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Ramallah (رم اﷲ) is an important Palestinian city in the West Bank, which is currently under Israeli military occupation. It is located about 15 kilometers north-west of Jerusalem.

Ramallah was under Jordanian occupation from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War through the 1967 Six-Day War. It was then captured by Israeli troops, that were to stay there for 27 years. In 1994, the city was handed over to the Palestinian Authority under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which declared it to be "Territory A"; that is land under almost full Palestinian control. Due to the small size of this Palestinian enclave, its actual independence was always limited. Ramallah became the temporary headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, due to the refusal of Israel to allow it to be located in the East Jerusalem. Ramallah headquarters are currently not functioning normally, due to the widespread destruction by the Israeli Defence Forces as part of an ongoing offensive.

Ramallah in the Al-Aqsa Intifada

Since the beginning of warfare between Israelis and Palestinians in the autumn of 2000, the city of Ramallah was the source of numerous terrorist attacks against Israel, in particular many of the suicide bombings carried out in Jerusalem. Groups of gunmen have operated around the city shooting Israeli civilian settlers and soldiers guarding them. In response, Israeli troops have often imposed a curfew on the city, leading to great hardships among its civilian population.

Rammallah was also the place of the lynching of two Israeli reservist. They were captured by the Palestinian policemen and were slaughtered in the police station. Their bodies were thrown into the mob who mutilate them.

In December 2001, Yasser Arafat, the President of the Palestinian Authority who was staying in the city, was forbidden to leave it until the assassins of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi were arrested. When that condition was met, Arafat was allowed to leave the city.

On March 12, 2002 Israeli tanks and troops thrust into Palestinian refugee camps surrounding the city and took command of some of its streets, in one of Israel's largest military operations ever in West Bank and Gaza Strip. One Israeli soldier, 31 Palestinians and an Italian journalist were killed in exchanges of fire between the Israeli Army and Palestinian gunmen. Israeli troops have often imposed a curfew on the city, leading to great hardships among its civilian population. Since then Israeli troops have gone in and out of the city several times, continuously imposing a state of curfew for days and causing great hardships to the local Palestinian population. Statements made by Israeli leaders seem to indicate that the curfews will be gradually shortened.

Rammallah is most famous for the Mukataa which is the governmental center of PA in Rammallah. The Mukataa, known also as "Arafat's Compund" was partly demolished by IDF's bulldozers and Arafat's HQ was cut off from the rest of the buildings in the compund. In Operation Defensive Shield Israel showed pictures of illegal weapons fund in the Mukataa and said it prooves Arafat's link to terror.

Today, Arafat is "locked" in the Mukataa with his loyal henchmen. Israel threats that if he leaves the place - he may never return.

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