The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) consists of the Gaza Strip and the western bank of the Jordan River – the West Bank – including East Jerusalem. It is named after the Palestinian people, which is native to the land of Palestine.
The oPt has been under the control and government of different regimes during the past 500 years. The Ottoman Empire controlled the whole of Palestine between 1516 and 1917, until Britain took control over the area. The British Mandate of Palestine lasted until 1947, when it was handed over to the United Nations.
As of November 2009 a total of 4 million Palestinians live in the oPt: 1.5 million in the Gaza Strip and 2.5 million in the West Bank. Palestinians also live inside Israel, as well as in the diaspora - mostly as refugees in other Arab countries, but many Palestinians also live in Europe, the US and in Latin America.
Palestinan diaspora: The wars of 1948 and 1967 have resulted in two waves of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, now totalling around 5 million people. Although the legal status of Palestinian refugees differs in each country, it is generally so that those who live in Arab countries do not have equal rights and citizenship status as the rest of the local population.
Article 11 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 from 11 December 1948 stipulates that:
" …the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property…"