West Bank

  • Population (2007) : 2 460 000
  • Surface area : 5 879 km²
  • Population density (2005) : 419,9 inhabitants/km²
  • Population growth (2006) : 3,1 %
  • Fecundity rate (2006): 4,28
  • Life Expectancy at birth (2006) : 73,3
  • Ethnic background : Arabs.
  • Religions : Muslims 97% Sunni and Christians 3%.
  • Language : Arabic (Official), English widely spoken and understood.
  • Urban Population : ?
  • Infant Mortality Rate (2006) : 19,2 %o
  • Illiteracy Rate (2007) : Males : 3,7 %, Females 12,6 %
  • Currency : 1 new Israeli Shekel (NIS) = 100 new Agorot.
  • Market Exchange Rate: 1€ = 5,4 NIS (July 2008)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2003) : 1800 millions $
  • Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (2003) : 1100$

The West Bank is initially a transjordanien territory. As its name indicates, it is the region below the Jordan River. Israelis rather speak of Judea and Samaria in reference to the biblical aspect of the territory.

The West Bank came under Israeli control after the 1967 war. This occupation is illegal under the Geneva Convention. Soon, Israel began a settlement on the West Bank. Israel implemented road networks serving Israeli settlements and prohibited to the Palestinians. In addition, the water resources of the West Bank return to Israel while Palestinians are not allowed to drill new wells.

The total population of 2 460 000 inhabitants is mainly composed of Arab Palestinians. There are 470 000 Israeli, or 25% of the population who hold 40% of the territory. There are 19 camps and 745 776 refugees in the West Bank (according to UNRWA figures ).

The separation barrier has exacerbated the economic problems of Palestine, and has hampered access to care and education. There is an unusual increase in the rate of illiteracy and infant mortality, and a significant loss of purchasing power among the Palestinian population.
Ramallah is the main town in the West Bank, it holds 220 000 inhabitants, and welcomes the Mouqata’a, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. Cities of Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron ar also located on the West Bank.