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Palestine was a common name used until 1948 to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. In its history, the Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires have controlled Palestine at one time or another.

After World War I, the country was administered by the United Kingdom under a Mandate received in 1922 from the League of Nations. The modern history of country begins with the termination of the British Mandate, the Partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel, and the ensuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed to create a platform for establishing a plan for a Palestinian state within Israel. The PLO also emerged as a response to Zionism, an organized movement to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Israel. In the years after its inception, the PLO became associated with extremism and violence.