The maritime plain connects with Esdraelon by the pass of Megiddo and several lesser routes between the mountain spurs of Carmel and Gilboaʿ.
Galilee is better-watered and more thickly wooded than that of Samaria or Judaea.
The city of Jerusalem has expanded rapidly along the mountain ridges.
Both the geographic area designated by the name and the political status of it have changed over the course of some three millennia.The region (or at least a part of it) is also known as the Holy Land and is held sacred among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.In its northern section the bed of the drained Lake Ḥula and of Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee) are blocked by natural dams of basalt.Descending to about 1,310 feet (400 metres) below sea level—the lowest land depth on the Earth’s surface—the valley is exceedingly dry and hot, and cultivation is restricted to irrigated areas or rare oases, as at Jericho or at ʿEn Gedi by the shore of the Dead Sea.Its mountains—Carmel, Gilboaʿ, Aybāl (Ebal), and Al-Ṭūr (Gerizim)—are lower than those of Upper Galilee, while its basins, notably those of the ʿArrābah Plain and Nāblus, are wider and more gently contoured than their equivalents in Judaea.
Samaria is easily approached from the coast across the Plain of Sharon and from the Jordan by the Fāriʿah valley.
Since the 20th century it has been the object of conflicting claims of Jewish and Arab national movements, and the conflict has led to prolonged violence and, in several instances, open warfare.
The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the in “Syria Palaestina,” designating the southern portion of the province of Syria, and made its way thence into Arabic, where it has been used to describe the region at least since the early Islamic era.
Palestine, area of the eastern Mediterranean region, comprising parts of modern Israel and the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip (along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea) and the West Bank (the area west of the Jordan River).
The term Palestine has been associated variously and sometimes controversially with this small region, which some have asserted also includes Jordan.
The perception of what constitutes Palestine’s eastern boundary has been especially fluid, although the boundary frequently has been perceived as lying east of the Jordan River, extending at times to the edge of the Arabian Desert.