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The People and The Land

Palestine Before 1948
Palestine Pre-History

Palestine Denomination

Long ago Palestine was known “Canaan Land” as mentioned in the reports of military leaders at king Mary. It was obviously mentioned on the spire of Adreemi king of Alalakh (Tel Al Atshana) in the middle of the fifth century B.C.

The origin of the word “Palestine” as in Assyrian records of the Assyrian king (Addizary the Third) about 800 B.C. was "Filastia". As he mentioned on his spire that in the fifth year of his regime, his forces subdued "Palasto" and forced the population to pay the tribute.

The denomination formulation "Palestine" was focused at Herodotus on Aramite bases. Sometimes it was known as a place called on the southern part of Syria (or Palestinian Syria) near Finithia to the borders of Egypt.

The Roman historians used this appellation, like Agathar Chides, Strabo and Diodoru.

The name Palestine was called, in the Roman age on all the holy lands and became an official term since Hadrian time. The use of this name was extensively spread in the Christian Church and it was mentioned in the reports of the Christian pilgrims. But in the Islamic time, Palestine was a part of Great Syria.

Palestine Pre-History

The fertility of Palestine Land and its distinguished location helped man to live there since the most ancient ages, as it had a significant role in urban communication process among the various places in the world for its moderate location which helped to write its history long time ago.

Ancient Stone Age

Scientists agreed that man was found on Palestine land and called Erect-Stature as evidenced by the remnant fossils. Those ancestors were hunters pursuing after various animal cattles. The ancient man – as mentioned- at that time witnessed various developing stages as he started to develop the use of his flint tools and the methods of hunting.

The Third Period of the Stone Age

This period was known for the appearance of the wise man. The knife which was made of long laminas was the main tool used at that period. The wise man was found inside the caves in Palestine, like; Al Amira cave, Irc Al Ahmar, Al wad, Kabara and other sites in Negev desert. This stage was the start of human communities which had become developed living types although they were still living on hunting and food –finding.

17000-8000 B.C. - Transfer from Gathering to Production

In this period man moved from gathering to production stage as he looked for the sources of water and gathered around. He started to collect the seeds of little plants like wheat and parley to plant as well as catching the sea animals. The remnants of ancient man inferred to the stages of production as his life was stable at this stage. He produced his own food.

The late period of the stone age was characterized by apparent change in the means of living, production, patterns of building and tools particularly when ancient man discovered earthenware and used it in several industries, tools and building, so many new features appeared.

8000-4000 B.C. - Appearance of Agricultural Communities

At this stage, man depended, in his life, on hunting and planting some crops but could not breed animals.
Moreover, there were commercial relations between Palestine and Anadul, as a number of tools-made of obsidian textile was found. Anadul exported this textile to Jericho, which exported, instead, the raw materials like tar and salt from the Dead Sea. Later, man learned how to domesticate animals.

4000-2000 B.C. - The Closing of the Fourth millennium before Christianity

By the end of 4000 B.C. there was an apparent change in economical, social architectural aspects in Palestine. The most apparent in this period, was the great numbers of rock-cut graves in Palestine. In ensuing periods, metals were discovered, as they were mixed so as to manufacture tools and utensils. Also, religious chapels appeared in that period as they were shown by the remnant discoveries in several cities and villages in Palestine.

As for industry and trade, architecture developed which inferred the population growth with high level of living and a progress in agricultural system.

In that period, many fenced cities were founded by the owners of the vertical-entrance graves. The fortified cities were spread out over Palestinian areas including the coast area, Marj Ben Amer and western chain mountains. Building up cities with their public, defense and living premises, required inevitable pre-planning.


Owing to remnants discoveries in Egypt and Iraq, the Semites were obviously the most ancient peoples known in Palestine. Since the fourth thousand B.C. they have been living on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
As for religious part, the Semites-in origin- were the descendant tribes of Sam, the eldest son of Noah, peace be upon him. The original ancient population of Palestine were all Arabs, as they immigrated from Arab peninsula due to the drought. So they lived in their new homeland (Cana’an) for more than two thousand years before the appearance of Moses, the prophet, with his followers, on the scene.


Owing to documents, the Amorite immigration- the known Cana’anite from Arab peninsula- took place in the middle of the third thousand B.C. But other researchers pointed out that the Cana’anites settled in the country since the start of the third thousand depending on the Egyptian remnant discoveries. Other researchers went further, indicating that Cana’anites existed before seven thousand years through remnants follow-up in their ancient cities and the oldest city Jericho, existing today, which is known as the most ancient city in the world.
Despite the fluctuating estimates of the chrono-start of the Canaanite existence, they were certainly the first of the historically known peoples to live in the area and the first to build civilization on Palestine Land.

In the Hebrew writings, it was mentioned that the Cana’anites were the original country population and they were the Amorite people-owing to “Torah”.

