West Bank

landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia

The West Bank is a piece of land in the Middle East. It touches the Dead Sea and the River Jordan. The landscape is mostly hills or desert. The weather in the summer is hot and dry. It is cooler and rainy in the winter. Some Israelis and other nations disagree on whose it really is. Since 1990 there are talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinians about what will happen in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the future. Most people on the West Bank are Palestinians but there are also many Jewish settlers in settlements. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal under international law. The territory has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

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 / 32.000°N 35.350°E / 32.000; 35.350
 • Total5,655 km2 (2,183 sq mi)
 • Total2,949,246 (est., July 2021)[a]
LanguagesArabic, Hebrew
ReligionIslam, Judaism, Christianity, Samaritanism
CurrencyIsraeli shekel (ILS)
Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Map of the West Bank
Four Palestinian boys in the West Bank.

The State of Palestine claims the West Bank with East Jerusalem included.

The West Bank is divided into 165 Palestinian enclaves that are under partial Palestinian rule. The rest of the West Bank, including 200 Israeli settlements, is under full Israeli control.[2]

Israeli settlers and civilians living or traveling through the West Bank are subject to Israeli law, and are represented in the Knesset; On the other hand, Palestinian civilians (and mostly stuck in or confined to scattered enclaves), are subject to martial law and are not permitted to vote in Israel's national elections.[b]

The occupied West Bank is called "Judea and Samaria" by the Israeli government[source?] and some Jews and Christian Zionists (en).[3]{{}}


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  1. Over 670,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank as of 2022; approximately 227,100 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem as of 2019.[1]
  2. While Arab citizens of Israel, most of whom are ethnically Palestinian, can vote in Israeli national elections and live under civilian not military rule, very few live in the West Bank settlements, whose funding and purpose is directed at promoting Jewish residency.


  1. "West Bank". Central Intelligence Agency. 17 October 2023 – via CIA.gov.
  2. Israel's control of the airspace and the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Harrison, Rebecca (2 October 2007). ""Amen" for Israel, say Christian Zionists". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 24 March 2024.