EXTRACT from that Review:
As an intelligence officer, I found myself studying the maps and ultimately noting the following:
a. The Israelites drove out the Cananites, the Philistines (precursors to Palestinians), the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Edomites. I found myself wanting a book that made the cultures and the history of those “enemy” peoples as clear to one as this book makes the Bible family.
b. I also noted the centrality of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, and the fact that the Philistines (Palestinians) have never really been dislodged from the Joppa to Gaza coastline and beyond to Pelusium; as well as the area south of Gaza.
The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars. According to legal historian Assaf Likhovski, the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the twentieth century. The first widespread use of “Palestinian” as an endonym to refer to the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people by the Arabs of Palestine began prior to the outbreak of World War I The first demand for national independence of the Levant was issued by the Syrian-Palestinian Congress on 21 September 1921
. . . . . .
Genetic analysis and historical accounts suggest that the Muslims of Palestine are largely descendants of Christians and Jews from the southern Levant. Since the time of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, Palestinians have been predominantly Muslim by religious affiliation and linguistically and culturally Arab. Most Palestinians are Sunni Muslims, but there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority of various Christian denominations, as well as Druze Palestinians and a small Samaritan community. Palestinian Jews made up part of the population of Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, but very few identify as “Palestinian” today.