There was a period of modernization in Palestine in the 1830s when Ibrahim Pasha established secular schooling and civil rights so that Christians and Jews could exist somewhat on a par with the Muslims.
When the rural people rebelled against this secularism, the European powers forced Ibrahim out in 1840, and the Ottoman Empire regained control.
After Solomon's death the kingdom was divided into two Hebrew states—Israel in the north and Judah (from which the name "Jew" derives) in the south—which were at war for much of the next 400 years.
Judah was defeated by the Babylonians in 586 b.c., and this period saw the ascendancy of the Kings Hezekiah and Josiah (who tried to use the teachings of the Deuteronomic writers to rule according to the laws of Moses) and the Hebrew prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah.
Historians claim that most of the Hebrew scriptures, or Old Testament of the Bible, were composed during this time in ancient Israel.
In addition to the region's significance in terms of trade and political conquest, ancient Palestine was the "Holy Land" and birthplace for two major world religions—Judaism and Christianity—and later became very significant for Islam as well.
Thus, Palestine has played a tremendous role in the world's religious and cultural history. the culture in ancient Palestine had developed to the point where the first known alphabetic writing system was invented.
Jewish leaders declared the establishment of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, setting the scene for the first of a series of Arab-Israeli wars and military conflicts.
While the Palestinian Arabs were still suffering the effects of the British suppression of their revolts a decade earlier, the surrounding Arab countries of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq attempted a supporting invasion of Israel on May 15.