The following document contains guidance and suggested language to help journalists cover Palestine/Israel in a clear, accurate, and fair manner.
Palestinian social customs and traditions are similar to those of other Arab countries and date back to when Palestine was a rural, agricultural society and life centered on the village and the farming calendar. There were a few small cities, like Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron and Gaza, that specialized in the production of goods.
Palestine is at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and forms a land bridge connecting the continents of Africa and Asia. One of the longest continuously inhabited areas of the world, Palestine has been recognized as a distinct geographical region since the Greek and Roman eras.
The Occupied Territories are the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. "Occupied Palestinian Territories" or simply "Palestinian territories" is sometimes used to refer to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, excluding the (Syrian) Golan Heights.
From the end of the conflict between Israel and the Arab states in 1949 until 1967, the city of Jerusalem had been divided - the western half controlled by Israel, and the eastern half under Jordanian rule. In the June, 1967 war, Israel seized the eastern part of Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank.
Jerusalem holds the same religious significance for Palestinian Christians and Muslims as it does for Christians and Muslims everywhere. Its name in Arabic, al-Quds ("the Holy"), signifies its central roles for both religions. photo: Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Christopher Hazou/IMEU)
The Palestinians are the native inhabitants of the land of Palestine. They are descendants of the many waves of invaders who settled Palestine through the ages. Following the seventh-century Islamic conquest of the region by peoples originating in the Arabian Peninsula, Palestinians gradually adopted Arabic language and culture.
Palestinian refugees are the individuals who have been forced from their homes through deliberate Israeli actions since 1948, and their children.
Reliable figures on the Palestinian refugee and displaced population are hard to find, as there is no centralized agency or institution charged with maintaining this information, and there is no uniform definition of a Palestinian refugee.