factions.


(Arabic: Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhra) Mosque built in the 7th Century by the Ummayad Caliph Abdul Malik Bin Mar­wan on Al-Haram Ash-Sharif. It is the spot from which the Prophet Mohammed as­cended into Heaven in Lailat Al-Miraj (Night of the Ascent) on the 27th of the month of Rajah. Various mementos of the Prophet's Nocturnal Journey – a handprint, a footprint, the spot from which he ascended – are found on the Rock. The Rock itself is be­lieved to have come from Paradise and an­gels vi­sited it 2,000 years before the crea­tion of Adam. It also is believed to be closer to heaven than any other spot on earth and is guarded by angels. All sweet waters of the earth have their source under it, Noah's ark rested on the Rock after the flood subsided, and here the angel Israel will blow the last trumpet on the Day of Judgment. The gol­den-domed octagonal oratory was originally com­pleted in 691 (see also Al-Aqsa Mos­que).


Religious community with roots in Islam (from which it split in the 11th Cen­tury) that follows the teachings of Darazi, Hamza Ibn Ali Ibn Ahmad, and Baha Eddin. Druze call themselves muwahidun – mo­notheists (singular: mowahid) who believe in reincarnation, abstract concepts of heaven and hell, and celebrate the granting of the Qur'an to Mohammed. Their religion is se­cre­tive and its principles are not known to many. Druze are a national-religious minority in Lebanon, Syria and Israel, where they represent approx­imate­ly 1% of the popula­tion, living mainly in the Golan Heights, Ga­li­lee and Carmel areas. Druze are loyal to the state of Israel and typically serve in the Israeli army.


Products, materials and tech­nologies normally used for civilian pur­poses, but which may have military applica­tions, hence there is an international obliga­tion to control their trade. With regard to exports to the OPT, the Israeli government enforces additional controls, which it has unilaterally applied for the first time in 1976 on certain chemicals and fertilizers. Israel’s “dual use list” has been progressively ex­panded since and includes, as of 2019, 56 items deemed as “security threats” that are restricted in the West Bank and Gaza, in­cluding fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, ma­terials, machinery, and equipment. In addi­tion, the list contains another 62 items for­bidden in Gaza only, including reinforcing steel, cement, aggre­gates, insulating panels, timber for furniture manufacture, and many more. The World Bank and other interna­tional organizations estimate that easing these restrictions would bring an estimated 6% growth in the West Bank economy and 11% in Gaza by 2025.


(also: dunam) Unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and still used in many countries formerly part of it. Originally the size of a dunum was 919.3 square meters, but in 1928 the metric dunum of 1,000 square meters (approximately ¼ acre) was adopted, and is still used in Palestine, Jordan, Leba­non, and Turkey.



Longstanding Israeli plan – thus far not implemented – to build a large new Israeli neighborhood in the nar­row undeveloped land corridor running east of Je­ru­salem. Construction of E-1 would break the West Bank into two parts, while isolating East Jerusalem from the rest of Pal­estinian terri­tory, thus making a viable fu­ture Palestinian state impossible. The plan comprises about 12,000 dunums of land, a significant part of which is privately owned Palestinian land but was declared 'state land' by Israel in the 1980s and is today included in the municipal area of the Ma'ale Adumim settlement. In 2002, then Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer signed the Master Plan for E-1, and al­though due to international pressure it re­mained basically shelved, the “Judea and Sa­maria District Police” headquarters have been situated there since 2008. In December 2012, in response to the UN approving the Pales­tinian bid for "non-member observer state" status, Israel announced that it was resum­ing planning and zoning work in E-1 area, and in September 2017, it recom­menced the ear­lier halted construction of parts of the East­ern Ring Road (see below).



Area comprising the 6.5 km2 of the pre-1967 Arab East Jeru­salem mu­nici­pal bounda­ries, which were under Jordanian administration from 1949 to 1967, and 70 km2 of West Bank land belonging to some 28 sur­round­ing vil­lages that was occupied and sub­sequently illegally annexed by Is­rael fol­low­ing the 1967 War. Since then, consecu­tive Israeli governments have pursued a policy aimed at changing Jerusalem’s Pales­tinian-Arab character by 'Judaizing' it, and creating a new demographic and geopolitical reality that would thwart any future attempt to chal­lenge Israeli sovereignty over the en­tire city. Al­though Israel unilaterally pro­c­laimed Jerusa­lem as its capital on 28 June 1967, subse­quently extended its jurisdiction to the east­ern part of the city, and reaf­firmed this de facto annexation by declaring Jerusalem its ‘eternal undivided capital’ through its 1980 Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capi­tal of Israel, East Jerusalem remains occu­pied territory under international law. Thus the Fourth Geneva Con­ven­tion is applicable and Israel has no claim to East Jerusalem by virtue of having taken control of it militarily. Therefore, the vast majority of the interna­tional community has consistently de­nounced Israeli attempts to change the cha­rac­ter and status of the city, and has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem (conse­quently, most foreign embassies and consulates are in Tel Aviv).


Transboun­dary aquifer located and recharged almost entirely in the West Bank, with a feeding and storage area spread over 2,200 km2. A small part of recharge is located west of the Green Line, including in West Jerusalem. The Oslo II Agree­ment, in which water became an inte­rim is­sue, estimated the recharge of the EAB at 172 mcm/year, predominantly in the mountains of the West Bank, where most rainfall occurs. This aquifer feeds the lower Jordan River, and is therefore considered a Palestinian contri­bution to the waters of the Jordan River Basin. Additionally, some of the groundwater emerges as springs (such as Al-Auja near Jeri­cho). Although Pal­es­tinians should have full sovereignty over all the EAB re­sources that lie be­neath the West Bank, Israel utilizes millions of cubic meters each year through wells, with the highest amount of well pump­ing oc­curring in Israeli settlements near the main fault in the Jordan Rift valley.


A settlement con­struc­tion project originally approved during the Ba­rak Administration (1999-2001) with the aim of connecting the Ma’ale Adumim settle­ment with the Pisgat Ze'ev settlement and Mount Scopus, thus dividing Arab East Jeru­salem in half. The plan involves the confisca­tion of private Palestinian property and in­cludes the construction of a light railway as well as Jewish-only housing and business pro­jects. (See also E-1 Plan).


Bypass road connecting the Jewish settlements located east of Jeru­salem, stretching from Beit Safafa, via Sur Baher, Umm Tuba, Wadi Nar and Abu Dis, with each other and with West Jerusalem, including a tunnel built under the Mount of Olives. Construction on the most controver­sial part of the route (Route 4370) started in September 2017 and opened in January 2019. It is divided in the middle by an eight-meter high wall, the eastern side of which serves settlers from the north, who can now reach French Hill, Mount Scopus and the Jeru­salem-Tel Aviv highway more easily from Anatot, Geva Binyamin and Route 60, while Palestini­ans can only use the western side which does not allow them to enter Jerusalem (thus Pal­estinians refer to it as “Apartheid Road”). The Eastern Ring Road’s southern ex­tension near Sur Baher (dubbed American Highway) was also completed in 2019.


Arrangement envisaged un­der the UN Partition Resolution of 29 No­vem­ber 1947 by which the three successor enti­ties in Mandatory Palestine – the Arab state, the Jewish state, and the international en­clave (“Corpus Separatum”) – would con­tin­ue with one currency and within a cus­toms and tariff union.



English: The feast of the sacri­fice) The second obligatory Muslim festival (after Eid Al-Fitr), the origins of which go back to the Prophet Abraham who demon­strated his willingness to sacrifice all that he loved most dearly for God's sake, a commit­ment which is commemorated in the last rite of the pilgri­mage to Mecca. A four-day feast completes the rites of pilgrimage and takes place on the 10th-13th of Dhul Al-Hijjah.


(English: The feast of breaking the fast) Three-day feast marking the end of Ra­madan and celebrating a time of thanksgiv­ing to God who has enabled Mus­lims to over­come the difficulties of the month of fast. It takes place on the 1st of Shawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calen­dar.


Israeli military commis­sion, led by Israeli former general Giora Eil­and, charged with conducting an internal in­vestigation of the Gaza aid flotilla (Mavi Mar­mara) incident of May 2010 – which re­sulted in the death of 10 Turkish activists. The Com­mission’s report, released in July 2010, con­cluded that mistakes had been committed at all levels of command, that bloodshed could have been reduced or even pre­vented by po­lit­ical means, and that responsibility for the raid on the flotilla rests with the Israeli army, not the gov­ernment.


(Hebrew acronym for: To the City of Da­vid; also known as Ir David Foundation) Israe­li organization founded in 1986 that aims to increase Jewish presence in the Pal­estinian East-Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, lo­cated right outside the Old City, by purchas­ing property for Jewish settlers (as of 2019, at least 400 settlers had moved to Silwan ac­cording to the Israeli NGO Terrestrial Jerusa­lem). It also runs an archeologi­cal park that promotes the biblical (Jewish) history of the area and manages the touristic settlement site ‘City of David’, on behalf of the state of Israel.


Seven-part peace plan for the Middle East proposed by Binyamin (Benny) Elon, former leader of the extreme right-wing Israeli party Moledet, in 2002. The plan consists of (1) a government decision dec­laring the PA an en­emy; (2) military ac­tion to destroy the Palestinian terror infra­structure; (3) nullification of the Oslo Ac­cords and dismantlement of the PA; (4) after the ces­sation of hostilities, commencement of ne­go­tiations under international auspices (with the refugee problem to be solved through re­location in Arab countries and the dismantle­ment of refugee camps); (5) accep­tance of two countries for two peoples on two sides of the Jordan River: the Jor­danian-Palestin­ian state with Amman as its capital, and the Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital; (6) Arabs remaining in Judea, Sama­ria & Gaza would become citizens of the Jor­danian-Pal­estinian state, while Palestinians holding Israe­li citizenship would be of­fered alternate citi­zenship in the Jordanian-Pales­tin­ian state; and (7) expulsion of those Arabs remaining in Judea, Samaria and Gaza who breach the terms of this plan to the Jor­da­nian-Pal­es­tinian state.


Palestinian gov­ernment formed by President Mahmoud Ab­bas following Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip and subsequent dis­missal from the PA government on 14 June 2007. The emer­gency government was sworn in on 17 June 2007 with Salam Fayyad as Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Hamas disputed the legiti­macy of this new Fatah gov­ernment, as­sert­ing that Ismail Haniyeh "re­mains the head of the govern­ment even if it was dis­solved by the presi­dent" and is exercising de facto au­thority in the Gaza Strip.



(English: Land of Israel) Refers to the territories, which were part of the Jewish Kingdom(s), i.e., Palestine and part of today’s Jordan, in the Hebrew Bible. Though there is no explicit biblical call for the estab­lishment of the State of Israel in all of Eretz Is­rael, right-wing and other par­ties reject Is­raeli withdrawal from any territory consi­dered Eretz Israel cur­rently under Israeli con­trol, including the OPT.


Systematic elimination of an ethnic group or groups from a region or society, through deportation, forced emigra­tion, or genocide. As such it is considered a war crime/crime against humanity under in­ternational law. Scholars and activists have used the term in the Palestine-Israel conflict with regard to Israel’s efforts to Judaize Pa­lestine through its discriminatory and restric­tive policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, in­clud­ing denial of permits, movement limita­tions, property destruction, land confisca­tion, and population transfer (of settlers) to the Pales­tinian territories.


see Irgun



Diplomatic initiative developed in November 2006 by France, Spain and Italy, which aimed at finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestin­ian conflict. The plan included five ele­ments: an immediate ceasefire, the forma­tion of a Palestinian unity government that would re­ceive international recognition, prisoner ex­change between Israel and the PA, talks be­tween the Israeli and Palestinian prime mi­nis­ters, and deployment of an in­ternation­al force in Gaza to reinforce the ceasefire. While Pal­estinians welcomed the plan in prin­ciple, Israel did not take it se­riously on the grounds that it was not coor­dinated with the whole EU.


EU Civilian Crisis Manage­ment Mission in the Gaza Strip, which was mandated to provide a third-party presence at the Rafah crossing point in order to build up the Palestinian capacity on all aspects of border management and contribute to build­ing confidence between the PA and Israel. Follow­ing the Hamas take­o­ver of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the EU BAM no longer manned the facility; its current mandate was ex­tended on 28 June 2019.


EU Police mission estab­lished on 14 November 2005 under the EU's Euro­pean Security and Defense Policy in or­der to, according to a 30 November 2005 BBC news article, “reform and rebuild the police force in the West Bank and Gaza." Operations be­gan on 1 January 2006 and are designed to support the PA in taking respon­sibility for law and order, and in particular, in improving its civil police and law enforce­ment capacity. EUPOL COPPS is headquar­tered in Ramallah with currently 70 in­ter­na­tional and 45 na­tion­al staff. As of 2019 the Head of Mission is Kauko Aaltomaa.


EU's rep­resentative to the Middle East Peace Process, who also acts as the EU envoy to the Middle East Quartet. The position is cur­rent­ly held by Dutch diplomat Susanna Ters­tal (September 2018-February 2020). Gener­ally, the Special Envoy works in close con­tacts with all major players towards the re­sumption of meaningful negotiations with the aim of achiev­ing a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.


(Arabic: Tanfithyeh) 'Police' or ‘special operational’ force formed by the late Interior Minister Said Siam (Hamas) in May 2006 as a counter to the Fatah-domi­nated PA Security Forces to defend the Ha­mas government (officials and establish­ments) in the Gaza Strip. In January 2007, President Abbas declared the Executive Force illegal un­til such time as it would inte­grate into the national security apparatus. The militia, under the leadership of Abu Ob­aidah Al-Jarrah, en­gaged in bloody clashes with Fatah forces, which ended with Hamas seizing control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. In October 2007, the Executive Force was merged with the official police force controlled by the Hamas’ Ministry of Inte­rior.


Controversial amendment to the ‘Basic Law: The Knesset’, which passed in the Knesset in July 2016. With the support of 90 out of the 120 MKs, it allows for the dis­missal of an incumbent MK who incites to racism or supports an armed struggle against Israel. Opponents criticize that the law thus allows for the Israeli Jewish majority in the Knesset to further delegitimize and margi­nalize the elected political representatives of the Palestinian minority in Israel on the basis of purely political and ideological considera­tions. In May 2018, the High Court of Justice dismissed one of two petitions against the Law. 


Legal term referring to the killing of one or more persons by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial pro­ceed­ing or legal process. Israel preferably uses “extrajudicial killing” over “targeted killings” with regard to its as­sassinations of alleged Palestinian militants. Extrajudicial killings are always illegal under international law.




(formally: Bill for the Removal from the Internet of Content Whose Publica­tion Constitutes an Offense) Proposed Israeli legislation submitted by the Israeli Ministry of Justice in 2016, which passed in the Knesset in its first reading on 17 July 2018, which demands deleting "inciting" content from social media. If passed into law, it will authorize the court to issue orders to delete internet content which was classi­fied as harm­ful to "human safety, public, economic, state or vital infrastructure safety," including blocking content of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and pri­vate blogs. The bill was halted before passing into law by Prime Mi­nister Netanyahu, be­cause there was con­cern that in its current format, police could ask a court to remove anything from the In­ternet without the per­son who put it online being able to respond in court.


(also: Camp 1391) Controversial secret Israeli prison, under the control of the military intelligence. Located inside an army base near the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, the facility had been erased from maps and aerial photo­graphs and its existence was unknown to the public until 2003, when lawyers issued ha­beas corpus writs for Palestinian clients who had disappeared while being detained there during the mass round-ups of 2002. It has housed many Lebanese nationals abducted by the Israeli army as hostages, Iraqi defec­tors, and a Syrian intelligence officer, most of whom were released as part of a prisoner swap with Hizbullah in January 2004. At a lat­er date, scores of Palestinians were incar­ce­rated there for interrogation. Facility 1391 has never been independently inspected and precise information about conditions in the prison is difficult to obtain due to a govern­ment-imposed information blackout and the fact that even the ICRC is denied access, but allegations of torture and mistreatment are common. Israeli officials claim that Camp 1391 "is no longer used since 2006 to detain or interrogate sus­pects," but several peti­tions filed to the Israeli Su­preme Court by the Committee Against Tor­ture to examine the facility have been re­jected.


Eight‑point peace plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict proposed by then Prince (later King) Fahd of Saudi Ara­bia in August 1981, calling for: (1) Israeli with­draw­al from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; (2) removal of all Israeli settlements established on Arab land since 1967; (3) guaranteed freedom of wor­ship in the holy places for all religions; (4) affirmation of the Palestinian people’s right of return to their homes and compen­sation for those who de­cide not to do so; (5) UN control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for a transitional period (not exceeding a few months); (6) establishment of a Pales­tinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; (7) affir­mation of the right of all states in the region to live in pace; (8) the UN or some of its members guarantee and implement the prin­ciples listed above. The plan was adopted with minor changes at the Arab League summit in Fez, Morocco, in Sep­tember 1982 (see also Fez-Plan).



Israeli legislation re­garding the right to live with a (foreign) spouse in Israel. An Israeli census conducted imme­diately after the occupation of Jerusa­lem in 1967 counted 66,000 Palestinians liv­ing in East Jerusalem within the new munici­pal bor­ders. While these Palestinians were classified as permanent residents of Jeru­sa­lem (accord­ing to the Law of Entry into Israel 1952, Entry to Israel Regulations 1974), those who were not re­corded due to ab­sence – whether studying abroad, visiting relatives elsewhere, etc. – later had to apply for family reuni­fi­cation through the Ministry of the Interior. Until this day, any Palestinian who is not clas­sified by the Is­raeli govern­ment as a per­manent resident of East Jeru­salem – in­clud­ing spouses, children and other relatives of East Jerusalem permanent residents – must apply for family reunifica­tion to reside legally there. The decision to grant or deny these appli­cations is, according to Israeli law, ulti­mately at the discretion of the Interior Minis­ter, who is not required to justify re­fusal. In May 2002, Israel suspended the processing of family reunifi­cation claims be­tween Pal­estinian citizens of Israel and Pal­es­tinians from the West Bank and Gaza. The sub­se­quent 2003 Citizenship and Entry Law (ex­tended annually, most recently in Novem­ber 2019), prohibits citizenship, per­manent resi­dency and/or temporary resi­dency status to West Bank/Gaza Palestinians married to Israe­li citizens and denies citizen­ship to child­ren born to an Israeli citizen and resi­dent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Every­one of 14 years and older is considered an adult and cannot receive legal status un­der the family reunifi­cation provision (see also Citizenship and Entry Law and Law of Entry into Israel).


