West Bank

Territory located to the west of the Jordan River (thus its being called "the West Bank") and the Dead Sea, constituting approximately 21% of historic Palestine. Israel often refers to it by its biblical name "Judea and Samaria," often with the political motive of wanting to legitimize Israeli sovereignty of the territory. The territory was part of the designated Arab State in the 1937 U.N. Partition Plan, and came under Jordanian control after the 1948 War. The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) was conquered by Israel during the 1967 War, making up the bulk of the newly Occupied Palestinian Territories, along with the Gaza Strip. In 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Areas A, B and C were formed as part of the Oslo Accords. The PA was granted limited self-government in the population centers of the West Bank (as well as Gaza) for an interim five-year period, although Israel retained responsibility for security in much of the West Bank as well as for administration of the Jewish Israeli settlements in the territory, which continues until today. Est. Palestinian population in 2007 according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: 2.3 million. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, over 300,000 Jewish Israeli settlers resided in the West Bank in 2009; this number does not include settlements with populations under 2,000 or settlers living in East Jerusalem. Israel built the Separation Barrier along the border of and jutting into the West Bank, operates military checkpoints within and along the borders of the territory, and conducts military operations on a regular basis. See "Humanitarian Factsheet on Area C of the West Bank," UNOCHA, December 2011; and "Settler population rose 4.9% in 2009," Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2010.

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