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Independence Day

Independence Day 2019 and 2020

The people of Palestine celebrate 15 November every year as their independence day.

201915 NovFriIndependence Day
202015 NovSunIndependence Day

A Palestinian Declaration of Independence was written by poet Mahmoud Darwish and then declared by PLO leader Yasser Arafat on 15 November, 1988, which is why that particular date for Palestinian Independence Day was chosen. But, in reality, the PLO and others before there even was a PLO had been fighting for an independent state of Palestine for many years before Arafat’s declaration.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip have become a kind of “semi-autonomous region” within Israel in recent decades, but not truly independent. Nonetheless, over 135 countries have recognised Palestine as an independent state. This is, in part, due to the UN mandate of 1947 that was going to divide British Palestine into two new states: Israel and Palestine.

After the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1967, and beyond, the UN’s original mandate became unenforceable. But Palestinians still recognise it, along with many other countries, and they celebrate their independence day with festivities every 15 November.