(also spelled Fateh, Arabic: Harakat At-Tahrir Al-Fil­istiniya = Pales­tinian Liberation Movement, with the first letters of the Arab­ic in re­verse order giving Fatah = con­quest) Political movement for­mally founded in Ku­wait in 1959 by Yasser Arafat and as­so­ci­ates (including Salah Khalaf, Khalil Al-Wazir, Moh­ammed Yousef Najjar, Ka­mal Ad­wan) and grown out of a clandestine organization es­tablished by Pal­estin­ian students in 1957 ad­vocating armed struggle to liber­ate all of Pa­les­tine by Pales­tinians, while remain­ing inde­pendent of all Arab governments. Fatah is the largest and strongest PLO faction, and was headed by Arafat from its founding until his death on 11 November 2004. Fatah be­gan as a net­work of un­der­ground cells, but reorganized with a Cen­tral Com­mittee in 1963 and took control of the PLO as the largest single bloc at the 5th PNC meeting in Cairo in 1969. It adopted the principle of po­litical pluralism within the PLO and fol­lowed a guer­rilla strategy (with its mili­tary wing Al-As­sifa and squads operating underground in the OPT known as Fatah Hawks and Black Panth­ers) until 1972, when it formulated a new pol­icy putting guerrilla war­fare as only one of various means of strug­gle. Fatah ad­vo­cates a democratic, secular, multi-reli­g­ious state, played a cen­tral role in the first Inti­fada, and was a mem­ber of the United Na­tional Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU). It also had a leading role in the second or Al-Aqsa Intifada, during which its military wing (Al-Aqsa Mar­tyrs Brigades) were formed. Fa­tah is currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas and represented in the PLO Executive Com­mittee by three members. Fatah was badly defeated by Hamas in the January 2006 PLC elections, where it gained only 45 seats out of the 132 (as opposed to Hamas’ 72 seats) and following inter-Palestinian fighting and Hamas' military takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, President Abbas dismissed the Hamas government and appointed a new Fa­tah-led Emergency Govern­ment. However, its authority has effectively been limited to the West Bank. On 12 October 2017, Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement with Ha­mas in Cairo. The implementation of the agreement reached Fatah.png a deadlock in early 2018, after a failed assas­sination attempt on then Prime Minis­ter Rami Hamdal­lah dur­ing a visit to the Ga­za Strip. As of 2019 the schism between both movements pers­ists.


Fatah’s highest decision-making and executive body, which was established in 1963. The current Central Committee was elected during Fatah’s 7th General Convention in December 2016, and has 23 members. In February 2017, the Com­mittee elected Mahmoud Al-Aloul as Fa­tah’s first ever Vice-Chairman, putting him first in line for the succession of the party’s Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.


Gathering of the Fatah leadership, which did not take place for 20 years until it was resumed and held from 4-9 August 2009 in Bethlehem to discuss the state of negotiations and issues such as re­sistance towards the Israeli occupation, Jeru­salem, refugees, and Gaza and to agree on a political program. This 6th Convention was attended by over 2,500 participants, elected new members for its Central Committee and Revolutionary Council, and resolved that Fa­tah supports a two-state solution based on the borders of 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital, a fair negotiated solution to the ref­ugee problem, armed struggle, and, in the case that negotiations will fail, struggle to­wards a binational state in all of historical Palestine and a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state under occupation. At its 7th Convention in December 2016 in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected as Chair­man. In addition, the party’s leadership in the form of a new Central Committee and a new Revolutionary Council were elected. In­ternal opposition (such as Mohammed Dah­lan’s Reform Bloc) was sidelined and ex­cluded from participation.


Popular youth movement that emerged as a branch of Fatah during the first Intifada, where they mainly attacked Israeli army targets and dealt with killing Palestin­ian collaborators. They disappeared or were disbanded after the Oslo Accords, but re-emerged during the second Intifada as an offshoot of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, where they were identified with Musa Ara­fat, then head of the PA's military intelli­gence. The Hawks held a convention in Ra­fah, Gaza, on 21 September 2004, attended by 3,000 mem­bers of Fatah, and an­nounced its re-establish­ment as a separate entity within Fatah. The group’s activity has nearly va­nished since 2004.


(Arabic: Fatah Al-Islam) Alleged Sunni Islamist break-away of the Damascus-based Fatah Uprising that was formed in late 2006. It is said to be inspired by Al-Qaeda and wants to bring religion back to the Pales­tinian cause. It acts mainly in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon with headquarters in the Nahr Al-Bared camp. The group, which is led by Shaker Al-Abassi, a Palestinian refu­gee from Jericho, took part in violent clashes with the Lebanese Army in May-June 2007. The original ranks of the group contained sev­eral members who had been trained by the US in Saudi Arabia in order to fight against the Soviets in the Soviet-Afghan War. The group also initially received US funding through the Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in order to weaken Syria. The US State Department classified the group as a terrorist organization on 9 August 2007, but it was not classified as such any­more starting from 24 November 2010. While factions of Fatah Islam remain, the ex­istence and status of the group is un­clear, especial­ly after a large portion of their lea­dership was destroyed.


(1.) Second-ranking decision-making body of Fa­tah (after the Central Committee) with up to 148 mem­bers. It is the highest authority in Fatah when convened between two sessions of the Gen­eral Convention. Its jurisdictions include fol­lowing up and executing decisions of the Gen­eral Convention, monitoring Fatah opera­tions, including the work of the Central Commit­tee, and military affairs.

(2.) Anti-Arafat faction (short: Fatah RC; also referred to as the Abu Nidal Group or Or­gan­ization) established by Sabri Khalil Al-Banna (Abu Nidal) after it split from Fatah in 1974.


(Arabic: Fatah Al-Intifada; also referred to as Abu Musa Faction) Syrian-backed Palestinian splinter group founded by former Fatah Colonel Sa’ed Musa Muragha (Abu Musa) that broke away from main­stream Fatah in 1983, after blaming Arafat’s corrup­tion for the in­effective re­sponse to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. In 1985-88, the group took part in the ‘War of the Camps,’ in Lebanon. Fatah Uprising is based in Damas­cus, with guerrillas in Syria and Leba­non. It does not play a role in today's Pal­estinian politics and is not part of the PLO, op­posing any politi­cal set­tlement with Israel.


(1.) Name applied to a section of southern Lebanon which was controlled by the Fatah-dominated PLO during its years in Lebanese exile (1970-1982) and which some claimed had virtually become a "state within a state."

(2.) More recently, the term is occasionally used in journalism in reference to the West Bank-Gaza split since 2007 with the West Bank considered as Fatahland as opposed to “Hamastan” (Gaza).


(plural fatawa) Islamic religious ruling or legal statement. It is issued by a recog­nized religious authority in Islam (e.g., a mufti, imam, sheikh or qadi) who pro­nounces a scho­larly opinion on a matter of Islamic law, which the respective authority bases on evi­dence from Islamic sources. A fatwa is not necessarily "binding" on the faithful.


Proactive plan by former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad outlined in a booklet entitled "Palestine: Ending the Oc­cupation, Establishing the State" (August 2009), which promoted building a Palestin­ian state by 2011. It included an assessment of institu­tional state-building needs (e.g., sewage, air­port, schools, improved educa­tion and legal systems, new cities, afforda­ble housing, bet­ter trained troops, better infrastructure and use of natural energy sources and water, end­ing the Palestinian economy's depen­dence on Israel) and set a two-year timeta­ble for its implementation to build positive facts on the ground. The plan won praise from the UN and the West but drew criti­cism from Israel for its call to unilateral action in disputed territory (e.g., building in "Area C") and from Hamas and Islamic Jihad claiming the plan was serving Israeli inter­ests. Under the Fayyad reform plan the Pal­estinian territory began to show positive economic growth rates and both the IMF and the World Bank praised the PA’s eco­nomic policies. However, Fayyad’s govern­ment was constrained by fiscal crisis trig­gered by growing domestic debt and dimi­ nishing international aid, the numerous re­stric­tions imposed by Israel, and internal feuds that even­tually led to his resigna­tion in April 2013, at which time his reform plans also came to an end.


Term sometimes used with refer­ence to the Palestinian reform plans and in­stitution-/state-building agenda, introduced and promoted by former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad between 2009 and 2013 (see Fayyad Plan).


(Arabic: Fida’iyyun; singular: Fida’i) Palestinian fighters, often ready to sacrifice themselves in their struggle against Zionism and suppression and for a liberated Pales­tine. Inspired by guerrilla movements in Viet­nam, Algeria and Latin America, Pales­tinian fedayeen grew from within the refu­gee population in the early 1950s, deter­mined to in­tensify cross-bor­der oper­ations against Israe­lis and their allies. After the 1967 War, Pal­es­tinian fedayeen groups were unit­ed under the um­brella of the PLO.


Proposal outlined in the so-called Minority Plan that served as an al­ternative to the UN Partition Plan drawn up by the newly established UNSCOP mission that examined the situation in Palestine in early 1947. The mission’s resulting report in­cluded two proposals: A Proposal for a Fed­eral State, which was submitted by India and backed by Iran and Yugoslavia, and the Parti­tion Plan, supported by the majority of the UNSCOP-members. The Federal State Plan pro­posed a union of Arab and Jewish re­gions, with Jerusalem as the capital of the union, albeit located within the Arab part.


(also: Federal Plan) see United Arab Kingdom Plan


(singular: Fellah) Arabic term for farmers/peasants.


Peace proposal based on a version of the Fahd Plan (see above) adopted at the 12th Arab League summit in Fez, Morocco on 9 September 1982. The plan, which implic­itly recognized Israel's right to exist, consisted of the following eight points: (1) Israeli with­drawal from all captured Arab ter­ritories, in­cluding East Jerusalem; (2) dismantlement of Israeli settle­ments in Arab territories; (3) as­surance of freedom of wor­ship for all reli­gions; (4) recognition of the rights of the Pal­es­tinians to self-determination, to be im­plemented through their exclusive rep­re­sent­ative, the PLO; (5) a several-month tran­si­tion period for Gaza and the West Bank under the auspices of the UN; (6) establish­ment of a Pal­estinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; (7) a guarantee from the UN Secu­rity Council for peace and secu­rity of all states in the region; and (8) a guarantee from the UN Se­cu­rity Council for the imple­mentation of the above-mentioned prin­ciples. The plan was endorsed by the PNC at its 16th session in Algiers on February 1983, while Israel and some PLO fac­tions rejected it.


(Arabic: Al-Ittihad Ad-Dimuqrati Al-Filas­tini, with the first letters in re­verse order giv­ing FIDA; English: Palestinian Democratic Union) Reformist movement established in March 1990 as a splinter faction of the DFLP and headed by Yasser Abed Rabbo until 2002, who also represented FIDA in the PLO Execu­tive Committee until his departure from the movement. He was replaced by Zahira Kamal who became the first female leader of a Pal­estinian political party. FIDA consists mainly of West Bank residents. It advo­cates demo­cratiza­tion in the Pal­estinian arena, fo­cuses on a party system that re­flects political plu­ral­ism and democ­racy, and heavily sup­ported the Oslo process. In the 1996 PLC election, FIDA secured one seat, while it ran in the 2006 PLC elections as part of the coalition “The Alternative”, which won two seats. It also ran in the 2017 local elec­tions, where it won 7 seats (0.45% of the vote). Current General Sec­retary is Saleh Ra­fa’at.


Unresolved issues be­tween the PA and Israel that are to be re­solved in (and not before) the Final Status Negotiations, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neigh­bors, and other issues of common interest (Oslo II Accord, Chapter 5, Article XXXI, 5).


Provided for in the 1993 (Oslo) Declaration of Principles, to be the second part of a two-phase timetable. The first part involved a five-year "interim" or "transitional" period during which Israel was to gradually with­draw from Pales­tinian cen­ters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and transfer powers to the Pales­tinians. The ne­go­tiations were supposed to begin “as soon as possible, but not later than the be­ginning of the third year of the interim pe­riod”, i.e., in May 1996, and to cover “re­main­ing issues, including: Jerusalem, refu­gees, set­tlements, security ar­rangements, bor­ders, relations and cooperation with other neigh­bors, and other issues of com­mon interest.” On 4 May 1999, the interim phase ended with no permanent status agreement in sight. In the Sharm Esh-Sheikh Agreement of 4 Sep­tember 1999, the begin­ning of final status talks was re­scheduled for 13 September 1999, with an overall agree­ment to be reached by 13 September 2000. As of the end of 2019, final status negotia­tions have yet to take place.



Body formed in the early 1970s in Beirut by senior Fatah officers, initially as a personal security force for the PLO leader­ship headed by Yasser Arafat. The group soon became one of the PLO’s elite units serving as intelligence and counter-terrorist service, mainly against internal rivals and other Pal­estinian commanders and factions. Having played an important role in internal politics, they remained rather marginal with regard to the armed struggle against Israel. With the establishment of the PA in 1994, Force 17 was officially merged with the Presiden­tial Security Force (Al-Amn Ar-Ri'asah), but in reality, the unit still existed apart from the official security forces as Arafat’s per­sonal security as well as under­taking intelligence and counter-terror­ism operations. The force was estimated at some 3,000 mem­bers, headed by Brig.-Gen­. Faisal Abu Sharkh and based in Gaza. It was added to Israel’s list of "terrorist" enti­ties in December 2001. There are a several narratives regarding how the unit got its name; one being that 1 and 7 were the last digits of the phone number of the unit’s first commander, Hassan Salameh, another states that reference is made to 17 Pales­tinians killed at the battle of Karameh in 1968, while a third claims the name derives from the lo­cation of the unit’s office in Beirut: 17 Faqa­hani Street. In December 2007, the Force was merged into the Presi­dential Guard and the National Security Forces.


(for­mally: Law on Disclosure Requirements for Re­cipients of Support from a Foreign State Entity) Israeli law passed in 2011, which im­poses invasive reporting requirements on NGOs, such as submitting and publishing quar­terly reports on any funding received from foreign governments or publicly-funded foreign donors. Because Palestinian NGOs in Israel and all NGOs which promote Palestin­ian rights do not seek funding from Israeli governmental sources and have li­mited access to private funding, the law par­ticu­larly targets them.


Israeli legislation that would see thousands of dunums of private Palestinian land seized and dozens of illegal Israeli outposts retroac­tively legalized (as reg­ular settlements), and is seen as paving the way to an eventual annexation of the West Bank. The bill runs counter to four dec­ades of Israeli High Court rulings against the use of private Palestinian property for settler homes. It allows the Israeli government to seize the private Palestinian land and hold it until there is a final resolution of the conflict. It passed a prelimi­nary read­ing in the Knes­set with 60:49 in December 2016 and a sec­ondary reading with 60:52 in February 2017. Israel’s Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit has argued that the law is unconstitutional and refused to defend the state against the petition to the High Court of Justice by a consortium of 13 NGOs and groups that tried to strike down the legislation. On 20 August 2017, the state, in a response prepared by private lawyer Harel Arnon, asked the High Court to reject those legal challenges, saying the law was constitutional under Israeli law and calling it “a humane, proportional and reasonable response to the genuine dis­tress of Israeli resident” (see also Regulation Law).


International agreement, which was adopted at the close of a diplomatic conference for the estab­lish­ment of international conventions for the protection of victims of war in Geneva on 12 August 1949 and entered into force on 21 October 1950. It contains standards for the treatment of civilians during times of war "in the hands" of an enemy and under any mili­tary occupation by a foreign power. To date, 194 countries have ratified the convention, including Israel. However, Israel refuses to recognize the applicability of the Ge­neva Con­vention to the OPT. Particularly rele­vant claus­es in the Convention forbid degrading or de­hu­manizing treatment of occupied peoples and protection from coercion, cor­poral pu­nishment, torture, the confiscation of per­sonal property, and collective punish­ment. Further, the Fourth Geneva Conven­tion for­bids the transfer of part of the oc­cupier’s population to the occupied ter­rito­ries and ensures freedom of move­ment, es­pecially for medical personnel.



One of the first plans re­garding the Jordan River waters. The plan, which was drafted in 1913 by the Ottoman Director of Works for Palestine, Georges Franghia, proposed using the Jordan River system for irrigation in the Jordan Valley and generation of electricity. The plan was spon­sored by the Otto­man Empire, and floun­dered with its fall after World War I.


Hunger strike by over 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners that began on 17 April 2017 in protest of the conditions inside Israeli jails and lasted 40 days. Demands of the hunger strikers in­cluded access to education, proper medical care, an end to the practice of solitary con­finement, regular visitation rights, and, most importantly, an end to administrative deten­tion (imprisonment without charge and trial for renewable periods of six month). The strike mobilized the Palestinian streets and revived esteem for the prisoners’ movement with many solidarity hunger strikes, sit-ins, days of rage, and general strikes seen across the OPT. The hunger strike ended on 27 May after reaching a compromise with Israel for additional family visits.


party list that represented the small PLO faction Palestin­ian Arab Front (PAF) which was formed prior to the January 2006 PLC elections. It was led by Sa­lim Al-Bardeni and received 4,398 votes (0.44%), which was far below the 2%-barrier to gain parliamentary representation.


Palestinian party list formed for the January 2006 PLC elections, representing the Popular Struggle Front, the Kafa’ (Enough) movement, and the Green Party, and headed by Ahmad Maj­dalany. The list received only 7,127 votes (0.72%) and failed to win a seat.

Freedom list

Independent list of 56 candidates for the 2021 elections (that never took place) submitted by Nasser Al-Qudwa, former Fatah Central Committee member and nephew of Yasser Arafat, and endorsed by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail for his role during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Al-Qudwa had announced his intention to run on a separate list already in early March 2021, which led to his expulsion from Fatah altogether. The Freedom List was headed by Al-Qudwa, with Marwan’s wife Fadwa Barghouti coming second and Abdel Fatah Hamayel, a leader of the first intifada, third. Hani Al-Masri, the director general of Masarat, the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies, also figured on the list.


French call on the international com­munity to help restart the peace process and focus talks on formu­lating parameters for a solution to the core issues of a final peace deal in line with a two-state solution. On 3 June 2016, France hosted a first interna­tional ministerial meeting in Paris, attended by 26 nations, exclud­ing Israel and Palestini­ans, which ended with a vague call to work on a package of economic and security in­centives and hold a Mideast Peace Summit later the year. In November 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an­nounced that his government would not par­ticipate in the French initiative. Neverthe­less, over 40 for­eign ministers and senior diplomats from 75 countries gathered for an international peace conference on 15 Janu­ary 2017 in Par­is, which ended with a state­ment condemn­ing settlements. Neither Israelis nor Pales­tin­ians participated. While Fatah had endorsed the summit, other Pal­estinian factions were opposed saying no breakthrough is expected from such an event.