The most ancient Cana’anite Cities, currently existing are: Jericho, Asdod, Acco, Gaza, Al Majdal, Jaffa, Askelan and Bisan. There were, also, several cities and villages, which some of them are still existing today and others were no longer existed. Shekeem was the normal capital of Cana’an.

Cana’anites were famous in agriculture and industry and excelled in mining as well as in the industry of pottery, glass, textiles, clothes and architecture. Music, and literature were at the top of the Cana’an civilization, as no other sematic peoples were interested in arts and music as the Cana’anites. They derived much of their musical elements from various peoples from the ancient far east because the rites of Cana’anite worship were musically based. Therefore their musical instruments and tones spread throughout the Mediterranean areas.

Nobody can argue that Art and Literature are the symbols of civilization, so it is not strange-through the Israeli writings- to find out the strenuous efforts the Israelis have been exerting to allege they were the founders of the original civilization and the chanters, choristers and singers. They were actually delusive, but the great trusted historians, like Bristed, in his description of the flourishing Cana’anite cities, which the Hebrews entered, that there were cities with comfortable luxurious houses, and industries, trade, writing, temples and the civilization, which were soon imitated by the primitive herdsmen Hebrews.

They left their tents and imitated them in building houses. Furthermore, they took off the leathers, they wore in the desert, and instead, they put on the colored woolen clothes. After a period of time, one couldn’t differentiate between Cana’anites and Hebrews in appearance, though, since five thousand years (the start of written history) Palestine, until the British Mandate in 1920, knew only three languages: the Cana’anite firstly, the Aramite secondly (the language the Christ spoke), and the Arabic thirdly.

2000 B.C.-1200 B.C

At the beginning of the Second Thousand B.C. the cities started activities basically new patterns of architecture, graves and new kinds of pottery and weapons. This period was known for its trade relations and advanced politics with the majority of the east ancient areas, particularly, with Egypt, great Syria, North Syria and East Anadul. Also, this period was distinguished with advanced pottery industry, as selecting the earthenware material, mixing and rotating it by a very speedy wheel, so as to produce various pretty shapes of utensils.
This period was, more or less, completely dominated by Egypt on Great Syria during the rule of both the eighteenth and the nineteenth families when the last king of Hixos about (1567 B.C) was overturned and the campaigns of Tohotmos, the Third, on Great Syria about 1480 B.C. as well as the disappearance of fortified forts supported by compressed mud layers went back to Hixos.

At that period, there was a state of turmoil observed, which was dominating on Palestine, seemingly at the south and middle sites in the eighteenth family time, soon after the expulsion of Hixos from Egypt, and chasing them to Sharoheen in the south of Palestine. It is worth to mention that there were descriptive texts since the time of Tohotmos the Third. The text related to the final Majeddo battle led by both king of Majeddo and king of Qadesh from the Syrian part, supported by the king of Mitan. About 120 cities were involved in this ally which were included in one of Tohotmos III topographical lists. Those texts, were like inscriptions on the spires, which were erected in both Karnak and Memphis. His tribe was practicing idolatry while he has been a believer. Haran was situated to the east north between Euphrates.

1200-550 B.C - Era of Kingdoms (Iron Age)

At that time, Palestinians considered themselves as legal successors to the Egyptian Authority on Palestine so, they dominated most parts of Palestine. They were often called the population of the Palestinian coast because they founded a number of main cities, as; Gaza, Askalan, Asdod, Akeer, Tal Al Safi and others.

The local Canaanite effects appeared on Palestinians from the names of their gods, like; Dagon and Ashtarout.
The religious life of Palestine coast population was originally Canaanite with their religious buildings.

The most important religious buildings were the series of the temples at Tal Kaseela which were built like the Canaanite temples with Egyptian apparent types. On the other hand, there were allegations by the Israeli Torahmen and archaeologists about the ascription of some discoveries and architecture to the ancient Israelis.
From those discoveries, a big size pottery Jar, semi-oval shape wrapped around between neck and shoulder with a collar stuck to it, known to foreign sources with collared-rim jar.

Descendents of Israel

The word Israel related to Jacob who was called Israel, was a grandson of his son Ishaq. The father of this nation (Ibrahim) was born in Kaldan Ore. He arrived in Canaan Land, from his country, about the twenty first or the twentieth century B.C. Ibrahim accompanied some of his family members, when he left his country, so as to worship God according to inspirations. Khapour was his first stop. There, his father (Tareh) died, but he went on, till he got to shekeem (Nablus).

Ibrahim had his first son “Ismail” from Hajer, then the second son “Ishaq” from his wife Sareh. Ismael is considered the Arabs grandfather while Ishaq is the Jews grandfather. Ishaq begot Issa and Jacob who begot twelve boys. Each of them is considered a father of Jewish grandchildren. Yousef –one of his sons- whose brothers had vindictive feelings against him and were covetous, and sold him to Egyptian traders, was alledged that he was killed.

Yousef started his services to pharaoh in Egypt. He had an extensive authority, so he sent for his fathers and brothers. Thus , Jacob’s family moved to Egypt.

