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West Bank
Map of West Bank
Introduction West Bank
Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provided for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in Gaza Strip and West Bank. Under DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to Palestinian Authority, which includes Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of interim self-governing arrangements in West Bank and Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and responsibilities for Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on Gaza Strip and Jericho Area and in additional areas of West Bank pursuant to Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Direct negotiations to determine permanent status of Gaza and West Bank had begun in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus, but have been derailed by a second intifadah that broke out in September 2000. resulting widespread violence in West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability within Palestinian Authority continue to undermine progress toward a permanent agreement.
Geography West Bank
Middle East, west of Jordan
Geographic coordinates:
32 00 N, 35 15 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 5,860 sq km
note: includes West Bank, Latrun Salient, and northwest quarter of Dead Sea, but excludes Mt. Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem No Man's Land are also included only as a means of depicting entire area occupied by Israel in 1967
water: 220 sq km
land: 5,640 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries:
total: 404 km
border countries: Israel 307 km, Jordan 97 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
temperate; temperature and precipitation vary with altitude, warm to hot summers, cool to mild winters
mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west, but barren in east
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Tall Asur 1,022 m
Natural resources:
arable land
Land use:
arable land: NEGL%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
adequacy of fresh water supply; sewage treatment
Geography - note:
landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel's coastal aquifers; there are 242 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in West Bank and 29 in East Jerusalem (February 2002 est.)
People West Bank
Total Population:
2,237,194 (July 2002 est.)
note: in addition, there are about 187,000 Israeli settlers in West Bank and fewer than 177,000 in East Jerusalem (February 2002 est.) (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.1% (male 505,880; female 481,369)
15-64 years: 52.4% (male 598,992; female 572,511)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 33,688; female 44,754) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.9 years
male: 17.7 years
female: 18 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
3.3% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
34.07 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
4.16 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
Population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 22.86 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 72.68 years
male: 70.95 years
female: 74.51 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: NA
adjective: NA
Ethnic groups:
Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%
Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni), Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%
Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
definition: NA
Population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government West Bank
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: West Bank
Economy West Bank
Economy - overview:
Real per capita GDP for West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS) declined by about one-third between 1992 and 1996 due to combined effect of falling aggregate incomes and rapid population growth. downturn in economic activity previously largely result of Israeli closure policies - imposition of border closures in response to security incidents in Israel - which disrupted labor and commodity market relationships between Israel and WBGS. most serious social effect of this downturn previously rising unemployment; unemployment in WBGS during 1980s previously generally under 5%; by 1995 it had risen to over 20%. Israel's use of comprehensive closures during next five years decreased and, in 1998, Israel implemented new policies to reduce impact of closures and other security procedures on movement of Palestinian goods and labor. These changes fueled an almost three-year-long economic recovery in West Bank and Gaza Strip; real GDP grew by 5% in 1998 and 6% in 1999. Recovery previously upended in last quarter of 2000 with outbreak of violence, which triggered tight Israeli closures of Palestinian self-rule areas and severely disrupted trade and labor movements. In 2001, and even more severely in 2002, Israeli military measures in Palestinian Authority areas have resulted in destruction of much capital plant and administrative structure, widespread business closures, and a sharp drop in GDP. Another major loss has been decline in earnings of Palestinian workers in Israel. International aid of $2 billion in 2001-02 to West Bank and Gaza Strip have prevented complete collapse of economy.
buying power parity - $1.7 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-22% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63%
note: includes Gaza Strip (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line:
60% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (includes Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
services 66%, industry 21%, agriculture 13% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
50% (includes Gaza Strip) (2002 est.)
revenues: $930 million
note: includes Gaza Strip (2000 est.)
expenditures: $1.2 billion, includes capital expenditures of $15 million
generally limited family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; Israelis have established some limited -scale, modern industries in settlements and industrial centers
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
NA kWh; note - most electricity imported from Israel; East Jerusalem Electric Company buys and distributes electricity to Palestinians in East Jerusalem and its concession in West Bank; Israel Electric Company directly supplies electricity to most Jewish residents and military facilities; some Palestinian municipalities, such as Nablus and Janin, generate their own electricity from limited power plants
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh
Electricity - imports:
NA kWh
Agriculture - products:
olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
$603 million f.o.b., includes Gaza Strip
Exports - commodities:
olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone
Exports - partners:
Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip (2000)
$1.9 billion c.i.f., includes Gaza Strip
Imports - commodities:
food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip (2000)
Debt - external:
$108 million (includes Gaza Strip) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$800 million (includes Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
new Israeli shekel (ILS); Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.7378 (2002), 4.2057 (2001), 4.0773 (2000), 4.1397 (1999), 3.8001 (1998), 3.4494 (1997); Jordanian dinars per US dollar - fixed rate of 0.7090 (from 1996)
Fiscal year:
calendar year (since 1 January 1992)
Communications West Bank
Telephones - main lines in use:
95,729 (total for West Bank and Gaza Strip) (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Telephone system:
general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
note: Israeli company BEZEK and Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for communication services in West Bank
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
note: Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts from an AM station in Ramallah on 675 kHz; numerous local, private stations are reported to be in operation (2000)
NA; note - most Palestinian households have radios (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
NA; note - many Palestinian households have televisions (1999)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
8 (1999)
Internet users:
60,000 (includes Gaza Strip) (2001)
Transportation West Bank
0 km
total: 4,500 km
paved: 2,700 km
unpaved: 1,800 km
note: Israelis have developed many highways to service Jewish settlements (1997 est.)
Ports and harbors:
3 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Military West Bank
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues West Bank
Disputes - international:
West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation