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West Bank


West Bank
Note--The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim
Self-Government Arrangements ("the DOP"), signed in Washington on 13
September 1993, provides for a transitional period not exceeding five
years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank. Under the DOP, final status negotiations are to begin no
later than the beginning of the third year of the transitional period. West Bank:Geography
Location: Middle East, west of Jordan
Map references: Middle East
total area: 5,860 sq km
land area: 5,640 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Delaware
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
Land boundaries: total 404 km, Israel 307 km, Jordan 97 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none; landlocked
International disputes: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli occupied
with interim status subject to Israeli/Palestinian negotiations -
final status to be determined
Climate: temperate, temperature and precipitation vary with altitude,
warm to hot summers, cool to mild winters
Terrain: mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west, but
barren in east
Natural resources: negligible
Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 32%
forest and woodland: 1%
other: 40%
Irrigated land: NA sq km
current issues: NA
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: NA
Note: landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel's
coastal aquifers; there are 199 Jewish settlements and civilian land
use sites in the West Bank and 25 in East Jerusalem (August 1994 est.) West Bank:People
Population: 1,319,991 (July 1995 est.)
note: in addition, there are 122,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank
and 149,000 in East Jerusalem (August 1994 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 293,269; male 308,775)
15-64 years: 51% (female 335,193; male 337,722)
65 years and over: 3% (female 25,759; male 19,273) (July 1995 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.5% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 39.83 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 4.84 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 29.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.42 years
male: 69.91 years
female: 73 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.34 children born/woman (1995 est.)
noun: NA
adjective: NA
Ethnic divisions: 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), English
(widely understood)
Literacy: NA%
Labor force: NA
by occupation: construction 28.2%, agriculture 21.8%, industry 14.5%,
commerce, restaurants, and hotels 12.6%, other services 22.9% (1991)
note: excluding Jewish settlers West Bank:Government
Note: Under the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim
Self-Government Arragements ("the DOP"), Israel agreed to transfer
certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, and
subsequently to an elected Palestinian Council, as part of interim
self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A
transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho
has taken place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement
on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area. A transfer of powers and
responsibilities in certain spheres for the rest of the West Bank has
taken place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 29 August 1994 Agreement on
Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities. 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 Israelis. Final status is to be determined through
direct negotiations within five years.
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: West Bank
Digraph: WE Economy
Overview: Economic progress in the West Bank has been hampered by
Israeli military administration and the effects of the Palestinian
uprising (intifadah). Industries using advanced technology or
requiring sizable investment have been discouraged by a lack of local
capital and restrictive Israeli policies. Capital investment consists
largely of residential housing, not productive assets that would
enable local Palestinian firms to compete with Israeli industry. GDP
has been substantially supplemented by remittances of workers employed
in Israel and Persian Gulf states. Such transfers from the Gulf
dropped after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. In the wake of the
Persian Gulf crisis, many Palestinians have returned to the West Bank,
increasing unemployment, and export revenues have dropped because of
the decline of markets in Jordan and the Gulf states. Israeli measures
to curtail the intifadah also have added to unemployment and lowered
living standards. The area's economic situation has worsened since
Israel's partial closure of the territories in 1993.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $4 billion (1994
National product real growth rate: NA%
National product per capita: $2,800 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.8% (1993)
Unemployment rate: 35% (1994 est.)
revenues: $43.4 million
expenditures: $43.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
Exports: $217 million (f.o.b., 1992)
commodities: olives, fruit, vegetables
partners: Jordan, Israel
Imports: $867 million (c.i.f., 1992)
commodities: food, consumer goods, construction materials
partners: Jordan, Israel
External debt: $NA
Industrial production: growth rate NA%
capacity: NA kW
production: NA kWh
consumption per capita: 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 Nabulus and Janin, generate their own
electricity from small power plants
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
Agriculture: olives, citrus and other fruits, vegetables, beef, and
dairy products
Economic aid: $NA
Currency: 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot; 1 Jordanian
dinar (JD) = 1,000 fils
Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1 - 3.0270 (December
1994), 3.0111 (1994), 2.8301 (1993), 2.4591 (1992), 2.2791 (1991),
2.0162 (1990); Jordanian dinars (JD) per US$1 - 0.6995 (January 1995),
0.6987 (1994), 0.6928 (1993), 0.6797 (1992), 0.6808 (1991), 0.6636
Fiscal year: calendar year (since 1 January 1992) West Bank:Transportation
Railroads: 0 km
total: NA
paved: NA
unpaved: NA
note: small road network; Israelis have developed many highways to
service Jewish settlements
Ports: none
total: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1 West Bank:Communications
Telephone system: NA telephones; note - 8% of Palestinian households
have telephones (1992 est.)
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA
note: Israeli company BEZEK is responsible for communication services
in the West Bank
broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 0, shortwave 0
radios: NA; note - 82% of Palestinian households have radios (1992
broadcast stations: 0; note - 1 planned for Jericho
televisions: NA; note - 54% of Palestinian households have televisions
(1992 est.) West Bank:Defense Forces
Branches: NA
Defense expenditures: $NA, NA% of GDP
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