Fast Facts

Country

Palestine comprises the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on the Eastern
Mediterranean Coast.

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Geographical Location

Located in the heart of the Holy Land surrounded by Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

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Area

6,020 sq km

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Population

PalestinianTerritories: 4 million

West Bank: 2.5 million

GazaStrip: 1.5 million

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Capital

East Jerusalem

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Government

Palestine is governed by a Parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The President, who is currently Mahmoud Abbas, is elected every four  years and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.

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Weather & Climate

Situated in the Mediterranean, Palestine has a temperate sea climate.

April and May bring some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the world. Wild poppies, jonquils, irises, and other vibrant species paint the hillsides with color during the short spring season.

The rainy season in Palestine is between November and April.

Occasionally it snows in Palestine, but it doesn’t stay long.

To escape the cool weather in the winter season, you can go to Jericho, which is situated next to the Dead Sea.

Because of the wonderfully low humidity, the air in Palestine is dry. It is always a good idea to carry a bottle of water while hiking or walking the day.

In the summer months the night desert temperatures can get cool, so it is advisable to carry a lightweight jacket or sweater for the evenings.

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Clothing

Comfortable clothing is always important when traveling. However when visiting Palestine’s many religious sites, you should dress somewhat modestly. For example, women and men should not wear shorts into a mosque and at any other religious sites. Women are asked to cover their hair when entering a mosque. Comfortable low-heeled
shoes are best for touring in Palestine.
It is wise to dress neatly and conservatively.

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Seasons

The busiest seasons in Jerusalem and Bethlehem are the Christmas and Easter holidays.

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Language

Arabic is the official language of Palestine, and there are speakers of different Arabic dialects, however they all understand its classical form as exemplified in its textual representation. A Semitic language, Arabic is written from right to left.

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Religion

Palestine is an ideal destination for those seeking cultural knowledge and spiritual enrichment. Palestine values its ethnically and religiously diverse population, consequently providing for the cultural rights of all its citizens. This spirit of tolerance and appreciation is one of the central elements contributing to the stable and peaceful cultural climate flourishing within Palestine.
More than 96% of Palestinians are Sunni Muslims and less than 4% are
Christians. The majority of Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but
there are also Greek Catholics, Roman Catholic community, Syrian Orthodox,
Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and a few Protestant denominations. Several
small Shi’a and Samaritans populations can also be found in Palestine.

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Christmas

Christmas is celebrated three times a year in Bethlehem:
Catholics and Western denominations celebrate Christmas on December 25, Greek
Orthodox followers celebrate on January 6, and Armenians celebrate on January 18.

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Public Holidays

Islamic and Christian holy days are national holidays; the dates of the Islamic holy days change every year and are celebrated in accordance with the lunar calendar.

National days are also public holidays.

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Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Business hours throughout Palestine adjust accordingly. All shops close before sunset.

Restaurants, except those at hotels catering to tourists, are closed during the day. Some  restaurants open after sunset. It is advisable not to eat, drink, or smoke in public to avoid offending people who are fasting.

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Business Hours

Stores are generally open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week, and are closed
either Friday or Sundays.

Public sector institutions, like ministries and post offices, are closed on Friday and
Saturday and major national and Islamic holidays. Their hours for public
business are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Post

There are post offices in every major city and town.

The large hotels are equipped to handle postal services.

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Public transportation

Minivans –orange painted – or buses are used to travel from one city to another. Taxis –
yellow painted – or service – orange painted – are used for in town transportation.

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Car Rental

Many car rental agencies are available in the main cities of Palestine. An international driver’s license is required, and insurance is available from the rental agency.

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Electricity

Palestineuses a 220-volt system.

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Telephone

Most shops, cafes, and restaurants have public phones for making local calls, and
public phones are available in most Palestinian cities.

Direct dialing is available to most Western countries; you may call overseas from your
hotel room.

Telephone and fax facilities are available at most hotels.

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Medical Care

Palestinian doctors are generally well-trained and competent. Hotel staff can refer to a
doctor or hospital if needed. Pharmacies are spread throughout the main cities,
and medicine is cheap.

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Tourist Information

Information on Travel and tourism in Palestine may be obtained from the tourist information offices, or tourist agency, or hotel receptionist.

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Economic Profile

Tourism is considered as one of the main pillars of the Palestinian economy. The other
important sector is quarrying and building stone industry; a significant portion of the total product is exported to Jordan, Israel, Europe and North America. The main industries in Palestine are generally small family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs.

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Currency

U.S dollars, Jordanian dinars, and the Israeli Shekels are accepted in Palestine. Also the  Egyptian pound is accepted in Gaza.

There are currency conversion offices throughout Palestine.

You can also draw cash from local banks using major credit cards.

Tourists paying in foreign currency are exempt from value-added tax (VAT) at their
hotel.

Most hotels accept major international credit cards. Personal checks are generally
not accepted.

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Time

There is a seven-hour time difference between New York and Palestine.

There is a two-hour time difference between London and Palestine.

There is a on-hour time difference betweenParis and Palestine.

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Weights and Measures

Palestine follows the metric system in weights and measures.

  1. I would fix this facts about Palestine. There are more Palestinian Christians and they don’t make 2% of the population. Public Holidays? They forgot Christmas and other Christian holidays. You need to change that.

  2. Dear TravelPalestine,

    I was wondering about how many tourists come to Palestine each year?

    Thanks

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