Often called "the Holy Land." A historic region of southwest Asia at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, roughly coextensive with modern Israel and the West Bank. Inhabited since prehistoric times, it has been ruled by Hebrews, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Turks. Britain administered the area under a League of Nations mandate after 1920. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, areas the United Nations partition plan for the region had reserved for a Palestinian Arab state. In a 1967 war Israel captured the Palestinian territories from Jordan and Egypt and began establishing Jewish communities there. The Palestinians gained limited self-rule in the occupied territories with the signing of the Oslo accords (1993, 1995). Israel withdrew its settlers and ground troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005, retaining control over much of the West Bank despite continuing Palestinian resistance.
Pal′es·tini·an (-stĭnē-ən) adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.