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.