The Palestinian people (, ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī), also referred to as Palestinians (, al-Filasṭīniyyūn, ), are the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine over the centuries, and who today are largely culturally and linguistically Arab due to Arabization of the region. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one half of the world’s Palestinian population continues to reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. In this combined area, as of 2004, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants, encompassing the entire population of the Gaza Strip (1.6 million), the majority of the population of the West Bank (approximately 2.3 million versus close to 500,000 Jewish Israeli citizens which includes about 200,000 in East Jerusalem), and 16.5% of the population of Israel proper as Arab citizens of Israel. Many are Palestinian refugees or internally displaced Palestinians, including more than a million in the Gaza Strip, three-quarters of a million in the West Bank, and about a quarter of a million in Israel proper. Of the Palestinian population who live abroad, known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are stateless lacking citizenship in any country. 3.24 million of the diaspora population live in neighboring Jordan where they make up approximately half the population, 1.5 million live between Syria and Lebanon, a quarter of a million in Saudi Arabia, with Chile’s half a million representing the largest concentration outside the Arab world. A genetic study has suggested that a majority of the Muslims of Palestine, inclusive of Arab citizens of Israel, could be descendants of Christians, Jews and other earlier inhabitants of the southern Levant whose core may reach back to prehistoric times. A study of high-resolution haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Israeli Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool.. Studies cited are: and Another study says; “Our recent study of high-resolution microsatellite haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool.”[ ] Since the time of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, religious conversions have resulted in Palestinians being predominantly Sunni Muslim by religious affiliation, though there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority of various Christian denominations, as well as Druze and a small Samaritan community. Though Palestinian Jews made up part of the population of Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, few identify as “Palestinian” today. Acculturation, independent from conversion to Islam, resulted in Palestinians being linguistically and culturally Arab. The vernacular of Palestinians, irrespective of religion, is the Palestinian dialect of Arabic. Many Arab citizens of Israel, including Palestinians, are bilingual and fluent in Hebrew. The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars. Legal historian Assaf Likhovski states that the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the 20th century. “Palestinian” was used to refer to the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people by the Arabs of Palestine in a limited way until World War I. The first demand for national independence of the Levant was issued by the Syrian–Palestinian Congress on 21 September 1921. After the creation of the State of Israel, the exodus of 1948, and more so after the exodus of 1967, the term came to signify not only a place of origin, but also the sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state. According to Rashid Khalidi, the modern Palestinian people now understand their identity as encompassing the heritage of all ages from biblical times up to the Ottoman period. Founded in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an umbrella organization for groups that represent the Palestinian people before the international community. The Palestinian National Authority, officially established as a result of the Oslo Accords, is an interim administrative body nominally responsible for governance in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1978, the United Nations has observed an annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.