(formally: Non-paper on the Revival of a Dynamic of Peace in the Middle East) Mideast peace plan for a Euro­pean Ini­tiative, introduced by France in Feb­ruary 2002, which involved two the “inse­parable issues” elections and statehood. The plan proposed holding new elections in Pa­lestine as a means for the Palestinian people to ex­press them­selves through voting rather than violence and to legiti­mize the PA, fol­lowed by the dec­laration of an independent Pales­tinian state – without exact borders for the time being – and international recogni­tion of the state as a starting point for re­suming final status negotiations between two equal partners on the basis of UN Reso­lutions 242 and 338.


(English: courage, chivalry or man­liness) Term originally referring to specific virtues – courage, manliness, chivalry, gene­rosity, truth, honor, self-reliance, altruism. Derived from fata’ (young man), Futuwwa be­came a symbol of rebelling against all evil and striving for sincere servanthood to God. The name was used by informal associations of young men who claimed to promote these values and by (paramili­tary) Arab youth or­gan­i­za­tions. In the Palestin­ian context, Fu­tuwwa was a paramilitary youth move­ment founded in 1935 and associated with the Arab Party led by Jamal Husseini.



Pro-annexationist plan, drafted by Israeli Minister Yisrael Galili, out­lining the government’s proposed policy in the OPT from 1973-77. It was adopted by the Labor Party in September 1973 and included plans for the development of the economy (i.e., infrastructure and service sector in the Palestinian territories as well as their eco­nomic ties with Israel and local government), the continuation of the “open bridges pol­icy” with Jordan, a permanent resettlement scheme for refugees in the Gaza Strip, and the encou­ragement of settlement con­struc­tion in the West Bank (especially the Jerusa­lem and Jordan Valley areas) and Golan Heights.


Reconcilia­tion deal signed in Gaza City on 23 April 2014 by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and a PLO delegation dispatched by Presi­dent Mah­moud Abbas with the prime goal of forming a national unity government within five weeks, to be followed by general elec­tions in De­cember. Israel reacted with the an­nounce­ment that it would halt peace talks with the Palestinians and employ other sanc­tions. The US expressed concern that the agreement "could seriously complicate" nego­tiations, while the EU welcomed it but stressed that the priority remained peace talks with Israel. The agreement resulted in a national unity government from 2 June 2014 to 17 June 2015 under President Mahmoud Abbas.


Proposal put forth in August 2002 by then-Prime Minis­ter Ariel Sharon calling for the phased withdrawal of Israeli forces from those West Bank and Gaza Strip areas that were granted self-rule under the 1994-95 Oslo Accords (starting with Gaza and Bethlehem) in return for PA action to curb violence. The basis of the plan, which was also an attempt to end the “re-occupation” of the Palestinian terri­to­ries during Operation “Defensive Shield”, was a step-by-step implementation, which was predicated on reductions of “ter­ror” and violence in the Gaza Strip and Beth­lehem. The plan was approved by Israel and the Pal­estinians but the Sharon Government re­treated from it soon after, saying it sought to solve the issue of Gaza first.


Land, air and sea blockade im­posed on the Gaza Strip by Israel since mid-2007 following the Hamas takeover of Gaza. On the grounds of “security reasons”, mas­sive movement restrictions have been im­plemented – enforced with the help of Egypt and the support of the US – to keep nearly 2 million Gaza residents “locked in”. This has led to a severe socioeconomic and humani­tarian crisis in the over-populated Strip.



International in­iti­ative that tried to break the na­val blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010 and had a fatal end­ing. In an attempt to reach the Gaza Strip by sea, the Free Gaza Movement and the Tur­kish Foundation for Human Rights and Free­doms and Humanita­rian Relief (IHH) orga­nized a flotilla consist­ing of eight ships carry­ing both activists and goods (medicine, con­struction materials etc.). On 31 May 2010, Israeli forces inter­cepted the flotilla and boarded six of the ships in international waters; in the ensuing clashes nine activists were killed. The Israeli raid led to interna­tion­al condemna­tion and serious­ly strained Israeli- Turkish relations.



(also: Cairo or Oslo Agreement or Accord or Gaza-Jericho First Agreement) Agree­ment signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat on 4 May 1994 in Cairo, which was the second stage in the process be­gun with the DOP in September 1993. It outlined the first stage of Pal­estinian autonomy – in some 60% of Gaza and a 65 km2 area in and around Jericho – in­cluding Israeli redeployment and the estab­lishment of a Palestinian authority as the go­verning body in the evacuated terri­tories. As part of the agreement, Israeli mili­tary forces were to withdraw from the areas of Gaza and Jericho, in coordination with a newly es­tablished Joint Israeli-Palestinian Se­curity Coordination and Cooperation Com­mit­tee. Israeli forces were to be redeployed to speci­fied areas only, such as the Military Installa­tion Area along the Egyp­tian border and Israeli settlements. In addition, a Pales­tin­ian police force was set up in those areas and powers within five civilian spheres were trans­ferred to the Palestinians (see Agree­ment on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsi­bilities). Israel remained in control of the settlements, military loca­tions, and se­curity matters. The stipulated five-year inte­rim period ended on 4 May 1999 and trig­gered a heated debate among the Palestini­ans as to whether to declare a Pales­tinian state unilaterally.


Offshore gas field lo­cated under Palestinian territorial waters some 30-36 km off the Gaza Strip coast which was (together with the smaller Border Gas Field) discovered in 1998. Total gas re­serves are es­timated to be 1.4 trillion cubic feet, enough to cover needs in Gaza and the West Bank for 15 years. Although the gas fields are con­sidered a partial solution to the ongoing power short­ages, extraction by the PA has not yet started, due to ongoing po­litical dis­putes. The World Bank es­timates that the devel­op­ment of the Ma­rine reservoir is likely to yield US$2.7 billion in royalties for the PA.



Coastal region on the Mediterra­nean Sea, adjoining Egypt and Israel, 45 km long and 5-12 km in width, and covering an area of approximately 365 km2. It is inha­bited by some 2 million Palestinians, mostly refugees. The area was part of the British Mandate for Palestine from 1917 to 1948, was passed over to Egyptian control in 1949, and has been occupied by Israel since the War of 1967. Following the evacuation of all Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip under Sha­ron's 2005 unilateral disengagement plan and Hamas' complete takeover of the terri­tory in June 2007, Israel declared the entire Gaza Strip a "hostile entity". Israel currently retains control of all land, air and sea access, and reserves the right to prevent the PA from re-opening its airport or building a sea­port. After the six-month truce between Ha­mas and Israel ended in December 2008, Israel initiated the Gaza War (“Operation Cast Lead”) on 27 December 2008, which lasted 22 days and left over 1,300 Palestini­ans dead and over 5,000 wounded, a large percentage of whom were civilians. Gaza was also under attack during the 2012 “Oper­ation Pillar of Defense” (167 Palestini­ans dead) and the 2014 “Operation Protec­tive Edge” (1,462 Palestinians dead).


(Palestinian Authority) Palestinian security force created after the Oslo Accords, partially from the Pal­estinian Liberation Army, which reports di­rectly to the President, who also appoints its head. It is in charge of security operations beyond the borders of the PA, including ex­ter­nal intelligence, counterespionage, and liai­son with foreign intelligence. It is also re­sponsi­ble for thwarting terror attacks in the West Bank and works covertly in the Israeli-con­trolled Areas B and C, mainly arresting people who are then interrogated in Area A. The GIS has an es­timated 3,500 troops and is headed by Maj.-Gen. Majid Faraj since 2009.


(Israel) see Shin Bet


Form of non-violent protest in which Palestinians close shops and busi­nesses, workers do not go to their jobs in Israel, and/or public and private transport stays off the roads. Palestinians have regu­larly employed general strikes – during the Mandate period in protest of the British au­thorities (peaking in the 1936 Great Revolt) and later against Israeli occupation, most not­ably during the first Intifada (1987-1993).


Well-established PLO-affi­liated popular organizations, often predating the PLO, that represent important sectors of Palestinian society worldwide. There are Gen­eral Unions of Palestinian Students, Women, Jurists, Workers, Teachers, Doctors, Writers and Journalists, En­gineers, Econo­mists, Art­ists, and Farmers.


also: Switzerland/Swiss Pro­posal or Document or Beilin-Abed Rabbo Plan; officially: Draft Permanent Status Agree­ment) Alternative, unofficial peace initia­tive drafted by Israeli and Palestinian politicians and ac­tivists, led by Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, sponsored by Swit­zerland, and signed in Aqaba on 12 October 2003. The Geneva Accord was created in an effort to formulate a complete final status agreement, in con­trast to then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sha­ron's approach of long-term interim agree­ments, and was officially launched at a cere­mony in Geneva on 1 De­cember 2003. The Israeli government con­demned the plan as undermining its own poli­cies while the PA supported it. Members of the initiative on the Israeli side included Haim Oron, Amram Mitzna, Avraham Burg, Nehama Ronen, Yuli Tamir, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, as well as Brig.-Gen. Giora Inbar, Brig.-Gen. Shlomo Brom, authors Amos Oz and David Grossman, David Kimche, Prof. Arie Arnon, and Dr. Menachem Klein. Mem­bers on the Palestinian side in­cluded Yasser Abed Rabbo, Mohammed Al-Hou­rani, Nabil Qassis, Hisham Abdel Raz­zeq, Kadoura Fares, Jamal Zaqout, Saman Khouri, Zuheir Al-Manasrah, Radi Jamil Jarai, Ibrahim Mo­hammed Khrishi, Samih Karakra, Basel Jaber, and Nazmi Al-Ju'beh. The main points of the detailed plan included:

  • Palestinians will concede the right of return.
  • Palestinians will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
  • Israel will withdraw to the 1967 borders, except for certain territorial exchanges.
  • Jerusalem will be divided with Arab parts of East Jerusalem becoming part of the Pal­estinian state, and Jewish settlements, as well as the West Bank suburbs of Ma'ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, and the Gush Et­zion settlements becoming part of Israel.
  • Haram Ash-Sharif will be Palestinian, but an international force will ensure free­dom of access for visitors of all faiths. Arc­haeo­logical digs will be forbidden. The West­ern Wall will remain under Jew­ish sove­reignty.
  • The Ariel, Efrat, and Har Homa settlements will be part of the Palestinian state, and Israel will also transfer parts of the Ne­gev adjacent to Gaza in exchange for the parts of the West Bank it will receive.
  • Palestinians will pledge to prevent ter­ror and incitement and disarm all mili­tias. Their state will be demilitarized. An international force will supervise the border cross­ings.

The agreement will replace all, and in some cases will be regarded as fulfillment of, UN resolutions and previous agree­ments that pertain to the Israeli-Palestin­ian conflict. The Geneva Accord resulted in the establish­ment of two cooperating NGOs: Heskem on the Israeli side and the Palestine Peace Coali­tion on the Pal­es­tinian. Both are active in promot­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions and searching for compromises.


(1.) Conference for Peace in the Middle East held in December 1973 in Geneva, attended by Egypt, Israel, the US, the USSR, Jordan, and the UN Secre­tary-General. It created working groups but achieved no further results.

(2.) A UN General Assembly-initiated inter­na­tional conference resulting from the acknowl­edgment that separate solutions like Camp David (1978) did not solve much and that the exclusion of Palestinian representa­tives would not lead to a fair and lasting peaceful solu­tion. It convened from 23 Au­gust to 7 Sep­tember 1983 in Geneva and was attended by 137 states, but was boycotted by Israel and the US. Ultimately, the Geneva Declaration was adopted, calling for a peace conference under the auspices of the UN with full partic­ipation, on equal footing, of all parties con­nected to the conflict, including the PLO, US, USSR, and others. This declara­tion was en­dorsed by the UN General Assem­bly in Reso­lution 38/58C on 13 Decem­ber 1983.


Standards of interna­tional law for humanitarian concerns which were formulated in four treaties in Geneva. The First Convention followed the founda­tion of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863 and adopted the “Conven­tion for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field” in 1864. All four conventions were last revised and ratified in 1949 as follows: (1) First Geneva Convention for the Ameli­ora­tion of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (first adopted in 1864); (2) Second Ge­neva Con­vention for the Amelioration of the Condi­tion of Wounded, Sick and Ship­wrecked Mem­bers of Armed Forces at Sea (first adopted in 1906); (3) Third Geneva Con­vention relative to the Treatment of Pris­oners of War (first adopted in 1929), and (4) Fourth Geneva Con­vention relative to the Pro­tection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (first adopted in 1949) (see also Fourth Ge­neva Convention).


European peace initia­tive, introduced by Germany in April 2002, sug­gesting a referendum asking the Palestin­ian population about their willingness to rec­og­nize Israel and normalize relations in re­turn for a withdrawal of Israeli troops from Pales­tinian territory. Further, the plan in­cluded a ceasefire followed by an early decla­ration of a Palestinian state, an end to Jewish settle­ments in the West Bank and Gaza, phased talks on tricky issues such as Israel's borders and the status of Jerusa­lem, and pro­vided for international peacekee­pers to patrol a buffer zone be­tween Israel and Palestinian areas.


(English: Bridge) (1.) Center-right Israeli party formed in 1996 as a breakaway from the Likud by former Likud MK and For­eign Minister David Levy. It ran in coalition with Likud in the 1996 elections and joined One Israel in the 1999 elections. Gesher fo­cused on the socio-economic problems of immi­grants from North Africa. In 2003, it merged back into the Likud and dissolved.

(2.) New party launched in December 2018 by independent MK Orly Levy-Abekasis (who had broken away from Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu in May 2016 and is the daughter of David Levy who had formed the other Gesher party in 1996). While running on a so­cial plat­form, the party is hard to classify politically. The party competed in the April 2019 elec­tions, but did not succeed in win­ning any seats. In the September 2019 elec­tions, it ran on a joint list together with La­bor, win­ning six seats.




(also: HaGihon) Israeli company also known as the Jerusalem Area's Water and Wastewater Utility, which was founded in 1996 by the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality and currently provides water, sewage and drainage services for some one million people in the Greater Jerusalem area. Since 2003, Gihon operates as an independent corpora­tion in accordance with Jerusalem develop­ment and expansion plans, con­structing, inter alia, industrial sewage treat­ment systems and pumping facilities. Ac­cording to ACRI, only 59% of the Palestin­ians in East Jerusa­lem are officially connected to the Gihon Corpo­ration’s water infrastruc­ture.


(also: Maryam’s Spring or the Spring of the Virgin) Karstic spring that is lo­cated on the Old City’s east­ern slope be­fore and whose waters flow into the adjacent Wadi Nar (Kidron Valley). It constituted a main freshwater source of the city from its first beginnings. According to Muslim tradi­tion, the waters of the Gihon Spring are holy like the Zamzam Spring in Mecca. Pilgrims returning from the hajj used to go to the spring and then pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. There was also a tradition among the resi­dents of Silwan of using and bathing in the springs’ water before weddings, on holy days, and other occasions. The Gihon Spring is also sacred to Christians as it is identified with the spring used by Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the 1990s, the Israeli Na­ture and Parks Authority to­gether with the Elad sett­ler group took over the spring and began to charge entry fees to it, only allow­ing the set­tlers of “City of David” and their asso­ciates to enter it freely and without charge.

Givat HaShaked

Planned 700-unit settlement plan over the Green Line that was approved by the Jerusalem District Planning Committee in September 2022 on 38 dunams of land, affecting the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Safafa and Sharafat. Once implemented, it will fracture southern East Jerusalem and become the largest settlement that Israel has established in an existing Palestinian neighborhood and the first one directly undertaken by the government.


Area at the southern side of the Old City walls, on the northern en­trance of Silwan, adjacent to the Israeli ‘City of David’ Visitors Center, which was one of the only remaining open areas for the resi­dents of Silwan, but has since 2003 been sub­ject to archeological digging under the aus­pices of the Israel Antiquities Authority and funded by the Elad settler organization “for the benefit of the City of David archeo­logical park”. In 2012, Elad announced plans to build a multiple story building on part of the site, known as the Kedem Compound, to include inter alia a museum, a visitors’ cen­ter, and coffee shop. Palestinians have harshly criti­cized these plans as they will create a single tourist zone under settler and Israeli govern­mental control at the expense of their direct connection to the Old City and adjacent neigh­borhoods. 


Rocky plateau in south-west­ern Syria, stretching over some 1,800 km2 and overlooking northern Israel, thus of mili­tary and strategic importance. The area is also a key source of water as rainwater from the Golan's catchment feeds into the Jordan River. Israel captured 1,200 km2 of the region from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. It is esti­mated that some 120,000 Syrian residents fled or were expelled from the area during the war and never returned. An estimated 340 farms and villages were destroyed and replaced by Jewish settlements. A Syrian at­tempt to regain the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War (1973) failed. In December 1981, Israel unilaterally and illegally annexed the Golan Heights an since claims its “right” to retain the Golan based on UN Resolution 242 calling for "safe and recognized bounda­ries free from threats or acts of force.” How­ever, the international commu­nity rejects those claims and regards the area as occu­pied Syrian territory. Syria wants to secure the return of the Golan Heights as part of any future peace deal. Currently, there are an estimated 23,000 settlers living in 34 Israeli settlements on the occupied Go­lan Heights. About 25,000 Syrians still live in the nor­thernmost area, mainly members of the Druze community. On 25 March 2019, US President Donald Trump proclaimed the US’ recognition of the Golan Heights as part of the State of Israel. No other country recog­nizes Israeli sovereignty over territory.


Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission, appointed in April 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and headed by South-African jurist Richard Gold­stone, to investigate the events of Israel's offen­sive in the Gaza Strip in December 2008/January 2009. The report was presented to the UNHRC in Geneva on 29 September 2009, urging the Council and the international community as a whole to put an end to im­pun­ity for violations of international law in Israel and the OPT, and accusing both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, though clearly stat­ing that Israel had intentionally targeted civi­lian sites during the fighting. The report’s find­ings echoed those of other international hu­man rights and humanitarian organizations. The government of President Abbas caused an outrage when it initially decided in Octo­ber 2009 – due to Israeli and US pressure – to with­draw its support for a resolution at the UNHRC. Nevertheless, the UNHRC voted on 16 October with 25 to 6 (with 11 abstentions and 5 absent) in favor of a resolution endors­ing war crimes charges as spelled out in the Gold­stone Report. On 5 November 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted, following a vote of 114 of 18 (44 abstaining), a resolution based on the Goldstone Report, calling on the UN Sec­retary-General to transmit the report to the UN Secu­rity Council which has powers to refer the situ­ation in Gaza to the Prosecu­tor of the Interna­tional Criminal Court. On 1 April 2011, after being heavily pressured, Gold­stone retracted his claim that it was Israeli government pol­icy to deliberately tar­get citi­zens. The other au­thors of the report have rejected Gold­stone's reassessment.


