CIA SealFactbook Logo West Bank  
   Introduction   Geography   People   Government   Economy   Communications   Transportation   Military   Transnational Issues  
Map of West Bank

West Bank    Introduction Top of Page
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 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. Permanent status is to be determined through direct negotiations, which resumed in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus. An intifadah broke out in September 2000; the resulting widespread violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's military response, and instability in the Palestinian Authority are undermining progress toward a permanent settlement.
West Bank    Geography Top of Page
Location: Middle East, west of Jordan
Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 35 15 E
Map references: Middle East
Area: 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:  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 winters
Terrain: 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:  27%

permanent crops:  0%

permanent pastures:  32%

forests and woodland:  1%

other:  40%
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 1999 est.)
West Bank    People Top of Page
Population: 2,090,713 (July 2001 est.)

note:  in addition, there are some 176,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and about 173,000 in East Jerusalem (August 1999 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  44.61% (male 478,232; female 454,439)

15-64 years:  51.8% (male 552,661; female 530,230)

65 years and over:  3.59% (male 32,629; female 42,522) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.48% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 35.83 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 4.37 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: 3.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 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:  0.77 male(s)/female

total population:  1.04 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 21.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  72.28 years

male:  70.58 years

female:  74.07 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.9 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 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%
West Bank    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  none

conventional short form:  West Bank
West Bank    Economy Top of Page
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 36.1% between 1992 and 1996 owing 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 established 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%. Since 1997 Israel's use of comprehensive closures has 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 a severe disruption of trade and labor movements.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.1 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -7.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  9%

industry:  28%

services:  63%

note:  includes Gaza Strip (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  NA%

highest 10%:  NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (includes Gaza Strip) (2000 est.)
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: services 66%, industry 21%, agriculture 13% (1996)
Unemployment rate: 40% (includes Gaza Strip) (yearend 2000)
Budget: revenues:  $1.6 billion

expenditures:  $1.73 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA

note:  includes Gaza Strip (1999 est.)
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: $682 million (includes Gaza Strip) (f.o.b., 1998 est.)
Exports - commodities: olives, fruit, vegetables, limestone
Exports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Imports: $2.5 billion (includes Gaza Strip) (c.i.f., 1998 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, consumer goods, construction materials
Imports - partners: Israel, Jordan, Gaza Strip
Debt - external: $108 million (includes Gaza Strip) (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $121 million disbursed (includes Gaza Strip) (2000)
Currency: new Israeli shekel (ILS); Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code: ILS; JOD
Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.0810 (December 2000), 4.0773 (2000), 4.1397 (1999), 3.8001 (1998), 3.4494 (1997), 3.1917 (1996); Jordanian dinars per US dollar - fixed rate of 0.7090 (from 1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year (since 1 January 1992)
West Bank    Communications Top of Page
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: 23,520 (includes Gaza Strip) (1999)
West Bank    Transportation Top of Page
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 settlements
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: none
Airports: 3 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total:  3

2,438 to 3,047 m:  1

1,524 to 2,437 m:  1

under 914 m:  1 (2000 est.)
West Bank    Military Top of Page
Military branches: NA
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%
West Bank    Transnational Issues Top of Page
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 negotiation