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1UpTravel - Geography Info and Facts of Countries : . - West Bank


West Bank Geography and Facts

Location: Middle East, west of Jordan

Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 35 15 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 5,860 sq km
land: 5,640 sq km
water: 220 sq km
note: includes West Bank, Latrun Salient, and the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea, but excludes Mt. Scopus; East Jerusalem and Jerusalem No Man's Land are also included only as a means of depicting the entire area occupied by Israel in 1967

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries:
total: 404 km
border countries: Israel 307 km, Jordan 97 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: temperate, temperature and precipitation vary with altitude, warm to hot summers, cool to mild winters

Terrain: mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west, but barren in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Tall Asur 1,022 m

Natural resources: arable land

Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 32%
forests and woodland: 1%
other: 40%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: adequacy of fresh water supply; sewage treatment

Geography - note: landlocked; highlands are main recharge area for Israel's coastal aquifers; there are 231 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the West Bank and 29 in East Jerusalem (August 1999 est.)

 


Background:

The Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (the DOP), signed in Washington on 13 September 1993, provides for a transitional period not exceeding five years of Palestinian interim self-government in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Under the DOP, Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, which includes a Palestinian Legislative Council elected in January 1996, as part of interim self-governing arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A transfer of powers and responsibilities for the Gaza Strip and Jericho took place pursuant to the Israel-PLO 4 May 1994 Cairo Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and in additional areas of the West Bank pursuant to the Israel-PLO 28 September 1995 Interim Agreement, the Israel-PLO 15 January 1997 Protocol Concerning Redeployment in Hebron, the Israel-PLO 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum, and the 4 September 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement.

The DOP provides that Israel will retain responsibility during the transitional period for external security and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israeli citizens. Permanent status is to be determined through direct negotiations, which resumed in September 1999 after a three-year hiatus.



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