(Arabic: muhafazat) Adminis­tra­tive unit/district in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 1995, following the arrival of the PA, the OPT were divided into 16 governorates (11 in the West Bank: Jenin, Tubas, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Salfit, Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, and Hebron, and five in the Gaza Strip: Jabalia, Gaza City, Deir Al-Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah). Each of these is headed by a governor, appointed by the President. The governorates are subordinate to the Min­istry of Local Government and coo­perate with the mayors and heads of village coun­cils in their respective districts.


(also: Katyusha) Standard mili­tary artillery weapon originally produced in the former Soviet bloc. Palestinian militant groups in Gaza use 122-mm rockets, but un­like Hizbullah, not from truck-based launch­ers. The rockets launched from Gaza have a range of about 40 km, and can ap­par­ently reach the ci­ties of Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Ge­de­ra, Ofa­kim, and Gan Yavne in Israel.


Inter­na­tional movement launched in 2001 with the main objective of granting a form of pro­tection to the Palestinian people. GIPP or­ga­nized solidarity actions and coordinated the activities of international activists who came to Palestine to express solidarity with the Palestinians, protected them from Israeli ag­gression, and sent messages and reports on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the international community. Mis­sions and delegations were organized in coopera­tion with Palestinian, European, American, and church partners. In recent years, the GIPP has shown no sign of activity and is believed to have been absorbed by other solidarity move­ments and groups.

Great Fajr Campaign

Form of activism seen as a show of solidarity in reaction to both the perceived pro-Israel bias of then US President Donald Trump's 2020 Middle East “peace plan” and Israeli threats to Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem and Hebron. Thousands of Palestinians gathered in front of mosques for early prayers, forsaking the usual protest sites where they risk arrest and channeling their anger into a mass expression of faith. The first calls for a surge in attendance were from Fatah, and numbers grew after the campaign gained support from Hamas.


Campaign launched by civil society activists in Gaza as a non-vio­lent form of protest which called for the Pal­es­tinian refugees' right of return to their vil­lages and homes from which they had been expelled or fled from in order to make way for present-day Israel. The campaign also called for an end to the over a decade-long blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The campaign began on 30 March 2018 – the anniversary of Land Day – initially planned for six weeks to culminate in a Nakba Day anni­versary march, and in­cluded protest camps set up near the border fence with Israel and walks towards the fence, attended by thou­sands of people. Israel claimed that Hamas was behind the pro­tests and responded with indiscriminate force, killing 17 Palestinians and injuring over 1,400 on the first day of protest alone. The bloodiest day of protest was the Great March of Return on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day on 15 May 2018, which coincided with the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and left at least 60 Pal­estinians killed and over 1,000 injured. Pro­tests continued every Friday, and according to UN OCHA, by the end of 2018, 180 Gazans were killed and over 23,000 in­jured in the context of the Great Return March, including medical and press person­nel; 57 of the dead and some 7,000 of the in­jured were children. Israel's use of deadly force was condemned by UN General Assem­bly Resolution ES10/ L.23 on 13 June 2018 as well as by numerous human rights organiza­tions. Protest marches contin­ued during 2019 but were held less frequent towards the end of the year.


(also: Great Rebellion) Wide­spread uprising that emerged from Arab-Jew­ish clashes throughout Palestine from April to October 1936. The Great Revolt in­volved the establishment of National Com­mit­tees and an Arab General Strike (April-October 1936) in support of three ba­sic de­mands: (1) an end to Jewish immigra­tion, (2) an end to Jewish land sales, and (3) estab­lishment of an Arab national gov­ernment. As part of the strike, the National Committees adopted the slogan “no taxation without re­presentation”, refusing to pay taxes until the British fulfilled their demands. In re­sponse to the riots, the British declared the Arab Higher Committee illegal. A second phase of the Great Revolt began in autumn 1937, trig­gered by the partition plan issued in the Royal (Peel) Commission report. On 1 Octo­ber 1937, the British government dis­solved the Arab Higher Committee and all Na­tional Committees, arrested numerous members, deporting five of them to the Sey­chelles, and officially stripped Haj Amin Al-Husseini of his positions as Chairman of the Waqf and Presi­dent of the Supreme Muslim Council. The second Great Rebellion lasted un­til 1939 and ended with the 1939 British White Paper.


Term most commonly used to define the land encompassed by the state of Israel and the OPT. Other definitions in­clude the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine, either in the 1923 or 1948 borders, or the Biblical definitions of the 'Land of Israel' (Eretz Yisrael). The term 'Land of Israel' is found in the charters of both the Likud and Kadima parties, describ­ing the right of the state of Israel and Jews to all of present day Israel and the OPT.


Reference to an area that extends beyond the Green Line into the West Bank and encompasses roughly a 20-km radius around the Old City. This area is home to around 600,000 Israelis and 600,000 Palestinians, and comprises two overlapping metropolitan areas – West Jeru­salem and the Israeli built-up areas located inside and on the periphery of East Jerusa­lem; and the traditionally Palestinian East Je­rusalem, including its adjacent neighbor­hoods on the edges of Israel’s Jerusalem mu­nicipal borders. Greater Jerusalem also in­cludes an outer ring of 20 Israeli settlements extending Jerusalem far beyond the city's mu­nicipal boundaries into the West Bank.


(also: Greater Jeru­salem Law or ‘Jerusalem and Its Daughters’ Bill) Proposed legislation, au­thored by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) in 2017, that would include 19 illegal West Bank settlements (“daughter mu­ni­ci­pal­ities” – all located in the settlement blocs of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Zeev, Beitar Illit and Gush Etzion) under the ju­risdiction of the Jerusalem Municipality as “sub-municipali­ties”, thus adding some 150,000 Jewish settlers to the city’s municipal­ity and consolidating its Jewish dominance. Sep­arately, the bill would downgrade three Palestinian neighborhoods located beyond the Separation Barrier, which have not re­ceived proper municipal services since the Se­paration Barrier’s construction and which are home to an equal number of people (Kufr Aqab, Shu’fat and Anata), and make them “sub-municipalities” of the city. How­ever, due to US pressure Prime Minister Neta­nyahu postponed an initial vote on the bill, scheduled for late October 2017, indefi­nitely. If passed into law, it would not only change the demographic balance in Jerusa­lem in fa­vor of a Jewish majority, but also de facto an­nex of some of the largest West Bank set­tlements to the city.


Areas zoned by Israeli municipal authorities for open space in which no con­struction is allowed, allegedly in order to main­tain a minimum of greenery in the city or under related pretexts, such as preserva­tion of views, environmental protection, etc. How­ever, land plots designated as “Green Areas” often serve as Jewish land reserves and block Palestinian development. Exam­ples of the re­zon­ing of formerly designated “Green Areas” to allow for Jewish building are Har Homa built on Jabal Abu Ghneim and Ramat Shlomo built on Shu’fat land.


Term used following Israel’s occu­pation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 to refer to the post-1948 War cease-fire line (proper name is 1949 Armistice Line. It is the border separating pre-1967 Israel from the OPT (thus it is also often referred to as the "pre-1967 borders" or the "1967 borders"). The demarcation line (laid down in the Ar­mis­tice Agreements of 1949) is an interna­tion­ally recognized border, but it is impor­tant to note that Israel has never specified the boun­daries of its state. The sections of the Green Line that delineate the boun­da­ries between Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip run through heavily populated regions.


Body originally established by 77 developing countries represented at the first UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva on 15 June 1964. The purpose of the group was to allow for the formulation of common positions in advance of plenary UNCTAD meetings. Now with 134 members, the group, of which Palestine is a full member, is the largest intergovernmen­tal organization of developing states in the UN. The Group of 77 concentrates on devel­oping common negotiation positions on trade and development and on promoting collec­tive economic interests as well as South-South cooperation for development. In July 2018, the Asian Group at the UN un­anim­ously endorsed Palestine to be the next chair for the Group of 77, starting in January 2019. On 15 October 2018, the UN General Assem­bly formally voted in favor of Palestine as head of the G77 and China, the­reby allowing it to act more like a full UN member state during meetings in 2019.


(English: Bloc of the Faithful) Israeli extra-parliamentary right-wing reli­gious lobby group which was founded in the aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War in the spring of 1974, based on beliefs ideologi­cally rooted in the teachings of Rabbi Abra­ham Kook and his son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook. Supporters believe the “Land of Israel” is the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and that the coming of the messiah can be has­tened through Jewish settlement on land they believe God has allotted for Jews. Therefore, they oppose the return of terri­tory con­quered by Israel in 1967 and their major activity has been to initiate new settle­ments. Since 1967, Gush Emunim is the single most active settlement movement in the OPT, with over half of all settlements in the West Bank affiliated with its various ad­ministra­tive, ideological and pedagogic divi­sions. Since the Oslo process, Gush Emunim exists mainly in the form of ethnic-national­ist rhe­toric, which has gained prominence in the po­litical discourse as people query the ‘Jewish’ character of the state.


(also: Etzion Bloc) Group of 22 illegal Jewish settlements located in the West Bank on a 60 km2 area between Jerusalem and He­bron and housing over 75,000 set­tlers. Currently, the following settlements form the bloc: Alon Shvut, Bat Ayin, Beitar Il­lit, Efrat, Elazar, Gevaot, Har Gilo, Ibei Ha­Nahal, Karmei Tzur, Kedar, Kfar Eldad, Kfar Et­zion, Maale Amos, Maale Rehav'am, Met­zad, Migdal Oz, Neve Daniel, Nokdim, Pnei Ke­dem, Rosh Tzurim, Sde Boaz, Tekoa.


English: Harvest Bloc) Bloc of 16 Jewish settlements (Bedolah, Bnei Atzmon, Gadid, Gan Or, Ganei Tal, Kfar Darom, Kfar Yam, Kerem Atzmona, Morag, Neve Dekalim, Netzer Hazani, Pe’at Sade, Katif, Rafiah Yam, Shirat HaYam, Selav, and Tel Katifa) with a to­tal population of some 8,000 settlers that existed along the southern Gaza coastline un­til August 2005, when they were removed and most of their infrastructure was de­stroyed as part of then Prime Minister Sha­ron's unilateral disengagement plan.


(English: Peace Bloc) Extra-par­liamentary, independent Israeli organization founded by the late Uri Avnery and others in 1993, when it became apparent that all the older peace groups in Israel were either una­ble or unwilling to oppose the repressive meas­ures introduced by the new Labor gov­ernment headed by Yitzhak Rabin. Gush Sha­lom plays a leading role in determining the agenda of the peace forces in Israel and in­fluencing Israeli public opinion with regard to peace and reconciliation with the Palestin­ian people. Its goals are based on principles such as ending the occupation, the Palestin­ian right to establish an independent and so­ve­reign state, reinstating the pre-1967 "Green Line" as border, recognizing in prin­ciple the right of return of the Palestinian ref­ugees, and establishing Jerusalem as the capital of the two states, with East Jerusalem serving as the capital of Palestine and West Jerusa­lem as the capital of Israel.


H1 and H2


(English: Jewish Home) Israe­li religious-Zionist, right-wing party that was formed following a merger between the National Religious Party and the National Union in 2008. It was led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked until they left to found a new party (‘The New Right’) prior to the 2019 elections. After appointing Rafi Peretz as its new chairman, the party decided to ex­tend its cooperation with the National Union, and to run also with far right Otzma Yehudit under the Union of Right-Wing Parties, which won 5 seats in the April 2019 and 4 seats in September 2019 elec­tions.


(Hebrew acronym for HaHazit HaDe­mo­kratit LeShalom uLeShivion; English: The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) Alliance of the Israeli Communist Party and other Arab and Jewish political groups, which has undergone numerous transformations in its history. The Jewish-Arab Leftist movement, founded in 1977 when the Rakah Party joined with several non-parliamentary groups, in­clud­ing members of the Black Panthers and other left-wing non-communist groups, stresses so­cial justice and equality, as well as recogni­tion and cultural integration of the Palestin­ian minority. It supports a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and main­tains that all Israeli settlements outside the pre-1967 borders are illegal and should be eva­cuated, including East Jerusalem. Current leader is Ayman Odeh. At present, Hadash has five members, as part of the Joint List, in the 120-seat Knesset. In the April 2019 elec­tions, Hadash got 4 seats (in alliance with the Balad party) and in the September 2019 elec­tions 5 seats (in al­liance with Ta’al).


(English: news, statement, narrative or story) Spoken tradi­tions attributed to the Proph­et Mohammed, i.e., his deeds, sayings, and tacit approvals, which are revered and received in Islam as a major source for im­plementing and explaining religious law and moral guidance.


(English: Defense) Clandestine Jew­ish paramilitary organization set up in June 1920 by the Labor Zionist Achdut Ha-Avoda party to combat the attacks of Palestinians on Jewish settlements. The Haganah was out­lawed by the British authorities but remained active during the British Mandate years (1920-1948), after which it became the nucleus of the Israeli army. The Haganah was under the authority of the Jewish trade union move­ment Histadrut from late 1920 until its split in April 1931 over whether the Histradut or the Jewish Agency should rule the body. The split off be­came known as Irgun Zvei Le'umi (also named Irgun B or Haganah Le'umit). Ha­ganah’s activities were moderate by con­trast with more extreme Zionist militias (e.g., Irgun ZviLeumi or Stern Gang), but it turned to ter­rorism after World War II when the British refused to permit unlimited Jewish immigra­tion to Palestine. Among the well-known Ha­ganah commanders that later entered Israe­li politics are Yigal Allon, Moshe Da­yan, and Yisrael Galili.                       


1.) Attack by Palmach forces on 28 February 1948, blowing up two houses and a garage and firing into the Arab neigh­borhoods of Haifa, killing at least 30 people, including women and children. Israeli histo­rian Benny Morris’s sources state that “dozens” were killed, in addition to a militia leader and the deputy head of the National Bank and that the attack came following an attack on a Jewish bus in which four were wounded. 

(2.) Attack on Haifa (also known as “Battle of Haifa”) by Zionist paramilitaries (known by Jewish forces as Operation ‘Bi’ur Hametz’) which took place on 21-22 April 1948, and, ac­cording to Morris, was designed to break Arab morale and discourage resistance. Though not the direct aim of the attack or even an ex­pec­tation, approximately 15,000 Arab resi­dents evacuated Haifa. According to some sources, Jewish forces occupied homes, pub­lic build­ings, and streets, killing 100-300 Arabs, many of whom while fleeing towards the harbor to escape to Akko by boat.

(3.) Sometimes also an attack by Zionist para­militaries from the Al-Hadar neighborhood, located at the top of Al-Abbas Street in Haifa, rolling down a barrel filled with explo­sives on 28 January 1949, which destroyed homes, killed 20 Palestinians and wounded do­zens others, is referred to as “Haifa Massacre”.


Attack on 30 December 1947 when members of the Irgun threw a number of grenades at a crowd of about 100 Arab day-laborers who had ga­thered outside the main gate of the then British-owned Haifa Oil Refinery to look for work, killing six and wounding between 42 and 505, according to accounts recorded by Israeli historians Ilan Pappé and Benny Morris, respectively. During the ensuing clashes, over 30 Jews were killed. According to Morris, Jew­ish forces retaliated in the following days by raiding the villages where many of the Arab refinery workers lived with orders to kill “maximum adult males” (see also Balad Ash-Sheikh Massacre).


(also Haj or Hadj) Annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which forms one of the five pillars of Islam (i.e., an obligation that must be carried out at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime if health and fi­nancial situation permit). The pilgrimage oc­curs from the 7th to 10th day of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar (Dhu al-Hijjah) and re-enacts the actions of the Prophet Moham­med in his "farewell pilgrimage" in 632 AD. Each year, around 2 million Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage. Those who have performed the Hajj receive the title Hajj (female: Hajjeh).


(also Halacha; adjective: halachic; plur­al: halakhot; English: the way to go) Nor­mative Jewish religious law, as well as cus­toms and traditions, practice, or rite estab­lished or ratified by authoritative rabbinic jurists and teachers. Halakha guides not only religious but numerous other aspects of day-to-day life. Conservative Jews adhere to ha­lakha to varying degrees while Reform Jews largely disregard it. Settler rabbis and other extremist Jewish religious leaders often issue rulings, each on his own judgment, which state laws sometimes commanding soldiers to dis­obey orders, and even commanding the kill­ing of innocent Palestinian civilians if this is considered to further Jewish interest.


Uninha­bited arid 150-km2 area in the northwestern Negev, southeast of the Gaza Strip, which was suggested by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak to be ceded in a land-swap in return for keep­ing some settlements in the West Bank. Pal­estinian negotiators rejected the Halutza area as the centerpiece of the land swap, noting that its potential for agricultural develop­ment and human settlement appeared highly con­strained and therefore of less value than the land that Israel wants to annex in the West Bank. In 2001, then Prime Minister Ariel Sha­ron initiated plans for three new settle­ments in the area in an effort to foil any fu­ture at­tempt to transfer the area to Palestin­ian con­trol as part of a final peace settle­ment. Fol­lowing the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, evacuees from Gush Katif, Atzmona and Net­zarim settlements began building per­manent residences in communities located in the Ha­lutza Sands area. Due to its historic im­por­tance the city was once part of the Naba­taean Incense Route UNESCO declared Ha­lutza (along with the other Nabatean ci­ties of Avdat, Mamshit, Shivta) a World Her­itage Site.


