Where West Bank is on the world map
Map of West Bank with cities. Where West Bank is on the world map. The main geographical facts about West Bank - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
West Bank Fact File
Official name West Bank
Region Central and West Asia (Territories in Asia)
Form of government Disputed by Israel and Palestinian National Authority; interim self-government administered by Palestinian Legislative Council
Area 5,860 sq km (2,263 sq miles)
Time zone GMT + 2 hours
Life expectancy 72.5
Infancy mortality (per 1,000) 21.2
Literacy rate Not available
Currency Israeli shekel, Jordanian dinar
Economy Industry 45%, services 34%, agriculture 21 %
Climate Temperate, with cool to mild winters and warm to hot summers
Map reference Page 225
Under a 1947 UN agreement this area on the west bank of the Jordan River was to become Palestinian when the State of Israel was formed. After the 1967 Six Day War Israel had control of a larger area than originally proposed. The building of Israeli settlements since then has been bitterly resented by the more than ninty-five percent Palestinian Arab population. The area depends on remittances from workers in Israel. Lack of jobs has also led to many working in the Gulf States. But the intifada in 1987-89 reduced the numbers working in Israel, and many West Bank workers were sent home following Palestinian support for Iraq in the Gulf War. Unemployment presently is about twenty-six percent. Under a 1993-95 Israeli-PLO declaration certain powers were to be transferred to a Palestinian Legislative Council, but ongoing Palestinian bombings in Israel, Israeli reprisals, and persistent Israeli settlement construction make a speedy end to strife unlikely. Whether the resumption of talks that came about as a consequence of heightened US pressure in 2003 will indeed lead to the resolution of the remaining problems—one of them being the status of Jerusalem, claimed as capital by the Palestinians as well as by the Israelis—and the foundation of an independent Palestinian state in 2005 is highly doubtful. Corruption and scandals in the Palestinian leadership and their inability to keep fundamentalist terrorists at bay as well as Israel's policy of targeting and assassinating people they deem dangerous seem to make peace almost impossible.