West Bank

The West Bank (Arabic: الضفة الغربية, aḍ-Ḍiffah al-Ġarbiyyah; Hebrew: הַגָּדָה הַמַּעֲרָבִית, HaGadáh HaMaʽarávit) is a landlocked territory near the coast of the Mediterranean in Western Asia that forms the main bulk of the Palestinian territories.[1] It is bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel (see Green Line) to the south, west, and north.[2] Under an Israeli military occupation since 1967, its area is split into 165 Palestinian "islands" that are under total or partial civil administration by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and a contiguous area containing 230 Israeli settlements into which Israeli law is "pipelined". The West Bank includes East Jerusalem. Israel administers the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem as the Judea and Samaria Area (אֵזוֹר יְהוּדָה וְשׁוֹמְרוֹן, Ezor Yehūda VeŠōmrōn) district, through the Israeli Civil Administration.

West Bank
الضفة الغربية
הגדה המערבית
Location of the West Bank within the claimed territory of the State of Palestine
Location of the West Bank within the claimed territory of the State of Palestine
Coordinates: 32°00′N 35°21′E
  Total5,655 km2 (2,183 sq mi)
  Total2,949,246 (est., July 2021)
Note: over 670,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2022); approximately 227,100 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2019)
Time zoneEET (UTC+02:00)
EEST (UTC+03:00)
ISO 3166 codePS
LanguagesArabic, Hebrew
ReligionIslam, Judaism, Christianity, Samaritanism
CurrencyIsraeli shekel (ILS)
Jordanian dinar (JOD)

It initially emerged as a Jordanian-occupied territory after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, before being annexed outright by Jordan in 1950, and was given its name during this time based on its location on the western bank of the Jordan River. The territory remained under Jordanian rule until 1967, when it was captured and occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War.

The Oslo Accords, signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, created administrative districts with varying levels of Palestinian autonomy in specific areas: Area A, which is administered exclusively by the PNA; Area B, which is administered by both the PNA and Israel; and Area C, which is administered exclusively by Israel. Area C accounts for over 60% of the West Bank's territory.[3]

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640 km2 plus a water area of 220 km2, consisting of the northwestern quarter of the Dead Sea. It has an estimated population of 2,747,943 Palestinians, and over 670,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, of which approximately 220,000 live in East Jerusalem.[4][5] The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.[6][7][8][9] A 2004 advisory ruling by the International Court of Justice concluded that events that came after the 1967 capture of the West Bank by Israel – including the Jerusalem Law, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty, and the Oslo Accords – did not change the status of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as Israeli-occupied territory.[10] Alongside the self-governing Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are claimed by the State of Palestine as its sovereign territory, and thus remain a flashpoint of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

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