(English: Zeal; Abbreviation of the Arab­ic Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islami­yya; Eng­lish: Islamic Resistance Movement) Politi­cal movement grown out of religious as­soci­ation. Ha­mas served as the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s link to the first In­tifada and emerged shortly after the outbreak of the Inti­fada in Janu­ary 1988. Its for­mation and develop­ment was tol­er­ated, if not en­cour­aged, by Israel as an al­ter­native or counter­force to the PLO. The spiri­tual lead­er and founding fa­ther of Hamas is Sheikh Ahmad Yas­sin (assassi­nated by Israel on 22 March 2004). Other founding leaders in­clude Fattah Duk­han, Mo­ham­med Sha­ma’a, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Yazuri, Issa An-Najjar, Salah She­hadeh (assassinated in July 2002), and Abdul Aziz Rantisi (assassi­nated in April 2004). The Hamas Cove­nant, issued in August 1988, declared that all of Pa­lestine is Islamic trust land and can never be surrendered to non-Muslims, and pro­claimed ji­had against Israel. Hamas advo­cates an Is­lamic state in all of his­toric Palestine and the applica­tion of Shar’ia Law. Hamas is not a member of the PLO and worked inde­pen­dently from the UNLU during the first Inti­fa­da, but does not se­riously ques­tion the PLO’s role as repre­sentative of the Pal­estin­ian people at an interna­tional level. In 1989, Hamas agreed to abide by decisions of the PNC, but called for new elections to it in 1991. Hamas gained popularity through charitable efforts and the provision of edu­cational and health services. The group has also been re­sponsi­ble for many attacks on Israeli tar­gets (mostly carried out by its mili­tary wing, the Izz Ed­din Al-Qassem Bri­gades) and is listed as a terror­ist organiza­tion by the US and the EU. Hamas strong­ly opposes the Oslo Accords and belongs to the Alli­ance of Pales­tinian Forces, which is opposed to the peace proc­ess. It boy­cotted the Pales­tinian elections of Janu­ary 1996, but ran in the second PLC elections in 2006 (as “Change and Reform” party), where it won a landslide victory (74 out of the 132 seats in the PLC), defeating Fatah. Subse­quently, Hamas formed a new PA gov­ern­ment with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minis­ter. However, the newly formed unity gov­ern­ment was widely boy­cotted by the inter­na­tional community. In June 2007, clashes with Fatah forces and supporters led to a near civil war in the Gaza Strip, in the course of which Hamas took control of Gaza, rejected by the Fatah-led PA. Despite an October 2017 Egyp­tian-mediated reconcilia­tion agreement with Fatah, which should have lead to the PA’s gradual take-over of government insti­tutions in Gaza, the situa­tion on the ground did not change. As of 2019, the leader in exile was Khaled Masha’al, while locally, the leaders were Is­mail Haniyeh (Head of the Hamas politburo) and Yahya Sinwar (head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip).


Document first published in 1988 (English title: Cove­nant of the Islamic Resistance Movement), which outlines the identity, goals and opi­nions of the Hamas movement, and was widely seen as a radical anti-Israel manifesto in which Ha­mas declares jihad until all of Palestine is libe­rated. In May 2017, Hamas presented and pub­lished its new, revised covenant, which was more moderate, inter alia, by stating that it “considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of 4 June 1967 (…)”. Thus, while not men­tion­ing the name Israel, the document acknowl­edges another entity ruling the remaining ter­ritory (though stating that the Palestinian people have a right to the entire land of his­toric Palestine). In relation to accusations of Anti-Semitism, the new charter states: “Ha­mas affirms that its conflict is with the Zion­ist project not with the Jews because of their religion.” The revised covenant also aban­doned the earlier stated ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.


(plural: hama’il; English: Clan) Kin­ship unit exercising important roles for social cohesion in the Arab World, particularly in ru­ral areas. A hamula is a form of extended family, consisting of several family branches which claim a shared ancestry, linked through the father’s male line. Clans provide security, an important source of spouses, shared fi­nancial wellbeing, and more generally, a trusted network for all social occasions. Clan members are tied together by a code of hon­or (Mithaq Al-Sharaf), which is binding on all male members.


(also: Hannibal Tactic, Directive, or Protocol) Name of a controver­sial Israeli army order that is designed to pre­vent Israelis from being taken captive alive by enemy forces. It was drawn up by military officers in 1986 after the Israeli government had come under domestic pressure to re­lease hundreds of enemy prisoners for the return of three captured soldiers. The direc­tive al­lows troops to use heavy force when one of their own is abducted - even at the risk of killing the soldier. While it was supposed to have stopped after Israel withdrew from South Lebanon in May 2000, there is strong evi­dence that the procedure is still being used, including during Israel’s assaults on Gaza. Crit­ics claim that the policy actually pro­motes the killing of captured soldiers to pre­vent the need for prisoner exchanges. In March 2018, Israel's state comptroller criti­cized the procedure, saying it was unclear about "the value of an abducted soldier's life" and failed to respect key principles of international law.


Hebrew name for ‘Temple Mount’


(English: The Noble Sanct­uary) Muslim holy place, also referred to as Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, containing the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and other structures. It is one of the three most important sites in Islam. The entire area is re­garded as a mosque and comprises nearly one sixth of the walled city of Jerusalem (ap­proximately 144 dunums). Muslims revere the site as the area to which Prophet Mo­hammed was transported on his miraculous night jour­ney from Mecca to heaven (Isra w-Mi­raj). Jews revere the area as the location of their First and Second Temples, and refer to the area above and to the east of the Western Wall as ‘Har HaMoriyya’ or ‘Har HaBayt’ in He­brew and as the ‘Temple Mount’ in Eng­lish. Jewish extrem­ists and some Christian evan­gelicals, namely dispensationalists, advo­cate the construction of a third Temple there. The visit of Ariel Sharon and fellow Likud mem­bers to the site on 28 September 2000 sparked the beginning of the Second Intifada.  In July 2017, it was the scene of Palestinian pop­ular protests in response to Israel’s plac­ing metal detectors and cameras at the en­trances to Al-Aqsa as “security” measures. Further disruptions occur at the site periodi­cally, including a number of incidents regard­ing Bab Ar-Rahmeh, also known as the Gol­den Gate, in February and March 2019.


(also Harari Proposal) Com­promise resolution adopted by the Knesset on 13 June 1950 based on a proposal by then MK Yizhar Harari, according to which the “constitution” of Israel would not be a single document, but composed of a series of Basic Laws to be created over time by a special committee. It states that "the First Knesset assigns to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee the preparation of a proposed con­stitution for the state. The constitution will be made up of chapters, each of which will constitute a separate basic law. The chapters will be brought to the Knesset, as the Com­mit­tee completes its work, and all the chap­ters together will constitute the con­stitution of the state." Since then, 13 Basic Laws have been enacted, but Israel still has no formal constitution.


(plural: Haredim) Follower of Haredi Ju­daism, the most theologically conservative form of Judaism (often called “Ultra-Ortho­dox”, though Haredim object to the term). Ha­redim consider the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism to be unjustifiable deviations from au­thentic Judaism. The vast majority of Ha­redi Jews are Ashkenazi. The largest Haredi popula­tion is found in Israel, where they cur­rently make up 12% of the population and have the largest birth and growth rate of all population groups. The majority of the Hare­di live in Jeru­sa­lem, where they even have their separate school sys­tem. Haredim gen­er­ally wear clothing as­so­ciated with 17th Cen­tury Cen­tral and East­ern Europe, tend to sep­arate from the rest of Israeli society and fol­low strict beha­vior codes that ensure that they cannot be in­fluenced by se­cular society. They are en­couraged by their communities to study the Torah full time in Yeshivot rather than work, which is the main reason for them to belong to the poorer seg­ments of society. Upon the establishment of Israel, Haredi males were exempted from the universal conscrip­tion into the Israeli army, which has at­tracted sig­nificant resentment from Israel's secular majority. Any attempt to change the situation regularly leads to large-scale Ha­redim protests. Today, Israeli Haredis are po­litically overwhelmingly right-wing affiliated, which is to are large extent based on their perception that the left wants to secularize them and society and replace religious with progressive universal values.


Hebrew word for “the act of ex­plain­ing”, but commonly translated as “prop­a­ganda,” as Hasbara refers to the Israeli pub­lic diplomacy effort to disseminate positive information abroad about the State of Israel and its actions, while discrediting the Pales­tinian narrative and silencing any in­terna­tional criticism of its illegal practices in the OPT and on Palestinians. In Europe, for in­stance, the Israeli government has in­vested considerable re­sources in delegiti­mizing the BDS move­ment, influencing Euro­pean policy-making and creating a narrative that equates any at­tempt to boycott Israel a form of Anti-Semitism.


Arab clan of Hashim from within the larger Quraish tribe, which directly des­cended from the Prophet Mo­hammed through Fatima, his daughter, and Ali, his son-in-law and cousin. Since the 20th Century the head of this family has been Gov­ernor of Mecca, with the title of Sharif. The Hashemites re­mained guardians of the Holy Places of Islam until 1923, when Sharif Hussein lost control of Mecca, which was tak­en over by the fun­da­men­talist Wahabites un­der As-Saud (later foun­der of Saudi Ara­bia). To­day, the Hashe­mites are the ruling royal family of Jordan.


(English: Watchman) Jewish de­fense organization created in Palestine in April 1909, becoming the legal version of the secret Bar Giora, to guard Jewish settlements. The or­ganization ceased to operate after the found­ing of the Haganah in 1920.


(English: The Hope) (1.) National an­them of the State of Israel since its founda­tion in 1948.

(2.) Minor secular right-wing party in Israel, formed in late 2007 and headed by MK Aryeh Eldad. The party ran a joint list with Moledet for the 2009 Knesset elections. Hatikva is a "non-segregated party," drawing its constitu­ency from both secular and religious ele­ments of Israeli society. In 2012, Hatikva left the alliance of the National Union to form a new right-wing, na­tio­nalist party named Otz­ma LeYisrael (‘Pow­er to Israel’).


(English: the Movement) Liberal Israeli political party formed by former Israe­li Foreign Minister and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni in late 2012 to present an alternative to voters frustrated by the stalemate in the Pal­estinian-Israe­li peace process. Prior to the 2015 elections, Hatnuah joined the Labor Party and ran in a joint list under the name Zionist Union, which came second in the elections, but the cooperation came to an end before the 2019 elections.


(English: The New Right) Israeli right-wing political party, established in December 2018 by then Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and then Education Minister Naftali Bennett to run in the April 2019 elec­tions. The party aims to be open to both re­ligious and secular people and work for their full and equal partnership as well as for a one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. In the April 2019 election, the party failed to win a Knesset seat. In the run-up to the September 2019 election, it formed the joint electoral list Ya­mi­na together with the Union of the Right-Wing Par­ties, which won 3 seats.


Com­mission established by the British authorities and headed by the Chief Justice of Pales­tine, Sir Thomas Haycraft. Its mandate was to in­vestigate Palestinian violence against Jews, es­pecially in the Jaffa area, during spring 1921, and to calm the tense atmos­phere in historic Palestine. The Haycraft Commission of Inquiry issued its report in October 1921, attributing the dis­tur­bances to Arab fears about increas­ing Jewish immi­gration in­to Palestine.


(Arabic: Al-Khalil) Palestinian gover­norate and largest West Bank city with some 711,223 and 200,000 Palestinian residents re­spectively. From 1949 to 1967, Hebron was under Jordanian administration and is since then under Israeli occupation, including the Arroub and Fawwar refugee camps. Despite the fact that administrative control was handed over to the PA under the 1995 Oslo II Accord, Israel remains in control. The city is holy to Muslims and Jews who both pray at the traditional burial site of the matriarchs and patriarchs common to both faiths (Ab­raham and Sarah, Isaac and Re­becca, and Ja­cob and Leah), located in Hebron’s Old City and known as Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi Mosque for Muslims and as Machpela Cave to Jews. Israel divided the worship area following the Hebron Massacre of 25 February 1994 (see be­low). The 1997 Hebron Agreement (see be­low) divided the city into two parts: H1 (80%), which is ad­ministered by the Pal­estinians and H2 (20%), which is controlled by Israel and where some 400 set­tlers live. In July 2017, UNESCO declared Hebron’s Old City a Pales­tinian world herit­age site and also inscribed it as world herit­age site in danger, sparking outrage from Israel. Hebron remains a point of frequent fric­tions, which were monitored by the Tem­porary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) until Israeli Prime Minister Ne­ta­nyahu de­cided not to extend its mandate on 28 Janu­ary 2019 on the grounds that it was acting against Israel.


(also: Hebron Protocol) Accord reached between Israel and the PLO/ PA on 15 January 1997, in which Israel agreed to withdraw from 80% of the city (H1), while re­taining control over an enclave of 500-800 settlers living among tens of thousands of Pal­estinians in the city’s center (20%, H2). H2 in­cludes the Old City, Ibrahimi Mosque, and seven set­tlements (Abraham Avinu, Bet Ha­das­sah, Bet Romano, Ramat Yashai-Tel Ru­maida, Na­hum House/Yehuda Barqoush, Bet Hashasha, Rachel Salonique). Following the signing of the Hebron Agreement, the two sides also signed, on 21 January 1997, an ‘Agree­ment on the Temporary International Presence in the city of Hebron’ setting out the arrangements for the ‘TIPH,’ to be made up of 180 persons from Norway, Italy, Den­mark, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, tasked to monitor and report the situation in Hebron, with Norway being responsible for the overall coordination.


(also: Cave of the Pa­triarchs  or Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre) Mass murder of 29 Palestinian wor­shippers inside Hebron’s Al-Ibrahimi Mosque at the hands of US-born settler and Kach sup­porter Baruch Goldstein, who entered the mosque on 25 February 1994 during the early morning prayers in the holy month of Rama­dan, and opened fire. Before being overpo­wered and beaten to death, he killed 29 people and injured 125. During the ensuing protest, Israeli forces killed another 20-40 Palestinians and injured over 100 others.


(referred to by Jews as Hebron Massacre) Unrest that occurred on 23-24 Au­gust 1929 in Hebron, during the British Mandate era, in the wake of the Al-Buraq (Western Wall) disturbances between Arabs and Jews that spread from Jerusalem through­out the country. The riots were triggered by rumors that Jews had killed Arabs in Jerusa­lem and burned down Al-Aqsa Mosque. Arabs then began attacking Jews in the city, killing 67 Jews and wounding many others. About 435 Jews survived by hiding with their Arab neighbors, who risked their lives to save them. The surviving Jews were evacuated by the British, but some returned and lived in Hebron until the Arab Revolt of 1936.


English: Freedom) Political movement established in 1948 by Menachem Begin and other members of the Irgun-Zvei Leumi to continue as a parliamentary party with the ide­als of Vladimir Jabotinsky. Herut merged with other parties and evolved into the Gahal party and later into the Likud.


Small right-wing Israeli faction that broke away from Likud in 1998 over the Likud Party's ra­tification and implementation of the Hebron Agreement and the Wye Accords, which de­rives its inspiration from the ideology of the historic Herut Party. The movement was headed by Benny Be­gin, son of Menachem Begin, until his retirement and subsequently by Michael Kleiner. Herut did not run in the 2009 elections and is considered defunct.


Israeli NGO that was established in the wake of and in order to promote the Ge­neva Accord along with its Palestinian counterpart, the Palestine Peace Coalition.


see Hizbullah


Head of the Civil Administration in Palestine that re­placed British military rule in June 1920 and lasted until May 1948. The High Commis­sion­er enjoyed wide ranging authority and pow­ers over almost all spheres, although ulti­mate control resided with the British govern­ment, including using means such as collec­tive pun­ishment, censorship, deportation, and detention without trial. Altogether, there were seven British High Commissioners in Pa­les­tine, serving as follows: Sir Herbert Sa­muel (1920-25), Lord Herbert Onslow Plumer (1925-28), Sir John Herbert Chancellor (1928-31), Sir Arthur Grenfell Wau­chope (1931-38), Sir Ha­rold MacMichael (1938-44), John Standish Sur­tees Prendergast Verek­er, Viscount Gort (1944-45), and Sir Alan Gordon Cun­ningham (1945-48).


referring to loosely-organized religious-nationalist settlers, often radical right-wing ideologists, who establish illegal outposts in the West Bank, call for the expulsion of Palestinians, and regularly and vio­lently assault Palestinian farmers, villag­ers, and Bedouins. Their origin goes back to then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who, in the wake of the Wye River Agreement, called in November 1998 on settler youth to "grab the hilltops", saying, "Everyone that's there should move, should run, should grab more hills, expand the territory. Everything that's grabbed will be in our hands. Everything we don't grab will be in their hands." Hilltop Youth are considered by some as "terror” group.


Jewish Labor Federation/Trade Union Movement, inaugurated in December 1920 in Haifa. It promoted Jewish employ­ment, workers’ rights, and land settlement, and set up a national defense organization (Ha­ganah) "to safeguard the national and so­cial content of popular defense in this coun­try" which it controlled it until its split in 1931. The Histadrut now oper­ates a number of enterprises in­clud­ing Bank HaPoalim and the Ku­pat Holim health care system.


The term refers to the area which was pre-state of Israel commonly known as Palestine and today comprises the OPT (=22% of historic Palestine) and Israel (78% of historic Palestine).


(English: Party of God; also spelled Hizb Allah, Hizballah or Hezbollah) Iranian-backed militant Islamic organization, created in 1982 in response to Israel’s invasion of Leb­anon. It formally announced its existence in 1985 with the release of an “Open Letter” – a manifesto that outlined the party’s ideo­logical beliefs, including ousting of Israeli forces from Lebanese soil, destruction of Israel, li­be­ration of Jerusalem, and creation of an Is­lamic state in Lebanon. The organization is drawn from several Shi’a religious and politi­cal groups and derives its inspiration from Iran’s supreme leader. Hizbullah is based in predominantly Shi'ite areas of South Leba­non, the suburbs of Beirut, and the Beka’a Val­ley and is has been led by Secretary-General Sheikh Has­san Nasrallah since 1992. Hizbul­lah is strongly backed by Syria and Iran and has evolved into a significant political party that is represented in the Lebanese parlia­ment since July 2005. In June 2006, Hizbul­lah’s abduction of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of four others triggered a fierce month-long military onslaught from Israel that im­pacted the whole of Lebanon. In November 2006, Hizbullah and its Shi’a allies quit the cab­inet and spearheaded an opposition cam­paign to topple the government. Hizbullah was popular amongst the population for its de­fiance against Israel, however its popularity suffered from its siding with the Ba'ath re­gime in the Syrian civil war. Hizbullah’s mili­tary wing is listed as a terror­ist organiza­tion by the US State Department and the EU.


(also: Historical Basin) Concept in­tro­duced by Israel during the Camp David ne­go­tia­tions in July 2000 and picked up in the Taba Talks in early 2001 with regard to the area embracing the Old City of Jeru­salem and adjacent localities, including the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the ‘City of David’, the Ki­dron Valley, and the settlement area of Shi­mon Hatzadik in Sheikh Jarrah, which con­tain sites holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians. The idea was to create a spe­cial regime (in­ternational) for the area, which would be re­sponsible for keeping order and ensuring free­dom of belief as well as open access to all the holy sites. The Palestinians rejected the pro­posal, seeing it as a means of justifying Israe­li claims to sovereignty in an area which is not only predominantly Palestinian but also oc­cupied territory under international law, and insisted on Palestinian sovereignty instead.


