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Ramallah

Ramallah (rämäˈlä) [key], city (2007 pop. 27,4000), in the West Bank, N of Jerusalem. The administrative center for the Palestinian Authority, it lies in a fertile farming region where olives, figs, and grapes are grown. Ramallah is inhabited mainly by Christian Arabs. It was occupied by Israeli forces after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. It is the seat of Bir Zeit Univ. (1924), which became a focal point of Palestinian Arab unrest; the institution was forced to close numerous times. A number of Arab refugee camps were established in the area, and the environs were often a scene of unrest and violence during the Intifada in the late 1980s and early 90s. Israeli forces withdrew from Ramallah in Dec., 1995, as a prelude to the establishment of Palestinian self-rule. In the renewed violence beginning in 2000, Ramallah was again the scene of fighting between Palestinians and Israelis, but the city has since experienced significant growth.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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