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Palestinian territories: Gaza and the West Bank
___ State of Palestine :: Palestinian territories
Image: Andrew Shiva
Palestinian territories, a virtual guide to Gaza and the West Bank.
Flag of Palestinian territories
"Palestinian territories" and "occupied Palestinian territories" (OPT or oPt) refers to the territories of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, which are occupied or otherwise under the control of Israel.
The State of Palestine is a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East consisting of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The "State of Palestine" is officially recognized by the United Nations as a Non-Member Observer State, the status was granted on 29 November 2012. The state's designated capital is East Jerusalem, however the administrative center is located in the city of Ramallah (West Bank). The State of Palestine is recognized by more than 130 countries worldwide, but not by France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
The estimated population in mid-2016 in Palestine is about 4.81 million people.
A strip of land with a coastline at the Mediterranean Sea, the small self-governing Palestinian territory is bordered by Egypt (Rafah border crossing) and by Israel. 1.9 million Palestinian Arabs live in Gaza Strip (est. 2017), Gaza City is the largest city and the administrative center of the Gaza Governorate.
Spoken languages are Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood). Main religion is Islam, 98.0 - 99.0%. (predominantly Sunni).
The West Bank is a landlocked rugged territory in the Mediterranean Region, west of Jordan, on three sides surrounded by Israel. The West Bank occupies an area of 5,860 km², making it slightly larger than twice the size of Luxembourg, or slightly smaller than the US state of Delaware. The territory has a population of 3 million people (est. 2017), about 390,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2016). Spoken languages are Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood). Main religions are Islam 80-85% (predominantly Sunni), Jewish 12-14%, Christian 1-2.5% (mainly Greek Orthodox).
In December 2016 the United Nations Security Council voted 14 to 0 to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The United States, which often vetoes resolutions critical of Israel, abstained and allowed the resolution to pass. The council also called upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. 
Despite that call, in December 2017, sitting US President Donald Trump recognized unilateral Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - and set off an avalanche of international criticism and protests.
The State of Palestine is a member of the League of Arab States.
Palestinian territories: Gaza Strip and West Banks
Following Palestinian leader Yassir ARAFAT's death in late 2004 and the subsequent election of Mahmud ABBAS (head of the Fatah political faction) as PA president, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to move the peace process forward. Israel in late 2005 unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers, dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip, and redeployed its military from several West Bank settlements, but it continues to control maritime, airspace, and other access. In early 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won the Palestinian Legislative Council election and took control of the PA government. Attempts to form a unity government failed, and violent clashes between Fatah and HAMAS supporters ensued, culminating in HAMAS's violent seizure of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip. Fatah and HAMAS have made several attempts at reconciliation, but the factions have been unable to implement details on governance and security.
Palestinian territories: Gaza Strip (Qita Ghazzah), West Banks
ISO Country Code: ps
Actual Time: Mon-Sept-23 06:10
Local Time = UTC +2h
Daylight Saving Time (DST) 1 April - 9 Oktober 2005 (UTC +3).
Country Calling Code: +970
Capital City: claimed East Jerusalem (Al Quds - Bir Salem)
Other Cities: Gaza strip: Gaza City;
West Bank: Bethlehem, Hebron (Al-Khalil), Jericho, Nablus, Nazareth, Ramallah.
Government: Limited civilian jurisdiction by the Palestinian National Authority, the interim administrative organization that nominally governs parts of the Palestinian territories of Gaza strip and West Bank.
Location: Middle East
Area: Gaza 360 km², West Bank 5,860 km²
Terrain: Gaza, sand- and dune-covered coastal plain; West Bank, mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west.
Climate: A Mediterranean climate prevails in Palestine. Summers are hot and dry. Winters are rainy and cold.
Population: 4.2 million (2012)
Ethnic Groups: Palestinian Arab, Jewish
Religions: Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni), Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Natural resources: arable land, natural gas.
Agriculture products: olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products
Industries: generally small family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs.
Exports partners: Israel, Jordan
Imports partners: Israel, Jordan
Currency: New Israeli Shekel (ILS); Jordanian Dinar (JOD); US Dollar
The Palestinian government is the government of the State of Palestine. The ruling power was split into two separate administrations. The first was the Fatah-dominated Palestinian government of 2013, which rules the West Bank areas A and B and is generally referred to as the Palestinian Authority. The other was the Hamas government of 2012, which was ruling the Gaza Strip. On September 25, 2014, Hamas agreed to let the Palestinian Authority resume control over the Gaza Strip and its border crossings with Egypt and Israel.
Official Sites of the Palestinian AuthoritiesNote: External links will open in a new browser window.
Palestinian Government - Office of the Prime Minister
Official website of the Ministry.
