Areas A, B, C

Administrative divisions of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as outlined in the 1995 Oslo II Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Area A, according to the Accords, consists of land under full civilian and security control by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and constitutes approximately 3% of the West Bank, including major population centers such as Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Bethlehem and Jericho. Area B was to be under Palestinian civil control, and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control, and comprises approximately 24% of the West Bank. There are approximately 440 Palestinian villages and their surrounding lands in Area B. Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control, and comprises approximately 73% of the West Bank. Most of the West Bank’s natural resources and open spaces are in Area C, as well as all Israeli settlements. It was stipulated in the Accords that much of Area C was gradually to be transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction, though with the breakdown of the peace process, this did not happen. Israeli security forces control borders between Areas A, B and C, and, though Area A is supposedly under PA security control, there are frequent Israeli incursions into Area A cities. Hebron, which is the only major population center inside of which there are Israeli settlements, is a category unto itself. 80% of Hebron considered H1 (under Palestinian control) and 20%--including most of the Old City of Hebron, which used to be the city’s commercial center—is considered H2, and under Israeli military control. There are checkpoints/turnstiles controlled by the Israeli military between those areas, greatly constricting and limiting movement of Palestinians who reside in H2. See Btselem website for a map delineating Areas A, B, and C in the West Bank. See also, "Humanitarian Update: The Closure of Hebron’s Old City," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 2005.

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