The ‘Plish•tim’ is an ancient nation that historically was a bitter enemy of Israel (they are mentioned in the Bible as a nation 252 times and many more times in different references). The Philistines dwelt mainly in the south, but also in small settlements in northern Israel. Their main dwelling was where the city of Gaza is located today and where the current Israeli cities, Ashkelon and Ashdod, are located. The last two cities still carry the same biblical name of the Philistine cities.
The root verb of the name is ‘pa•lash,’ which means ‘invader,’ intruder’ and ‘trespasser.’
An historical injustice was done to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel by the Romans who called the land of Israel ‘Syria Palaestina’ and later just ‘Palaestina.’ The Turkish Ottoman Empire rules the land exactly 400 years (from 1517-1917) and restored the name of the land into ‘E•retz Israel,’ ‘the Land of Israel.’
In 1917, Great Britain received domain over the land and once again reversed its name to Palestine. There was no justified reason in 1917 to name a land after a long-extinct nation that has never owned the whole land in the first place. Renaming Israel as ‘Palestine’ instead of ‘Israel’ has had grave political and international implications that affect the region to this very day. The residents of Israel, both Arabs and Jews, either Moslem, Christians or Jewish, were all called ‘Palestinians.’ The Jews resented this name as their new imposed nationality, but the Arab dwellers of the Land of Israel accepted it and called themselves in that name.
This is the source of the name of the nation who dwells in Gaza and the West bank of the Jordan river: the Palestinians.