What To Do In Palestine


The occupied Palestinian territory consists of two physically separate entities, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and is not considered part of any sovereign nation. The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip have been under Israeli occupation since 1967 (Israel unilaterally withdrew its settlements from Gaza in 2005 although retains effective control of the region). The final status of the territory remains the subject of ongoing and future negotiations. The stated outcome of negotiations and final status talks is currently regarded as the eventual creation of a new, sovereign state - to be called simply Palestine.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA) is a semi-autonomous state institution (created in agreement with Israel and the United Nations) that officially is in charge of most of the Palestinian Territories. The PNA, dominated by the political faction Fatah, de facto only has control of certain areas of the West Bank depending upon the region; other areas are under Israeli control. Hamas, a rival group of Fatah, is de facto in control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas claims to be the only sole legitimate Palestinian government, but it is not internationally recognized.

Because of the ongoing conflict in this area of the world, travelers should take notice of travel advisories issued by various embassies before undertaking travel here. Security concerns result in travel between Israel and the Palestinian Territories being tightly controlled on occasions. Travelers should ensure that their travel documentation is entirely in order and should monitor local news channels in case the security situation changes suddenly.
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