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West Bank


West Bank
Introduction West Bank
Background: The 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 the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Under the DOP, Israel agreed to
transfer certain powers and
responsibilities to the Palestinian
Authority, which includes the
Palestinian Legislative Council
elected in January 1996, as part of
the interim self-governing
arrangements in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. A transfer of powers and
responsibilities for the Gaza Strip
and Jericho took place pursuant to
the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo
Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the
Jericho Area and in additional areas
of the West Bank pursuant to the
Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim
Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January
1997 Protocol Concerning
Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-
PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River
Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999
Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement. The DOP
provides that Israel will retain
responsibility during the
transitional period for external
security and for internal security
and public order of settlements and
Israeli citizens. Direct
negotiations to determine the
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.
The resulting widespread violence in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
Israel's military response, and
instability within the Palestinian
Authority continue to undermine
progress toward a permanent

Geography West Bank
Location: Middle East, west of Jordan
Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 35 15 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: total: 5,860 sq km
note: includes West Bank, Latrun
Salient, and the northwest quarter
of the Dead Sea, but excludes Mt.
Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem
No Man's Land are also included only
as a means of depicting the 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
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; temperature and
precipitation vary with altitude,
warm to hot summers, cool to mild
Terrain: mostly rugged dissected upland, some
vegetation in west, but barren in
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: droughts
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 231 Israeli
settlements and civilian land use
sites in the West Bank and 29 in
East Jerusalem (August 2001 est.)

People West Bank
Population: 2,163,667 (July 2002 est.)
note: in addition, there are about
182,000 Israeli settlers in the West
Bank and about 176,000 in East
Jerusalem (August 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.4% (male 492,446;
female 468,321)
15-64 years: 52% (male 575,282;
female 550,793)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male
33,163; female 43,662) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.39% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 34.94 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 4.26 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Net migration rate: 3.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/
total population: 1.04 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 21.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.47 years
female: 74.29 years (2002 est.)
male: 70.76 years
Total fertility rate: 4.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: NA
adjective: NA
Ethnic groups: Palestinian Arab and other 83%,
Jewish 17%
Religions: Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni),
Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli
settlers and many Palestinians),
English (widely understood)
Literacy: definition: NA
total 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: Economic output in the West Bank is
governed by the Paris Economic
Protocol of April 1994 between
Israel and the Palestinian
Authority. Real per capita GDP for
the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS)
declined by about one-third between
1992 and 1996 due to the combined
effect of falling aggregate incomes
and rapid population growth. The
downturn in economic activity was
largely the result of Israeli
closure policies - the imposition of
border closures in response to
security incidents in Israel - which
disrupted labor and commodity market
relationships between Israel and the
WBGS. The most serious social effect
of this downturn was rising
unemployment; unemployment in the
WBGS during the 1980s was generally
under 5%; by 1995 it had risen to
over 20%. Israel's use of
comprehensive closures during the
next five years decreased and, in
1998, Israel implemented new
policies to reduce the impact of
closures and other security
procedures on the movement of
Palestinian goods and labor. These
changes fueled an almost three-year-
long economic recovery in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip; real GDP grew
by 5% in 1998 and 6% in 1999.
Recovery was upended in the last
quarter of 2000 with the outbreak of
Palestinian 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, internal turmoil
and Israeli military measures in
Palestinian Authority areas have
resulted in the destruction of much
capital plant and administrative
structure, widespread business
closures, and a sharp drop in GDP.
Another major loss has been the
decline in earnings of Palestinian
workers in Israel.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.1
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -35% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9%
industry: 28%
services: 63%
note: includes Gaza Strip (1999
Population below poverty line: 50% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (includes Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: services 66%, industry 21%,
agriculture 13% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 26% (includes Gaza Strip) (2001
Budget: revenues: $930 million
note: includes Gaza Strip (2000
expenditures: $1.2 billion,
including capital expenditures of
$15 million
Industries: generally small family businesses
that produce cement, textiles, soap,
olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-
pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have
established some small-scale, modern
industries in the settlements and
industrial centers
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
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 the West Bank; the
Israel Electric Company directly
supplies electricity to most Jewish
residents and military facilities;
at the same time, some Palestinian
municipalities, such as Nablus and
Janin, generate their own
electricity from small power plants
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: NA%
hydro: NA%
nuclear: NA%
other: NA%
Electricity - consumption: NA kWh
Electricity - imports: NA kWh
Agriculture - products: olives, citrus, vegetables; beef,
dairy products
Exports: $603 million (includes Gaza Strip)
(f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone
Exports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Imports: $1.9 billion (includes Gaza Strip)
(c.i.f., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, consumer goods, construction
Imports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Debt - external: $108 million (includes Gaza Strip)
(1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $800 million disbursed (includes
Gaza Strip) (2001 est.)
Currency: new Israeli shekel (ILS); Jordanian
dinar (JOD)
Currency code: ILS; JOD
Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels per US dollar -
4.2757 (December 2001), 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
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: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
note: Israeli company BEZEK and the
Palestinian company PALTEL are
responsible for communication
services in the West Bank
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
note: the Palestinian Broadcasting
Corporation broadcasts from an AM
station in Ramallah on 675 kHz;
numerous local, private stations are
reported to be in operation (2000)
Radios: NA; note - most Palestinian
households have radios (1999)
Television broadcast stations: NA
Televisions: 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
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: 4,500 km
paved: 2,700 km
unpaved: 1,800 km (1997 est.)
note: Israelis have developed many
highways to service Jewish
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: none
Airports: 3 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Military West Bank
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues West Bank
Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are
Israeli-occupied with current status
subject to the Israeli-Palestinian
Interim Agreement - permanent status
to be determined through further
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