Historically, Palestine was a country east of the Mediterranean Sea. Today the region includes current-day Israel. As a distinct region, Palestine was under Ottoman control (a Turkish empire) and then British control until 1948, when the nation of Israel was created. Areas of Palestine became Israel and part of Jordan. Today, Palestine refers to the territories under Palestine National Authority control in the West Bank, which remains under Israeli occupation and in the case of the Gaza Strip, contains a variety of Israeli strictures. The United National General Assembly in 2012 upgraded Palestine to a non-voting observer state. Palestinians share a collective national identity and are moving toward independence and self-rule as a country. Negotiations continue between Palestinian authorities and the Israeli government to find a permanent agreement. The Palestinian National Council is the parliament.

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