It was unknown when Pharaoh became against them, humiliated and treated them with cruelty.

Moses started to emigrate. On Al Tor mountain, God inspired Moses to return to Egypt, to save his people by taking them out of Egypt (The Land of Slavery). So, Moses returned with his brother, A’aron and took his people out, starting the loss in the wilderness in 1227 B.C. At that period, Moses’s people abandoned their religion and idolized the calf. There, the ten commandments were ascended and the descendants of Israel lasted in the loss of the wilderness for forty years.

Moses sent envoys more than once to oversee the conditions in Cana’an land. They returned, telling Moses that Canaan land was prosperous for its milk and honey, but the population were so strong that the Israelis couldn’t fight them.

When the Israelis decided to enter Cana’an Land, the population of the south violently resisted them.

So they had to cross Jordan River first going, east ward. There, Moses died. He was succeeded by “Joshua” - the son of Noon - who got the leadership. He was a strong leader and insisted to fight. As Jericho was the first city to face- after crossing the River- it was besieged, burnt and he killed the population and occupied most parts in the south of Palestine and the Canaanite stayed in one of those parts while the Palestinians stayed at the western part. Since the time of Judges which started after “Joshua”’s death, the three nations lived for hundreds of years . During those years, many wars took place between the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Canaanite with the Israelis.

The Judges Age lasted for a century and a half. During this period twelve Judges, ruled country and the last one, was Samue’l. The Israelis agreed to enthrone Sha’al Ben Qays”- according to the Samuel’s advice- to be their king in order to unify their tribes, but he was killed in war with the Palestinians. David succeeded him in 1010 B.C. then Solomon followed in 971-931 B.C. Contrary to his father, his period was a time of peace, not war. He was prudent and active in trade.

When king Solomon died, the exorbitant taxes he had imposed, because of the high luxury living he was known during his time were unbearable. By his death, the descendents of Israeli tribe exterminated when the Assyrians defeated them in 724 B.C. At the time of Nobukaz Nass’ar the kaldans replaced the Assyrians and ruled Palestine.

550-330 B.C. - The Persian Empire

It was the inheritance of Assur by its first kings “Qoresh”, “Qambeez” and Darios. This empire extended from Aeja sea in the west to the Indian borders in the east and from the south of Egypt to the Black Sea and Kafkaz mountains in the north.

At that time “Darios” divided the Empire into 20 states headed by a governor for each one. Palestine was a part of the fifth state known for its Aramite name “Aber Nahra” meaning beyond the river -Euphrates- including all Great Syria with Syria, Phoenicia and Cyprus.

330-63 B.C. - The Age of Macdonian Alexander

In 334 B.C., Macedonian Alexander crossed the Sea from Greek coming from Asia Minor. He gained his first victory on the Persians in Granicus. In the same year he got victory on king of Persia in Iysos in Kilykia. Then he went south, towards the coasts of Great Syria, so as to destroy the Phoenician Navy which Persians depended upon in the west of Mediterranean . He trespassed Torous mountains and constructed “Miriandos” city (Alexandria-now) and sent a detachment of his army to Damascus and occupied it. Afterwards, he marched on the Syrian Coast and over powered it in autum 332 B.C . After his death, the Empire witnessed many wars and domestic disputes for the regime, which resulted in the establishment of two states, namely; Saljugs, in Great Syria, and Ptolemaists in Egypt.

In 175 B.C., a war broke out in Palestine between Macabians and the Slugans which lasted for forty years and ended by the rising of the Hashmonian family which was overturned by “Bomby” in 63 B.C when he occupied Jerusalem. Then, Palestine became a part of the Roman state as in Great Syria.

63 B.C.-636 - The Roman Age:

The Romans interfered in the affairs of the Saljuq state since the threshold of the second century B.C. due to the weakness resulting from the exterior war it was involved and defeated “Antonios the Third” in “Vighnicia” battle in 190 B.C.

Historically, the Roman armies headed by Bomby, entered Jerusalem after deadly fight and besiege in 63 B.C. as the city lost many population.

Accordingly, Palestine and West Syria were considered a Roman State and “Skawros” was appointed as their first ruler. In 57 B.C Ghabinios ruled the state of Syria and reorganized the administration of Jerusalem area. Then he nominated “Crasos” a ruler of Syria in 54 B.C as he was a member in the known the tripartite Ally to divide the regime in the Great state. They were: Caesar and Crasos.. Then, a dispute took place between Bomby and Caesar when the assassination of Julius Caesar occurred and one of the comspirators - Casius – was nominated a ruler of Syria in 44 - 42 B.C.

In 42 B.C., Antonios and Actafios defeated the murderers of Julius Caesar. Then “Hirodos” was nominated a king for Jersualem and Palestine. His regime lasted from 37 to 4 B.C. After the death of Hirodus who had bequeathed “Antibyas” to rule the greatest part of Palestine. In 41 A.D. Palestine had entirely become a Roman State.

Source: Palestinian National Information Center

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