Palestine Ministry Of Information
Provides information on Palestine from the Palestinian point of view.
Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Official site of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Arabic).
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN
Provides information on issues related to Palestine and the United Nations, information on Palestinian affairs including, historical pieces and documents of the Middle East peace process.
The Geneva Accord
Text of the "unofficial" peace agreement of the Geneva Initiative drafted by moderate Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Map of Israel and the Palestinian territories
Detailed Map of Israel, Westbank and Gaza Strip.
Google Earth Palestine
Satellite view of Palestine region.
Map of Sinai Peninsula
Map of the Mediterranean Region
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.
Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Gaza Strip (1999)
Orthophoto Map of Gaza Strip.
Geopolitical Map of Westbank and Gaza
Geopolitical Map of Gaza
Geopolitical Map of the West Bank
WAFA - Palestine News Agency
News in Arabic, English, French and Hebrew.
Ramallah-based daily newspaper (in Arabic)
Al Hayat Al Jadedah
Official National Authority Newspaper. (in Arabic)
Jerusalem-based with largest-circulation (in Arabic)
Middle East Monitor
Middle East Monitor (MEMO) is a news outlet largely focused on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian Information Center
The Voice of Palestine.
News in English.
Palestine Media Center (PMC)
Official news from the National Authority.
International News Sources
Guardian (UK) - Israel and the Middle East
Bookmark/share this page
Arts & Culture
Baha' Boukhari Web site
A Palestinian cartoonist's work.
Breaking the Ice
Extreme Peace Mission, an Israeli-Palestinian expedition to Antarctica.
Information and music clips by the Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran.
Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange
Palestinian NGO with a mission to promote Palestinian culture.
Paltel Virtual Gallery
Offers a window on contemporary Palestinian art.
The Popular Art Centre (PAC)
A Palestinian NGO, a leading cultural Centre and a forum for local dance groups, musicians and artists.
YES.... Bethlehem is World Heritage
Site about the World Heritage Project in Palestine.
Business & Economy
Bank Of Palestine
Palestine's leading bank.
Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
Umbrella organization of the Palestinian business community, the site provides information about federations and chambers.
The Trade Development Center represents the private sector business of Palestine.
Destination Palestine - Travel and Tour GuidesDiscover the Holy Land.
A not very up-to-date country guide by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
The Noble Sanctuary
A guide to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (Al Quds)
The Municipality of Jerusalem (Israeli site).
Official tourism information for Jerusalem (Israeli site).
The city of Al-Bireh.
A Guide to Bethlehem
The Municipality of Gaza City.
The Municipality of Nablus.
The Municipality of Nazareth.
The Hotels of Palestine
Hotels at Bethlehem, Gaza, Hebron, Jerusalem and Nablus - The Arab Hotel Association.
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
EducationAl-Azhar University of Gaza
Gaza-Srtip - Palestine, founded in 1991.
The Arab University in Jerusalem.
An-Najah National University
Popular University at Nablus.
A Catholic Christian co-educational institution of higher learning founded in 1973.
Birzeit University is the first institution of higher education to be established in Palestine.
Center for Palestine Research & Studies (CPRS)
Independent academic "think tank" for Palestinian policy and strategy.
Islamic University of Gaza
Higher education institution in Gaza Palestine, founded 1978.
Environment & Nature
Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees
PARC is a leading Palestinian NGO working in the field of rural development, environment protection, and women empowerment.
Palestinian Hydrology Group
PHG is striving, in cooperation with the local communities, to protect and develop water and environmental resources.
PENGON - The Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network
Organization whose role is to serve the Palestinian environment by acting as a coordinating body for the Palestinian environmental organizations located in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
History of the State of Palestine
Wikipedia entry about the history of the Palestine State.
Interactive timeline/history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1799
Al Jazeera's timeline of palestine's history.
Background information about Israeli-Arab Conflict
Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
eBook edition of the Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem.
Stop The Wall
Stop The Wall is the grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
The only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world.
Institute for Palestine Studies
Promoting research, analysis, and documentation on the Arab-Israeli conflict and its peaceful resolution.
Monitoring Israeli Colonizing Activities
Site about Israel's activities in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza.
The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict
The search for an equitable solution must come to grips with the root cause of the conflict.
© Stop The Wall
Sources and additional Information on the State of Palestine
BBC: Palestinian territories profile
BBC: Israel country profile
BBC: Golan Heights profile
Amnesty International: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)
Human Rights Watch: Israel/Palestine
Reporters Without Borders: Palestinian territories
UN Information System on the Question of Palestine
Collection of full-text documents relevant to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East since 1946
Wikipedia: Gaza Strip
Wikipedia: West Bank
The World Factbook -- West Bank
The World Factbook -- Gaza Strip
Countries and territories in the Middle East
Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman |
Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen
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