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The September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled following the outbreak of an intifada in September 2000. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, and Russia) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. Following Palestinian leader... See More



 Middle East, west of Jordan, east of Israel

Geographic Coordinates:

 32 00 N, 35 15 E


 Total: 5,860 sq km
Land: 5,640 sq km
Water: 220 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

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Delaware

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 62 km
Border countries: Egypt 11 km, Israel 51 km


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: )

Maritime Claims:

 See entry for Israel

Note: effective 3 January 2009 the Gaza maritime area is closed to all maritime traffic and is under blockade imposed by Israeli Navy until further notice


 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: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Abu 'Awdah (Joz Abu 'Awdah) 105 m

Natural Resources:

 Arable land

Land Use:

 Arable land: 29%
Permanent crops: 21%
Other: 50% (2002)

Irrigated Land:

 180 sq km; note - includes Gaza Strip (2003)

Natural Hazards:


Environment - Current Issues:

 Adequacy of freshwater supply; sewage treatment

Geography - Note:

 Landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel's coastal aquifers; there are about 355 Israeli civilian sites including about 145 small outpost communities in the West Bank and 32 sites in East Jerusalem (2010 est.)

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 Noun: NA
Adjective: NA

Ethnic Groups:

 Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%


 Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)


 Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni), Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%


 2,568,555 (July 2010 est.)

Note: approximately 296,700 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2009 est.); approximately 192,800 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2008 est.) (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 43.9% (male 374,110/female 354,088)
15-64 years: 53.5% (male 453,253/female 432,855)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 17,326/female 25,523) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 21.3 years
Male: 21.1 years
Female: 21.5 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.097% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 24.56 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 3.58 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 72% of total population (2008)
Rate of urbanization: 3.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 17.12 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 18.25 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 75.01 years
Male: 72.97 years
Female: 77.17 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.05 children born/woman (2011 est.)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.4%
Male: 96.7%
Female: 88% (2004 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 14 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2006)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 46.9%
Male: 38.8%
Female: 47.3% (2008)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: West Bank

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Economy - Overview:

 The West Bank - the larger of the two areas comprising the Palestinian territories - experienced a high single-digit economic growth rate in 2010 as a result of inflows of donor aid, the Palestinian Authority's (PA) implementation of economic and security reforms, and the easing of some movement and access restrictions by the Israeli Government. Nevertheless, overall standard-of-living measures remain near levels seen prior to the start of the second intifada in 2000. The almost decade-long downturn largely has been a result of Israeli closure policies - a steady increase in movement and access restrictions across the West Bank in response to Israeli security concerns which have disrupted labor and trade flows, industrial capacity, and basic commerce, both external and internal. Since 2008, the PA under President Mahmoud ABBAS and Prime Minister Salam FAYYAD has implemented a largely successful campaign of institutional reforms that has contributed to increased security and economic performance, supported by more than $3 billion in direct foreign donor assistance to the PA's budget since 2007. An easing of some Israeli restrictions on West Bank movement and access since 2008 also has contributed to an uptick in retail activity in larger cities. The biggest impediments to economic improvements in the West Bank remain Palestinians' lack of access to land and resources in Israeli-controlled areas, import and export restrictions, and a high-cost capital structure. Absent robust private sector growth, the PA will continue to rely heavily on donor aid for its budgetary needs.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $12.79 billion (2009 est.)
$11.95 billion (2008)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $6.641 billion (2008 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 7% (2009 est.)
2.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2008 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 3.7%
Industry: 13.6%
Services: 82.6% (includes Gaza Strip) (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 694,000 (2009)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 12%
Industry: 5%
Services: 83% (June 2008)

Unemployment Rate:

 40% (2010 est.)
40% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 46% (2007 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 722,000 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 18.3% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $1.87 billion
Expenditures: $3.1 billion

Note: Palestinian Authority, includes Gaza Strip (2010)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 28.2% of GDP (2010)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -18.5% of GDP (2010)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 6% (2010 est.)
2.5% (2009 est.)

Note: includes West Bank

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 7.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.3% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $NA (31 December 2008)
$1.574 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $5.251 billion (31 December 2008)
$3.048 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $232.6 million (31 December 2010)
$190 million (31 December 2007)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $6.674 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$6.238 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $1.353 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.475 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $2.45 billion (31 December 2010)
$2.375 billion (31 December 2009)
$2.123 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Olives, citrus fruit, vegetables; beef, dairy products


 Small-scale manufacturing, quarrying, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs

Industrial Production Growth Rate:


Electricity - Production:

 400 million kWh

Note: most imported electricity is from Israel; Jerusalem District 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 (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 3.572 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009)

Electricity - Imports:

 3.2 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 24,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 22,110 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)


 $529 million (2008)
$339 million (2006)

Note: includes Gaza Strip

Exports - Commodities:

 Stone, olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone


 $3.772 billion (2008)
$2.84 billion (2006)

Imports - Commodities:

 Food, consumer goods

Note: Israel permits limited imports through crossings with Gaza, but many "dual use" goods, such as construction materials, are smuggled through tunnels beneath Gaza's border with Egypt

Debt - External:

 $1.04 billion (2010 est.)
$1.3 billion (2007 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Israeli Shekel to Any Currency

New Israeli shekels (ILS) per US dollar -
3.739 (2010)
3.9323 (2009)
3.56 (2008)
4.14 (2007)
4.4565 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 337,000 (includes Gaza Strip) (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 2.405 million (includes Gaza Strip) (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: Gaza continues to repair the damage to its telecommunications infrastructure caused by fighting in 2009

Domestic: Israeli company BEZEK and the Palestinian company PALTEL are responsible for fixed line services; the Palestinian JAWWAL company provides cellular services

International: country code - 970 (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 The Palestinian Authority operates 1 television and 1 radio station; about 30 independent TV and 25 radio stations operating; Jordanian TV is available; satellite TV is accessible (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 0, FM 27, shortwave 0 (2010)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 31 (2010)

Internet Country Code:

 .ps; note - same as Gaza Strip

Internet Users:

 1.379 million (includes Gaza Strip) (2009)

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 2 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)


 Total: 5,147 km
Paved: 5,147 km

Note: includes Gaza Strip (2006)

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Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 579,248
Females age 16-49: 547,782 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 30,925
Female: 29,440 (2010 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 The current status of the West Bank is subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a "seam line" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew from four settlements in the northern West Bank in August 2005; since 1948, about 350 peacekeepers from the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), headquartered in Jerusalem, monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating, and assist other UN personnel in the region

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Last Updated: December 2011

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