Term referring to Jerusalem, espe­cially the Old City, which Muslims, Jews, and Christians view as uniquely significant be­cause it contains some of their most impor­tant Holy Places.



Term referring to historical Pales­tine (i.e., today’s Israel and the OPT), as well as portions of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, where biblical events and those related to Prophet Mohammed are believed to have occurred.


Religious sites generally identi­fied with the lives and activities of Prophet Mohammed, Jesus, Mary, and the disciples, as well as King David and the Hebrew proph­ets, who are sometimes revered by members of all three faiths (e.g., the burial place of Abraham in Hebron, the tomb of Joseph in Nablus, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem).


Jewish settler organization that operates on behalf of Jewish right-wing families living in the Shimon Hatzadik area in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. It aims at evicting Palestinian residents from their houses to establish a new Jewish settlement enclave in the neighborhood.


Form of collective pu­nishment in accor­dance with an Israeli mili­tary order, in which families are forcibly re­moved from their homes, which are then par­tially or completely destroyed. Israel uses demol­itions (some­times seal­ing) of houses as a punitive measure (e.g., against the families of sus­pected 'terror­ists') or an administrative measure (using the pre­text of lack of a build­ing permit, which in turn are very hard to obtain for Palestinians). Home demolition as a punitive measure, is a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is estimated that since 1967 and as of 2017, Israel has destroyed close to 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of “self-demolitions” in which Pal­estinian owners are forced to demolish their properties themselves to avoid heavy fines, following the issuance of demolition orders by the Israeli authorities.


Second commission, following the Shaw Com­mission (see below), formed by Brit­ish Prime Minister MacDonald in October 1930 to in­ves­tigate the Pales­tinian up­risings in 1929 and the questions of Zionist im­migration, settle­ment, and development. The inquiry was con­ducted by Sir John Hope-Simpson, who fo­cused on the economic ab­sorptive capacity of Palestine and rec­om­mended that Jewish immigration and land purchase be restricted because it was causing a growing population of landless Arabs and threat­ened Palestinian agricultural development. The recommen­da­tions were adopted by the Passfield White Paper (see below).


(English: Israeli Resilience) Israeli centrist party established in December 2018 ahead of the April 2019 elections by for­mer Israeli army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. It pledged to preserve Israel as "a Jewish and democratic country" and to change priorities in national security and the economy.  Shortly after its formation, the party decided to run in the 2019 elections in a joint electoral list with Telem and Yesh Atid under the new par­ty name Blue and White, which won 35 and 33 seats respec­tively in the April and Sep­tem­ber 2019 elections.


(also: Enemy Entity) Term in­tro­duced by Israel in September 2007 to de­note the new status of the Gaza Strip, citing the threats posed by Hamas rule following the takeover of the strip in June that year, and continued Palestinian rocket attacks. Israel's goal in using this terminology was to reduce their responsibility for the safety and well-be­ing of Gaza's civilian population and to dis­charge Israel of its obligations under interna­tional law to guarantee access to humanita­rian supplies to the people in Gaza, though this assertion was promptly rejected by the UN and others in the international commu­nity.


(English: often translated as truce or ceasefire) Term that goes back to 628 AD when Prophet Mohammed, representing the state of Medina, concluded the le­gen­dary, ten-year ‘Hudaybiyya accord’ (after the place where it was signed) with the Qu­raysh tribe, which controlled Mecca at the time, to de­crease tension between the two cities. In April 2008, Hamas political leader Khaled Ma­sha’al offered Israel a 10-year hudna as a proof of recognition in exchange for a Pales­tin­ian state with genuine sovereignty, with­out settlements on pre-1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as its capital. The offer was rejected by Israel.


Assault by Jewish forces, led by first Lieutenant Shmuel Lahis, on the Leba­nese border village of Hula on 31 October 1948, in which they sealed off the entrances to the village, rounded up inhabitants, divid­ing them among three houses where they then gunned them down before blowing up the houses with the bodies inside. In Israeli historian Benny Morris’ research, reports by then-Attorney General Ya’akov Shimshon Sha­pira claimed that 52 men, women, and child­ren were killed in the Hula Massacre how­ever an account by Israeli Commander Dov Yer­miya suggested that 15-60 men were killed and women and children were sent away. Ac­cording to Morris, in 1949 Lahis was tried and convicted in a military court within a larger effort by the Israeli cabinet to investigate other massacres and atrocities committed by members of the Jewish forces during the war. Though he was given a seven-year sentence, on appeal, the Supreme Military Court re­duced the sentence to one year, which he served as an open prisoner in an Israeli army base. Within five years, he was pardoned at the beh­est of then Defense Minister Ben Gu­rion, and continued a long professional career.


Fundamental interna­tion­al laws go­verning how people are treated and designed to promote and pro­tect human rights. It applies at all times in­cluding during situations of emer­gency and conflict and sets out the basic pro­tections that all individuals are entitled to, al­though during wars or tem­porary occupation all but the non-derogable provisions may be sus­pended in situations threatening the life of the nation. States are required to respect, en­sure and fulfill these rights. In 1993, the UN General Assembly In 2006, the UN estab­lished the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was  re­placed in 2006 with the United Nations Human Rights Council for the en­forcement of inter­nation­al human rights law.


Set of international laws regulat­ing the conduct of war, i.e., how com­batants and civilians are to be treated during war, armed conflict and occupation. It refers to a set of rules which seek, for humanita­rian reasons, to limit the effects of armed con­flict, to protect persons who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities, and restrict the means and methods of warfare.


Raids by Haganah pa­ramilitaries on the Safad-area village of Al-Husayniyya on 12-13 March 1948, destroying homes with explosives killing several dozen Arabs including women and children with anoth­er 20 wounded. The village’s mukhtar was also executed after having been assured of his safety. These events, cited by Israeli historian Benny Morris, even struck officials in the Brit­ish Army and Jewish National Fund as particularly brutal.


The July 1915-January 1916 exchange of letters between Sharif Hus­sein Bin Ali of Mecca and Sir Hen­ry MacMahon, British High Commis­sion­er in Egypt, in which MacMahon pro­posed Arab post-war inde­pendence from the Otto­man Em­pire, including Palestine, in re­turn for an Arab rebellion against Ottoman forces. Based on this corre­spondence, Sharif Hussein launched the Arab Re­volt and de­clared Arab inde­pend­ence from Ottoman rule in June 1916. However, neither side agreed on pre­cise borders for a future Arab state, nor was Palestine mentioned by name. Fol­lowing the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the leaking of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, Sharif Hussein and other Arab leaders consi­dered the agreements violated.




Israeli law requires every per­manent resident above the age of 16, whether a citizen or not, to carry an identifi­cation card called in Hebrew te'udatzehut (while Pales­tin­ians the Arab term hawiyya). Following the 1967 occu­pation, those documents were also imposed on Palestinians in two forms – in blue plastic casings with the Israeli Coat of Arms embossed on them for permanent resi­dents of Jerusalem (as for Israeli citizens) and cards in orange plastic casings with the Israeli army’s insignia embossed for resi­dents of the remaining occupied territories. After its establishment in 1994, the PA began is­suing its own Palestinian ID cards with green casings for West Bankers and Gazans. How­ever, Israel remains in control of the Pales­tinian population registry as per the Oslo Ac­cords and still decides who receives a Pales­tinian ID card and assigns the ID num­bers. Palestinians who re­sided in East Jeru­sa­lem and were there at the time of Israel’s 1967 census ob­tained a Jerusa­lem ID card, making them “perma­nent resi­dents” (not citizens) of Israel (see Jerusa­lem ID Card) .


English acronym for “Israel Defense Forces,” which is Israel's military, including air force navy, and ground forces. The IDF was offi­cial­ly formed on 26 May 1948 at the order of then Defense Mi­nister David Ben-Gurion, as a conscript army (male and females from age 18). It incorpo­rated the three former Jewish underground militias Haganah, Irgun and Lehi. In Israel, it is commonly known as Tzah­al, which is the Hebrew acronym for Tsva ha-Ha­gana le-Yisra'el (English: The Army of Defense for Israel). Palestinians pre­fer to use the term “Israeli (occupation) army” or “forces.” The In­ternational Institute for Strategic Studies estimates the IDF’s ac­tive personnel at 169,500 and the reserve person­nel at 465,000. Since Jan­uary 2019, Chief of Staff is Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi.


Hostile, forced entrance into a ter­ritory, usually used to denote an Israeli mili­tary invasion of Palestinian Area A, which is officially under full Palestinian civil and mili­tary control.


Umbrella list of can­didates composed of individuals from the Pal­es­tinian National Initiative (see Al-Mubadara) and other like-minded independents, headed by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, which ran in the January 2006 PLC elections, win­ning two out of 132 parliament seats. The list promised to fight corruption, nepotism, and the Israeli Se­pa­ration Barrier, and to provide "a truly dem­ocratic and independent 'third way' for the large majority of silent and un­repre­sented Pal­estinian voters, who favor neither the au­to­cracy and corruption of the govern­ing Fatah party nor the fundamental­ism of Ha­mas." In­de­pendent Palestine ac­cepted the 1993 Oslo Accords and favored resumption of negotia­tions with Israel.


(also: Sinai Interim Agreement) Un­derstanding signed by Israel and Egypt, with US presence, in Geneva on 4 September 1975, providing for a limited forces zone, a UN supervised buf­fer zone, Egyp­tian and Israeli elec­tron­ic surveillance sta­tions, and an addi­tional station to be manned by Ameri­can technicians as part of an early warn­ing system in the Sinai desert. Egypt also regained access to the Abu Rudeis oil fields. The duration of the agree­ment was to be at least three years with an an­nual exten­sion of the mandate of the UN Emer­gency Force (UNEF).


(Also: Taba or Oslo II Agreement) Agreement concluded in Taba on 26 September 1995 and signed by Israel and the Palestinians in Washington on 28 Sep­tember. It outlined the second stage of Pales­tin­ian autonomy, extending it to the re­main­ing parts of the West Bank (after “Jeri­cho first”), divided the West Bank into Areas A (Pales­tinian civil jurisdiction and in­ter­nal se­curity), B (Palestinian civil ju­risdiction, joint Is­raeli-Palestinian internal security), and C (Israeli civil and overall security control), and determined the elec­tion and powers of a Pal­estin­ian Leg­islative Council. October 1997 was the target date for the completion of fur­ther redeploy­ment and October 1999 for reaching a final status agreement – which has not materialized as of the publication this book.


Several bodies of the Palestinian se­curity ap­pa­ratus, including the Civil Police Force, Civil Defense, and the Preventive Security Service (PSS).


(1.) Pales­tinian refugees who fled, were displaced, or were expelled from their villages and homes during the 1948 War but remained in the area that be­came the state of Israel. UNRWA and ICRC estimates put their numbers at 30,000-40,000. Today, their number, includ­ing their descendants, is believed to exceed 300,000. Internally displaced Palestinians of 1948 have never been allowed to return to their homes and villages, and Israel has al­ways refused to deal with them as a refugee problem.

(2.) An estimated 334,600 Palestinians inter­nally displaced in the Palestinian territory oc­cupied since 1967 (see also Displaced Persons).


(also: Copenhagen Group and Louisi­ana Group) Regional peace initiative, spon­sored by the Danish government, founded in Louisiana, Denmark (north of Copenhagen) on January 1997 by a group of Egyptian, Jor­danian, Palestinian and Israeli intellectuals. Participants issued the ‘Copenhagen Decla­ration’, which states their commitment to unify those who have a shared vision of peace, to sustain Israeli-Arab dialogue, and to pro­mote peace between Israel and its Arab neigh­bors. The group held several conferences but has come under fierce at­tack throughout the Arab World on the grounds that there should be no efforts to­ward normalization until the policies of the Israeli government dramati­cally change.





(also: Law of Nations) Set of legal rules, norms, and standards es­tablished by custom or treaty that apply be­tween sovereign states and other legally recognized entities and are recognized as binding in their relations with one another. It thus serves as a framework for the practice of stable and organized international rela­tions and is central to advancing interna­tional peace and security. Whereas interna­tional law constitutes consent-based gover­nance by sovereign states, violations of cus­tomary international law and peremptory norms (jus cogens) can induce military action or other forms of coercion, such as diplo­matic pressure or economic sanctions.


Palestin­ian-led movement of Palestin­ian and international activists, which works to raise awareness about the Palestinian struggle for freedom and an end to Israeli occupation, while promoting non-violent, di­rect-action methods of resistance and pro­testing Israeli policies in the OPT.



Term referring to Part III of the UN General As­sembly Resolution 181 of November 1947, which proposed the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, while de­termining that the City of Jerusalem should not go to either of the sides but have a sepa­rate and permanent international status. It thus stipulated that Jerusalem shall be es­tablished as a corpus separatum (also in­clud­ing Bethlehem) under a special interna­tional regime, administered by the United Nations.


Cam­paign­ing efforts by the PA, PLO and President Mah­moud Abbas that began in 2011 and aimed to achieve recognition for Palestinian state­hood and rights from international bo­dies. By deliberately moving the Palestinian cause to the international level, the Pales­tinian lea­dership hoped to succeed more than by con­tinuing to try bridging the gaps with Israel through negotiation. In Septem­ber 2011, Pres­ident Abbas submitted a re­quest to the UN Security Council asking for the admission of an independent Palestinian state to the UN. The bid stalled when it be­came clear that the US would veto it and that several other members would abstain from voting. How­ever, UN General Assembly Resolu­tion 67/19 of 29 November 2012 accorded Palestine “non-member observer state.”


English: Civil Uprising; literally: Shak­ing off) (1.) What is today referred to as the 'first Intifada' erupted in Gaza on 9 De­cem­ber 1987 after four Palestinians were killed when an Israeli military truck col­lided with two vans car­ry­ing Palestinian workers. En­suing clashes spread rapidly to the rest of the OPT. The Intifada was carried by youth and directed by the ‘Unified National Leader­ship of the Uprising’, a coalition of the main po­litical factions, with the goal of ending the Israeli oc­cupation and establishing Pal­estin­ian independence. Israel's heavy-handed re­sponse included closing universities, de­port­ing activ­ists, and de­stroying homes, but was also a motivating factor in the interna­tional com­munity attempting to find a per­manent solu­tion. The In­tifada came to an end with the sign­ing of the Oslo Accords, by which time over 1,500 Palestinians had been killed and tens of thousands injured. Ac­cording to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories B’Tselem, also 100 Israeli civilians and 60 military personnel were killed.

(2.) The 'Al-Aqsa Intifada' or 'second Inti­fada' began on 28 September 2000 when Likud op­position leader Ariel Sharon made a pro­voca­tive visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque with thou­sands of security forces deployed in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. Ensuing clashes with Palestinian pro­testors left five Palestinians dead and over 200 injured dur­ing the first two days, and the incident soon sparked a wide­spread, this time armed, up­rising in the OPT, Israel, and the Arab world. The Al-Aqsa Intifada brought what was left of the peace process to a halt, sidelined President Arafat, caused unprecedented damage to the Pales­tinian economy and in­frastructure, saw PA areas re-occupied, and led to an accelerated construction of the Se­paration Barrier. Ac­cording to documenta­tion by B’Tselem, the death toll among Pal­estinians had reached at least 5,000 by late 2008, with over 50,000 injured.



Report issued on 6 December 2006 by the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commis­sion), headed by former US Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic con­gressman Lee Hamilton, which assessed the state of the US war in Iraq, recommending the training of Iraqi troops and an end to com­bat opera­tions but stopping short of call­ing for a phased withdrawal of US troops. The report also stated that "there must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the US to comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts" and a "commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine." Regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, five key ele­ments were listed: (1) adhere to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the prin­ciple of land for peace, (2) provide strong sup­port for Pres­ident Ab­bas and the PA in ne­gotiations with Israel, (3) move from the cur­rent hostilities by con­so­li­dating the cease-fire reached between the Israelis and Pales­tin­ians in November 2006, (4) sup­port a Pal­estinian unity govern­ment, and (5) facili­tate sustainable negotia­tions leading to a final peace settlement along the lines of Pres­ident Bush's two-state solution, which would ad­dress final status issues.


(also: Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan) Alliance formed on 14 February 1958 when King Faisal II of Iraq and his cousin, King Hussein of Jordan, sought to unite their kingdoms in order to counter the recent alignment be­tween Syria and Egypt (see United Arab Re­public). The confederation lasted only six months in the face of Egyptian opposition and was officially dissolved on 2 August 1958, after King Faisal was deposed by a military coup two weeks earlier.


(full name: Irgun Zvei Le'umi; English: National Military Organi­zation; also: Etzel or Haganah Le'umit; English: National Defense) Militant Jewish underground group estab­lished by dissident Haganah commanders in April 1931 and led by Zeev Jabotinsky. It was responsible for some 60 terror attacks against British and Palestinian targets. In June 1940, the Irgun split into Avraham Stern’s Irgun Zvei Leumi Be'yisrael (National Military Or­gan­ization in Israel, later known as Lohamei Herut Yisrael, Lehi, or Stern Gang), which saw the British as the main enemy, and David Raziel's Irgun Zvai Leumi Be'eretz Yisrael (Na­tional Military Organiza­tion in Eretz Israel), which was closely linked to Jabotinsky’s Revi­sionist Party and whose main targets were Arabs. The last Com­mander-in-Chief (1943-48) was Menchem Begin, who later became the first Likud Prime Mi­nister of Israel. The Irgun disbanded following the establishment of the state of Israel and integrated into the army of the new state.



Version of the international Muslim Brotherhood founded in 1971 by Abdullah Nimr Darwish and a group of Israeli Ar­abs, advocating a return to Islam and armed struggle against the state. The Islamic Movement runs kindergartens, social welfare services, clinics, a religious college, sports clubs, volunteer work camps, and a TV station. In 1996, the organization split be­tween the southern, more moderate branch, led by Sheikh Abdullah Nimr Dar­wish, and the north­ern, more hard-line branch, which boycotts Israeli elections and strongly sup­ports the Palestinians in the oc­cupied Ter­ritories. The northern branch, led by Raed Salah who was convicted of incite­ment to terror in November 2019, was out­lawed by the Israeli government in Novem­ber 2015 due to alleged close ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.


see IDF


(Hebrew: Yisrael Democratit, literally: Democratic Israel) Polit­ical party founded by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak in June 2019, vowing to save Israeli democracy and defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu in the September 2019 elections. In July 2019, its election campaign was launched under the slogan "the State of Ne­tanyahu or the State of Israel." Among its other commitments are enacting a constitu­tion based on the Israeli Declaration of Inde­pendence, establishing permanent borders for Israel within two years, increasing spend­ing on social services (such as free education and healthcare), allowing civil marriage and divorce, and increasing the salary of the Israe­li forces. Barak’s name choice for his party has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Re­publicans in the US, who deem it mislead­ing for different rea­sons. From the begin­ning, the party has posi­tioned itself against the Netanyahu gov­ern­ment and has aimed to form a left-wing bloc by reach­ing out to leaders such as Me­retz’s Nitzan Ho­rowitz.


