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The law currently applied in the Palestinian territories has been shaped by several traditions, including Ottoman law and custom, the Sharia, customary rules, British mandate legislation and common law practices.  Article 4(2) of the Basic Law, signed in 2002 by Yasser Arafat, establishes that the principles of the Sharia are a main source of law.  
As regards the application of family law legislation, the 1976 Jordanian Law of Personal Status is applied in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.  Family law in Gaza is applied in accordance with the 1954 Gaza Law on Family Rights (GLFR).  This law was established while Gaza was under the governance of Egypt but subsequent amendments introduced into Egyptian law are not applied in Gaza.  This chapter on Palestine will provide information on the family law applied in Gaza.  For the West Bank and East Jerusalem please refer to the section on Jordan for the relevant information.
Palestine has a Muslim majority and a significant Christian population.  The most influential school of Islamic Law is the Hanafi School.

Available Information

reunite´s Summary Text for Palestine 
Legal Texts

•    Basic Law


•    Family Law Summary (Emory)

•    Information on Judiciary (POGAR)

•    Federalism: The Multiethnic and Multicultural ChallengeThe Principles of Governance as in the Basic Law for the Palestinian National Authority during the Transitional Period, Asem Khalil, Paper presented at the Summer University 2002, Institute of Federalism

•    Islamic Family Law and the Transition to Palestinian Statehood: Constraints and Opportunities for Legal Reform, Fadwa Labadi, Penny Johnson, Rema Hammami, Lynn Welchman

•    Summary of Judicial Structures, Nathan J. Brown