Gov­ern­ment agency responsible for managing national lands (i.e. lands of the De­velopment Authority and the Jewish National Fund), which amount to some 93% of the land in the State of Israel. Ac­cording to the Israel Land Administration Law of 1960, the Agri­culture and Finance Ministries are charged with its imple­mentation. Among the func­tions of the ILA are safeguarding state lands, development planning, and making state land available for 'public use.' As part of re­forms started in 2009, the ILA was dis­man­tled and replaced by the Israel Land Au­thor­ity.



Under­standing signed in Washington on 14 Sep­tember 1994, constituting the blueprint for the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty (see be­low). The Agenda is comprised of the fol­lowing components: security, water, refu­gees and dis­placed persons, borders, and territorial matters.


Jewish Israeli term for mem­bers of the indigenous population of Israel, i.e., those Palestinians who were left in what became the State of Israel in 1948 and sub­sequently became citizens of that state. Pal­estinians refer to them as “1948-Palestini­ans” (or “48-ers”), “Palestinians inside,” or “Pal­es­tinian citizens of Israel.”


Israeli military body tasked with administrative matters in over the West Bank and Gaza Strip intro­duced by Military Or­der No. 947 of 8 No­vember 1981 (Order for the Establish­ment of the Ci­vilian Administration, Judea and Sama­ria), re­placing the previous Military Govern­ment. Hen­ceforth, powers of government, legisla­tion, appointment and administration in re­la­tion to the West Bank and Gaza Strip (the latter until the 2005 Disengagement) and/or their inhabitants were exercised by the head of the Civil Administration. The Civil Admin­istration is part of the COGAT (see Coordi­na­tor of Government Activities in the Terri­to­ries), which in turn is a unit in the Israeli De­fense Ministry.


formally: Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; also: Wadi ‘Araba Treaty) Treaty signed by Israel and Jordan at the southern border crossing of Wadi ‘Araba on 26 October 1994, follow­ing the earlier signing of the Washington Declaration (see below) in July that year, which ended the 46-year war between the two coun­tries. It normalized rela­tions between the two states, re­solved territorial disputes between them (restoring some 380 km2 of occupied lands to Jordan, guaranteeing it an equal share of water from the Yarmouk and Jordan Rivers, and defining its western bor­ders conclu­sively), and provided a solid frame­work for bilateral cooperation in the political, eco­nomic, and cultural fields. As a result of this treaty, Jordan became the second Arab coun­try (after Egypt) to sign a peace agree­ment with Israel.


Proposal, similar in nature to Menahem Be­gin’s 1977 Autonomy Plan, made with reference to the provi­sions of the Camp David Accords (Sep­tember 1978) and put forward on 31 January 1982. It promoted a “Self-Governing Au­thor­ity” (Ad­ministrative Council) to be elected in the OPT with control over civil and municipal affairs (ad­ministration of the jus­tice system, agriculture, finance, health, education, hous­ing and public works, trans­portation and com­munications, labor and social welfare, police, religious affairs, indus­try, commerce and tour­ism, etc.), while Israel would retain control of security with army redeployment to “spe­cified secu­rity lo­cations.”


(English: Independence Party) First regularly constituted Palestinian politi­cal party established in August 1932 by Awni Abdul Hadi and other activists. It reflected the frustration of educated nationalists over the national move­ment’s failure to effec­tive­ly confront Zion­ism and British sup­port of it. The party called for an end of the British Mandate and advo­cated the in­depen­dence and unity of all Arab countries, as well as Pal­estine's Arab identity and its belonging to Greater Syria. Istiqlal criti­cized the Husseini-Nasha­shibi rivalry for dividing Palestinians but was unable to challenge either camp and became in­creasingly insignificant.


(also: Izz Al-Din, Izzeddin or Ezzedin Al-Qassam or short: Qassam Brigades) Military wing of Hamas and nominally controlled by the political or­gani­za­tion, but is largely a nebula of small groups. It grew out of several resistance networks established by Hamas during the first Inti­fada and became known as its armed branch in mid-1991. The group is named af­ter Mus­lim Brotherhood member Sheikh Izz Eddin Al-Qassam, who preached Jihad against the British and the Zionists, and was killed in action by British forces near Jenin in 1935. They are respon­sible for numerous at­tacks on Israeli tar­gets, includ­ing suicide bomb­ings. Since the outbreak of the Second Inti­fada in September 2000, the Bri­gades be­came a cen­tral target of Israel, which has killed hun­dreds of its members. They are listed as a terrorist organiza­tion by the US, the EU, and Australia. As part of the Oc­tober 2017 Re­con­ciliation Agree­ment be­tween Fatah and Hamas, the for­mer de­manded the dissolution of the Al-Qassam Brigades.



Assignment named after its head, Sweden's Ambas­sador to the Soviet Union, Dr. Gunnar Jarring, who aimed at bring­ing the Arabs and Israelis together for talks. The assignment was based on UN Se­curity Council Resolution 242 of 22 Novem­ber 1967, which called for the appointment of a special Middle East represen­tative to help promote an agreement to achieve a peaceful and ac­cepted settlement. Jarring arrived in the Mid­dle East in early 1968 and met with the lead­ers of Israel and of the Arab states. The mis­sion reached an impasse in late 1969, be­cause the Arab states would not negotiate with Israel directly or indi­rectly. It resumed briefly after August 1970, but was again sus­pended because of Egyp­tian violations of the cease-fire agreement (that had ended the war of attrition along the Suez Canal). In February 1971, Jarring presented Israel and Egypt identical notes proposing a peace set­tlement. However, due to Egypt’s insistence of a total Israeli with­drawal and a resolution of the Palestinian problem and Israel’s re­fusal to return to the 4 June 1967 lines, the mission effectively lapsed. The failure of the Jarring Mission, which was not formally ter­minated until 1990, led the US to create its own approach to Mid­dle East peace, the Rog­ers Plan (see be­low). Jar­ring remained a UN special envoy on the Middle East until 1991.


Northernmost Palestinian governorate and city in the West Bank which has an esti­mated population of 314,866 and almost 50,000 respectively (PCBS, 2019). It holds one of the two campuses of the Arab Ameri­can University and is home to the Fatima Khatun Mosque, which was built by the Ot­tomans in 1566. The city was under Jorda­nian admin­is­tration from 1949 to 1967 and since then has been under Israeli occupation, despite the fact that administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority under the 1995 Oslo II Accord. Within the city bounda­ries the Jenin refugee camp can also be found, which was established by the UNRWA in 1953 and which became a symbol of Pal­estinian resistance against the Israeli occupa­tion during the Second Intifada in 2002 (see Battle of Jenin).



(Arabic: Ariha) Smallest Palestinian go­vernorate (with an approximate popula­tion of 50,000) and a city in the West Bank, home to some 20,000 Palestinians (PCBS, 2019). It is believed to be the oldest city in the world, with evidence of settlements from 10,000 BC. Jericho is also known as “City of the Moon” as its Arabic name Ariha is derived from Yarikh, the name of the Canaanite god of the moon and pro­vider of nightly dew. Only 10 km east of Je­rusalem, in the Jordan Valley near the Jordan River, Jericho serves as a gateway city to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge. It is an oasis located close to the northern shore of the Dead Sea and is considered the lowest city on earth, lying some 258 meters below sea lev­el. It is also known for its natural beauty and arc­heological remains dating back to the Neo­lithic period and, as such, is a major tourist destination in Palestine. It is also home to the refugee camps of Aqabat, Jabr and Ein Sultan. The city was under Jordanian admin­istration from 1949 to 1967 and since then has been under Israeli occupation, despite the fact that administrative control was handed over to the Palestinians under the 1994 Oslo I Ac­cord (also known as “Gaza-Je­richo First”), when Jericho temporarily be­came the Pales­tinian seat of government.


Deal brokered by the UK and US which ended an Israeli siege of Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound (Al-Muqata’a) in the spring of 2002. Israeli troops had sur­rounded the compound during a major in­cursion into the West Bank (see Operation ‘Defensive Shield’) demanding the surrender of wanted men hiding inside. Under the deal, accepted by both Israel and the PA, six Pales­tinian prisoners were to be placed in the Je­richo jail under the guard of American and British monitors. Four of the prisoners had been convicted by a makeshift Palestinian military court of assassinating extreme right-wing Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001. The fifth was PFLP leader, Ahmed Sa’adat, whose group claimed responsibility for Ze'evi's murder. The sixth was one of Arafat's top financial advisers, Fuad Shobaki, who was linked to a failed attempt to smug­gle weapons from Iran to Gaza via the Karine A ship. They remained in the Jericho jail until Israel’s raid of it, following the withdrawal of American and British monitors (see Jericho Jail Raid below).


Israeli army’s raid on the PA prison in Jericho on 14 March 2006, minutes after the American and British monitors with­drew – a move they had threatened af­ter complaining to the PA about the security con­ditions and non-compliance with the Je­richo jail deal (see entry above) over moni­toring arrangements regarding visitors, cell searches, telephone access, and correspon­dence. After a nearly 10-hour siege of the prison, during which two Palestinian police­men were killed and several others wounded, at least 200 Pal­estinian prisoners and security guards sur­rendered to the Israeli forces, including the six Palestinian prisoners connected with the Jericho jail deal.


Proposal discussed in 1974 be­tween Jordan and Israel, promoted by then Foreign Minister Yigal Allon with the as­sis­tance of US Secretary of State Henry Kissin­ger. According to the plan, segments of the Jericho district would have been returned to Jordan within the framework of a separation of forces agree­ment, similar to the agree­ments Israel signed with Egypt and Syria. The plan was abandoned after the Arab sum­mit in Rabat in October 1974, which denied King Hussein the right to negotiate on the future of the OPT and de­clared the PLO the sole le­gitimate representative of the Palestinian people.


City holy to the three main Abra­hamic religions: Judaism, Islam and Chris­tian­ity, which still remains at the core of the un­resolved Arab-Israeli conflict. The city’s west side (also known as “New City”) is mostly in­habited by Israelis, while occupied East Je­ru­salem, including the Old City (with its four – Muslim, Christian, Armenian and Jewish – quarters) is home to currently, an estimated 300,000 Palestinians (comprising about 40% of the city’s total population) and 200,000 Jewish settlers. Jerusalem was one of the is­sues (along with borders, settle­ments, refu­gees, security arrangements, re­lations and co­operation with other neigh­bors, and other is­sues of common interest) that the 1993 Dec­laration of Principles and the Oslo process de­ferred to subsequent permanent status ne­gotiations, which were to be finalized in 1999 but have not yet been held. The city is also home to the Shu’fat refugee camp. (See also East Jerusalem).


Town Plan­ning Scheme for a “united Jerusalem” first proposed by Ehud Olmert during his second term as mayor of Jerusalem in 2000 (then also known as “known as Report No. 4”), later dis­closed and officially pre­sented by then-mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupo­liansky on 13 September 2004. The plan was to serve as a mandatory map for land use and a blue­print for other municipal planning purposes until the year 2020 and marked the first time that East and West Jerusalem were ad­dressed as one entity under Israeli sove­reignty. The plan’s central goal was to en­courage young Israeli-Jews to settle in Jeru­salem by provid­ing affordable housing and tax benefits in order to “main­tain a solid Jewish majority in the city” according to the original target (of 1967) of 70% Jews and 30% Palestinians. How­ever, after planners later admitted that this was imposs­ible given the demographic trends it was adjusted to a ratio of 60:40 by 2020. (The 2017 Unified Je­rusalem Bill aimed to decrease the number of Palestinians to 30% once again). The plan’s geographic and demo­graph­ic ma­nipulations to counter the trend include the construc­tion of the Separa­tion Barrier (leav­ing some 150,000 Palestini­ans behind the mu­nicipal borders), closure and house demo­lition poli­cies, and expropri­ation of Pal­estin­ian land, including private prop­erty, through the ap­plication of the 1950 Absentee Prop­erty Law. The plan pro­vided for the establish­ment of additional Jewish set­tle­ments and public in­stitutions, while ham­per­ing Palestin­ian de­velopment and neglect­ing Palestinian sub­urbs. It was never depo­sited for public view but updated and publi­cized in 2010 as Jeru­salem 2030 Master Plan.


Revised and updated version of an earlier master plan (see Jerusalem 2000/2020 Master Plan), which was drafted by a 31-member planning com­mittee and publicized in 2010. It defined a range of development issues within the en­tire Jerusalem municipal boundaries until the year 2030, most remarkably also acknowl­edging the housing crisis in Palestinian neigh­borhoods (which was probably due to the fact that one of the committee members was a Palestinian). However, while the plan con­ceded that a population ratio of 60% Jews: 40% Palestinians was more realistic, it main­tained the 70:30 goal, ignored the need to allocate land to Palestinians, and focused on Israeli-Jewish settlement expansion.


Plan based on a private initiative of the Israeli business com­munity, launched by Australian technol­ogy innovator and real estate investor Kevin Ber­meister in 2012 and pursued with the en­dorsement of the Israeli government. It out­lines a vision of Jerusalem by the year 2040 (= 5800 on the Hebrew calendar, hence the name) which portrays the city as a me­tropo­lis – reaching to the Dead Sea (east), Ramallah (north) and Bethlehem/Etzion set­tlement bloc (south) – and as Israeli-Jewish high-tech hub with underground traffic sys­tems, rooftop gar­dens, and vehicle-free pe­destrian areas. Promotion of tourism is at the core of the plan, which estimates 12 mil­lion tourists an­nually by 2050 and also pro­poses the con­struction of an airport east to the city. While the plan’s focus is on eco­nomic growth, it is colonial at its heart, con­solidating Israeli control in the city and neg­lecting Palestinian claims as well as erasing their narrative.


(Hebrew: Yom Yerushalayim) Commemoration of the “reunification” of East and West Jerusalem on 7 June 1967 as well as Israel’s “regaining” control over the Old City, celebrated by Jewish Israelis with me­morial services, parades and prayers on the 28th of Iyar. It is often accom­pa­nied by pro­voc­ative actions against Pales­tin­ians liv­ing in the city.


Leg­islation adopted on 23 October 1995 by both the US Senate (93-5) and House (374-37) stating that every country designates its own capital, and that Israel has so designated Je­rusalem, the spiritual center of Judaism. Ad­ditionally, the act states US official policy towards Jerusalem is that it should remain a united city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected, it should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel, and that the US Embassy should be established there no later than 31 May 1999. A built-in waiver, which allows the President to postpone the move for six months on grounds of “national security,” has repeat­edly been invoked by successive US presi­dents, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and Ba­rack Obama, meaning the law has never tak­en effect. During his 2016 election campaign, US President Donald Trump promised to fi­nally move the US embassy, but also signed the waiver in June and December 2017, just after giving a highly controversial speech re­cog­nizing Jerusa­lem as Israel’s capi­tal and say­ing he had in­structed the State Department to begin preparation to relocate the US em­bassy. The US Embassy officially relocated to the Ar­nona section of the US Con­sulate in Je­rusa­lem on 14 May 2018, coincid­ing with the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of In­dependence.


(also Jerusalem Security Plan) Term used by Israel for the Se­paration Barrier it builds via fences or con­crete walls around Jerusalem to restrict access for Palestinians from the West Bank (see also Separation Barrier).



Israeli issued document held by Palestinians classified as “perma­nent residents of Jeru­salem” (based on the 1952 Law of Entry to Israel and the 1974 Entry to Israel Regulations). The first such cards were given to those Palestinians living in East Jeru­salem within the new municipal borders at the time of Israel’s 1967 census (those who were ab­sent later had to apply for family reunification to the Interior Ministry). Jeru­salem ID card holders are entitled to cer­tain benefits denied to Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip (e.g., national and health insurance), they can travel freely and have access to employment in Jerusalem and in Israel. They must also pay all the taxes that Israel's citizens pay, cannot leave the country without travel documents (also called ‘laissez-passer’) issued by Israel's Minis­try of the In­terior, and are subject to discriminatory laws and policies. The confis­cation and revocation of Jerusalem ID cards under bureau­cratic pre­texts is one of Israel’s me­thods to control the number of Palestini­ans in the city. As of 2018, at least 14,643 ID cards had been re­voked from Palestinian resi­dents of Jeru­salem since 1967.


Israeli plan “se­cretly” worked out by a team which was put to­gether by Chaim Silberstein, founder and pres­ident of the Keep Jerusalem organiza­tion and including Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen, former Foreign Ministry legal ad­viser Alan Baker, Muni Ben-Ari from Kfar Adumim, arc­hitect Yoram Ginsburg, former ambassador Yoram Ettinger, and reporter Nadav Shragai, and gained the support of Minister of Jerusa­lem and Heritage Zeev El­kin. The plan is dri­ven by the desire to “im­prove” the demo­graphic balance of Jerusa­lem by reducing the Palestinian population. It essentially intends to decouple the Pales­tinian neighborhoods Kufr Aqab and Shu’fat refugee camp from Jerusalem, i.e., remove them from the mu­nic­ipal jurisdiction and create a separate local authority for them, while still keeping them under Israeli sove­reignty. (See also Unified Jerusalem Bill).


Declaration in November 2007 by over 100 Palestinian Jerusalemite public figures, as well as Mus­lim and Christian leaders, in reaction to the lack of a definitive stance by the PA and ne­gotiating teams regarding Jerusalem prior to the Istanbul Interna­tional Conference on Je­rusalem and the Annapolis Confer­ence. The statement asserts Palestinian political, reli­gious, and economic rights to the city and declares these non-negotiable in any final status talks.


Organization formed in 1920-21 by virtue of Article IV of the British Mandate for Palestine terms of reference as the formal representative of the Jewish com­munity vis-à-vis the British mandatory gov­ernment. After the establish­ment of the state of Israel, the Jewish Agency shifted its focus to issues com­mon to the state and to Jewish communities abroad, encour­aging and orga­nizing the immigration of Jews and assisting in their integration. The Jewish Agency spon­sors programs that connect Jews worldwide to Israel, including visits (e.g., “Birthright”-trips), and edu­cational and so­cial ac­tion projects.


Organi­zation founded in 1891 by the German fin­ancier Baron Maurice de Hirsch to assist Jewish emigration from countries of perse­cu­tion or depressed economies (e.g., Russia and other Eastern European coun­tries) to mainly North and South America, where the asso­ciation purchased land to es­tablish agricul­tural colonies for that purpose. Financial aid for independent colonies in Ot­toman Pales­tine was provided from 1896, marking the initial process of Zionist land ac­quisition and settlement.


(Hebrew: Keren Kayemeth L'Yisrael or KKL, English: Perpetual Fund Capital for Israel) Body of the World Zionist Organization, founded in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel, to raise funds in Jewish communities for the purpose of purchasing, colonizing and developing land in Palestine for Jews exclusively. Today, the JNF is a multi-national corporation with of­fic­es in numerous countries worldwide. By 2007, it was estimated that the JNF owned 13% of the total land in Israel. In 2017 the JNF agreed to transfer one bil­lion NIS (US$287 million) in 2018, and the same amount in 2019, to the Israeli state to 'cover infra­structure and development needs'.


Non-govern­mental organization based in the US with over 200,000 online supporters and 70 chap­ters, which works for a US foreign policy that is based on its ideals, inspired by Jewish tra­di­tion: peace, social justice, equality, human rights, and respect for international law. Ac­cording to its mission statement, the JVP “op­poses anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression” and “seeks an end to the Israeli occupation” with “security and self-determination” for both peoples, a just so­lution for Palestinian refugees, and an end to violence. Given its support for the BDS movement, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry placed the JVP in January 2018 (along five other groups based in the US on its black list of organ­izations whose ac­tivists are not al­lowed to enter the state of Israel. -govern­mental organization based in the US with over 200,000 online supporters and 70 chap­ters, which works for a US foreign policy that is based on its ideals, inspired by Jewish tra­di­tion: peace, social justice, equality, human rights, and respect for international law. Ac­cording to its mission statement, the JVP “op­poses anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression” and “seeks an end to the Israeli occupation” with “security and self-determination” for both peoples, a just so­lution for Palestinian refugees, and an end to violence. Given its support for the BDS movement, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry placed the JVP in January 2018 (along five other groups based in the US on its black list of organ­izations whose ac­tivists are not al­lowed to enter the state of Israel.


Form of land ownership in the Ottoman Empire referring to land that had been be­queathed to the Sultan by its owners and was then rented out directly to tenants.


(English: Holy struggle – not: Holy war) Reference to the striving of a Muslim to keep the faith, to achieve self-con­trol or personal development, and/or to improve the quality of life in society (greater jihad). The Qur’an also speaks of a jihad of arms (smaller jihad), which permits fighting as a means of self-pro­tection against tyranny or oppression. The fighter who fights a jihad – a Mujahid is believed to go to Paradise if he dies, while the enemy will go to Hell.


(also: Jordan Valley Unified Water Plan) Water allocation scheme pro­posed in 1953 by US Special Envoy to the Middle East Ambassador Eric Johnston. The plan was the product of negotiations with representatives of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and resulted in a unified plan for wa­ter resource development of the Jordan Valley (1955). However, the plan was never adopted or ratified, partly because the Arab states, particularly Jordan, did not need a comprehensive water development program that directly involved Israel to achieve their immediate devel­opment goals. In addition, the Arab states did not agree to the crite­ria that were used for dividing the shares among the parties.


Political alliance uniting the four Arab-dominated parties in Israel: Hadash, United Arab List, Balad and Ta’al. The list was formed in 2015 and headed by Ayman Odeh (Ha­dash). It became the third largest faction in the Knesset (13/120 seats) after the par­lia­mentary elections of that year (10.55% of the total vote). In February 2019, internal con­flicts towards the April 2019 elections dis­banded the Joint List which broke into two separate slates – Hadash-Ta’al, led by Ayman Odeh, and Ra’am Balad, led by Man­sour Abbas – winning 6 and 4 seats respec­tively. In the run-up to the September 2019 elections, the former allies decided to unite once more, hop­ing, inter alia, that jointly they may help overthrow the right-wing government and its racist anti-democratic path. On 27 July 2019, the Joint List an­nounced its re-establishment (including Ha­dash, Balad, Ta’al, and UAL), headed by Ayman Odeh. The slate won 10.5% of the votes and 13 seats, main­tain­ing its sta­tus as the third largest party in the Knesset.


Slogan first coined in 1981 by then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon describing a policy which sought to have Jor­dan recognized as the Palestinian state (i.e., suggesting that the Pal­estine Question should be resolved in Jordan rather than in the West Bank). The notion is based on ar­guments such as: Jordan occupies most of what was the orig­inal Palestine Mandate, Jordanians and Palestinians are one people, and a majority of the Jordanians are actually Palestinians. (See Jordan Option).


Term referring to the Israeli plan (first articu­lated by the Labor Party) to reach a political agreement over the future of the West Bank and Gaza with Jordan ra­ther than the Palestinians. Until today, every now and then the Jordan option, with varia­tions ranging from 'increase the role of Jor­dan in the West Bank' to 'relocate all Pales­tinians to Jordan,' is discussed in Israeli (right-wing) academic and political circles.


Major international wa­tercourse in the Middle East region shared among Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. The 320 km long Jordan River, which flows through the Sea of Galilee to the north­ern end of the Dead Sea is the main re­gional surface water system in the West Bank and the only permanent surface water source for Palestine. To date, however, Israel diverts at least 75% of the river’s water be­fore it reaches the West Bank. The Jordan River de­rives its waters from the Hasbani River, which originates in Syria (while parts of it flow into Lebanon), and the Dan and Banias Rivers, which originate in the occu­pied Golan Heights and flow into the Jor­dan above the Sea of Galilee. The lower Jordan River is fed from rain­fall, groundwater flow, the western wadis of the West Bank, Syria, and Jordan, and by the Yarmouk River, which originates in Syria and borders Jordan, Sy­ria, and the Go­lan Heights. The bulk of water from the Jor­dan River is used by Israel, while Pales­tinians are denied access to their full share of available water. Prior to 1967, Palestinians made use of these waters through 140 pumping units, which were either destroyed or con­fiscated by Israe­li authori­ties imme­diately after the Six-Day War in June 1967. Palestinians are not al­lowed to utilize the Jordan River.


(Also: Jordan Rift Valley; Arabic: Al-Ghor or Al-Ghawr) Segment of the 6,500-km-long Syrian-East African Rift (ex­tend­ing from Syria to the Red Sea and con­tin­uing through a large portion of Eastern Afri­ca). The rift valley, which covers 400 km2 and lies at an elevation of roughly 200-300 meters below sea level, is located in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights and covers the areas of the Jordan River, Lake Tiberias, Jericho, and the Dead Sea. The Jor­dan Valley represents more than a quarter of the West Bank and is home to almost 80,000 Palestinians (living in Jericho, in 28 villages or refugee camps, and in small herding and Be­douin communities) and about 10,000 Israe­li settlers (in 37 set­tlements). Most of the Jor­dan Valley falls under the control of Israeli settlement coun­cils at the expense of the in­digenous Pales­tinian population. It further acts as a border between Israel and Jordan, which Israel wants to retain the area as a buffer zone, claiming that the Valley is vital to its defense interests. Because of the Jor­dan Valley's wa­ter resources, arable lands, and border access to Jordan it is also neces­sary for a vi­able Palestinian state. Israel re­stricts access for Palestinians (via declaration of state lands, closed firing zones and nature re­serves) and frequently demolishes their homes and struc­tures in the Valley. Ahead of the Sep­tem­ber 2019 Israeli elec­tions, Prime Mi­nister Neta­nyahu pledged to annex the area, i.e., to ap­ply Israeli sove­reign­ty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea if the election re­turn him to office.


(short: JD) Unit of currency in Jordan (one dinar being equal to 1,000 fils), which also circulates in the West Bank.


(also: Jor­da­nian-Egyptian Non-Paper or Initiative) Joint Jordanian-Egyp­tian plan submitted in April 2001 that aimed to end violence be­tween Israelis and Palestinians (Al-Aqsa In­tifada) and resume negotiations. The plan foresaw a cea­sefire, an end to Israel’s sanc­tions against the Palestinians and withdrawal of its troops, implementation of existing in­terim agree­ments, confidence-building measures (includ­ing implementation of the September 1999 Sharm Esh-Sheikh Memo­randum, as well as all security commitments, cessation of set­tlement activities, and pro­tection of all holy places), and the re­newal of negotiations on all outstanding issues. Final status negotia­tions would be based on the progress achieved in previous talks, including Camp David and Taba, and a target date would be set for their conclusion. The EU, Egypt, Jor­dan, and the UN Secretary-General were proposed as monitors for the imple­menta­tion of the suggested process. While most Arab and world leaders welcomed the initia­tive, Prime Minister Sharon rejected it as a "nonstarter."



Underlying concept for Israeli meas­ures aimed at replacing traditional Arab-Palestinian political, cultural and geo­graphic property, names, and features with Jewish/ Hebrew ones. These include all forms of land dispossession, including expulsion of the na­tive Palestinian population from their homel­and and demolition of their villages, the build­ing and sub­sidization of settle­ments, de­struction of historical sites, civil in­stitutions and residential areas, and the re­placement of the Palestinian presence with the domi­nant Israeli-Jewish one. In recent years the focus was mostly on the Judaiza­tion of Jeru­salem, with Israeli efforts to es­tablish a grow­ing Jewish presence through settlement ex­pansion, creation of settler en­claves in the Old City, Silwan and Sheikh Jar­rah, initiatives like the Light Rail (connecting West Jerusa­lem with the settlements), and tourism or archeological projects such as the City of David, while, at the same time, re­stricting Palestinian presence and ignoring or distort­ing their narrative.


Biblical names for areas approximating the current northern (Sama­ria) and southern (Judea) portions of the West Bank, applied by Israel to form the main ad­ministrative division under which the Is­raeli military, settlements, and occupation au­thor­ities classify the West Bank’s smaller sub-divisions.


Proposal made by former Israeli Defense Minister Ben Eliezer in 2002 to withdraw Israeli troops from Hebron and surrounding areas in the southern West Bank (Judea). The plan's core concept is based on the "Gaza and Bethlehem" security plans, which involved a phased withdrawal from Pal­estinian areas reoccupied during the Second Intifada and resumption of Palestin­ian secu­rity control.



(acronym for Kahane LaKnesset – English: Kahane to the Knesset) Two ultra-right-wing organizations that ad­vocate the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel. Kach was formed by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1970s and represented in the Knes­set in 1984, but was then barred from elec­tions for inciting racism. After Kahane’s as­sassination in 1990, Kahane Chai (Kahane Lives) split from Kach. The Israeli govern­ment banned group members from serving in the Knesset because of their racist orien­tation. In March 1994, after settler Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, both groups were out­lawed. Kach and Kahane Chai are considered terrorist organizations by Israel, Canada, the European Union, and the US. A number of Kach fol­lowers later be­came co-found­ers or mem­bers of the far right-wing Lehava movement and/or Otzma Yehudit Party.


(English: Forward) Centrist Israeli po­litical party founded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, after he formally left the Likud party in November 2005, that would allow him to carry out his con­tro­versial policy of unilateral disengagement. Kadima became the strong­est party as a result of the March 2006 elec­tions (29 of 120 Knesset seats). Kadima de­fined itself as a broad popular move­ment working to ensure the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic state and was led by For­eign Minister Tzipi Livni from September 2008 until the party’s split in 2012, when the pro­gressive wing broke away to form a new center-left party, Hatnuah. In the February 2009 elections, Kadima won 28 out of the 120 Knesset seats and retained its position as the largest party, albeit as op­position. In the 2013 election, one year after its split, Kadima became the smallest party in the Knesset (2 seats); it was later dis­banded and did not compete in any further elections.


(English: Struggle) Home-made rockets developed by Fatah that are much less com­mon than the Qassam rockets of Hamas (see Qassam). They were reportedly used for the first time on 3 October 2004, when fired against the Netzarim settlement in the Gaza Strip.


Three-member Commis­sion of Enquiry into the Events at the Refu­gee Camps in Beirut formed by the Israeli gov­ernment under pressure from its own peace movement to look into Israel’s role in the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres in Leb­a­non. In its report, issued on 3 February 1983, the commission, headed by Israeli Su­preme Court president Yitzhak Kahan, deter­mined that the massacre was carried out by Pha­langists acting on their own, but with Israel’s knowledge. Therefore, while no Israeli was directly responsible for the events, Israel had indirect responsibility for the massacre since its army held the area. Then Defense Minis­ter Ariel Sharon was found responsible for ig­noring the danger of carnage and revenge (for the murder of two days earlier) when he approved the entry of the Phalangists into the camps as well as for not taking appropri­ate measures to prevent bloodshed. Army Chief-of-Staff Rafael Eitan failed to give the appropriate orders to pre­vent the massacre, Prime Minister Mena­chem Begin was re­spon­sible for not exercis­ing greater involvement and awareness in the matter of introducing the Phalangists into the camps, and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir erred by not taking action after being alerted by Communica­tions Minister Zippori. The Commission rec­om­mend­ed that the De­fense Minister resign, that the Director of Military Intelligence not continue in his post, and other senior offic­ers be removed.


English: Blue and White) Israeli centrist electoral list established to run in the April 2019 Knesset elections by the Israel Resilience Party, Yesh Atid and Telem. The political alliance, which is led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, is considered Zionist-liberal in its ideology. In the April 2019 elections it won 26.1% of the votes, becoming – to­gether with the Likud – the strongest party (with each gaining 35 seats). In the subse­quent September 2019 elections, Kahol La­van won 25.9% of the votes and 33 seats – one more than Likud.


Israeli law, named after Dep­uty Attorney-General Erez Kaminitz, passed in the Israeli Knesset on 5 April 2017 as an amendment to the 1965 Planning and Con­struction Law, that increases enforcement against unauthorized building in Israel proper. Opponents say this law is directed against Palestinians in Israel and intends to increase the number of home demolitions in their vil­lages and towns, although they al­ready suffer from housing shortages and dis­criminatory state policies.


(also spelled Qaraite) Ancient Jewish community or sect which challenges the au­thority of rabbinic Judaism by accepting the authority of the Hebrew Bible but not of the Oral Law that is codified in the Talmud. Ac­cordingly, it maintains its own synagogues, butchers, and cemeteries. The vast majority of the Karaites live in Israel, where their com­munity is estimated at 40,000. In early 2019, members of the Karaite community have joined Palestinians and others in op­posing the planned construction of a cable car in the city, which would pass over a cem­etery belonging to them, as according to their faith, putting a “roof” over a cemetery is equivalent to dese­crating it.


PLO base in Jordan in the 1960s, where Palestinian resistance forces con­fronted Israeli troops in their first major bat­tle in March 1968 (see Battle of Karameh).


(also: Karine A Affair) Freighter seized by Israeli commandos in the Red Sea on 3 Jan­uary 2002. On board were 50 tons of weapons, including Katyusha rockets and anti-tank missiles. Altogether, the weapons were worth an estimated $3 million. The Ka­rine A was purchased in Lebanon in October 2001 by Adel Mughrabi, a senior PA figure, and Fuad Shubaki, the PA’s chief procure­ment and finance officer. The captain of the vessel was Fatah activist Omar Akawi, a PA Coastal Police officer and senior Fatah mem­ber, who an Israeli military court sentenced to 25 years in prison in October 2004. Two of­ficers, Riad Abdullah and Ahmed Khiris, were each sentenced to 17 years in prison. A fourth suspect, Salem As-Sankri, was set free in a Hiz­bullah prisoner swap after all charges against him were dropped. Fuad Shubaki was jailed in the Jericho PA-jail. After the Israeli raid in the prison in 2006, Shubaki had to appear be­fore an Israeli judge and was sen­tenced to 20 years in jail.


(Hebrew: Kerem Hamufti, also known as ‘Mufti’s grove’) An origi­nally 110-dunum plot of land in Jerusalem, cul­ti­vated with olive trees, which stretches downhill from Sheikh Jarrah (Shepherds Ho­tel area) towards the edges of the Wadi Al-Joz Industrial Zone. At the request of the ILA, the state formally expropriated the land in March 2007 under the rubric of "acquisition for public needs", thus reclassifying its “green area” status to make way for a planned Jewish neighborhood at the site. The same year, the ILA conveyed a long-term lease for 30 dunums of land to the Ateret Co­hanim settler organization "for agricul­tural pur­poses." In recent years, Israel has been leve­ling large areas of the Karm Al-Mufti lands to make way for a police parking lot adjacent to the Minis­try of the Interior as well as for the reloca­tion of the street right above it in prep­a­ra­tion for the new settle­ment enclave aris­ing at the site of the de­stroyed Shephe­rds Hotel.



(also: Kedem Vis­itor Cen­ter) Controversial seven-story com­pound to be built on the Givati parking lot site at the entrance to Silwan by the Elad settler group, which operates the adjacent City of David, in coordination with the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority. The plan in­cludes a visitor’s center, a Bible center, a museum, a parking lot, shops, and a stop for the planned Israeli cable car over the Holy Basin on its rooftop. The compound will also serve as the future headquarters of Elad. For Palestinians and other critics, the plan is an example of Israel’s privatization of tourist sites and na­tional parks to settler organiza­tions in Jeru­salem. It is also seen as Judaizing Silwan and prevent­ing a political solution for Jerusalem. On 14 July 2017, a notice ap­peared in the media announcing the ap­proval of plans for the con­struction, which are yet to be imple­mented.


Plan named af­ter former British Mandate city planner Henry Kendall, commissioned by Jordan in 1966, which envisioned that Jerusalem would be­come a major administrative and commer­cial center. The plan was based on an earlier ver­sion (published in 1944 for the British Manda­tory authorities), adapting it to the changed geo-political realities. It covered an area of 34,750 acres/139,000 dunums and aimed at linking all scattered Palestinian resi­den­tial areas within one integrated plan­ning area and at creating space for industrial and com­mercial use along with thousands of new resi­dential buildings. In particular, the plan foresaw residential areas to the north, agri­culture in the valleys, heavy industry in the Anata area, and arterial roads to Ramal­lah, Bethlehem and Amman. However, in­stead of implementing the Kendall Scheme, Israel's ex­tension and annexation of East Jeru­salem excluded half of the suburbs and its land ex­propriation deprived Jerusalem's Palestinians of much of their territory, while building tens of thousands of dwellings as en­visioned by Kendall Scheme but for Israelis only.