West Bank in numbers
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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)
The West Bank is a Palestinian territory held since 1967 by Israel, which now seeks to annex parts of it.
The Israeli government is expected by July 1 to announce its timeline on annexation as proposed in a US peace plan.
- Population -
The West Bank, seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, covers 5,655 square kilometres (2,180 square miles) and is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan.
About 450,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements considered illegal by the international community alongside over 2.8 million Palestinians.
According to data compiled by an Israeli anti-settlement NGO, Peace Now, the number of homes approved in settlements has nearly doubled since Donald Trump, a fervent supporter of the Jewish state, became US president in 2017.
The majority of the approximately 130 Israeli settlements are in blocs, linked by roads controlled by the Israeli military.
Approximately 10,000 of the settlers live in the Jordan Valley, the agricultural strip of land constituting almost 30 percent of the West Bank, according to data from the Israeli government and NGOs.
Some 65,000 Palestinians live in the same zone, including 20,000 in the city of Jericho, according to Israeli anti-settlement group B'Tselem.
- Zones -
The Oslo Agreements on self-rule signed by the Israelis and Palestinians in the 1990s divide the West Bank into Areas A, B and C.
Area C, under full Israeli control, constitutes some 60 percent of the West Bank.
The settlements and parts of the Jordan Valley that Israel seeks to annex are mainly in Area C.
The Palestinian Authority maintains control over the remaining 40 percent of the West Bank, constituting primarily urban areas.
- Economy -
According to the World Bank, the poverty rate among West Bank Palestinians is 14 percent.
The unemployment rate was 18 percent in 2018, says the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO).
Some 120,000 Palestinians worked in Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank on a daily basis prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The average daily wage in the West Bank private sector is 118 shekels ($34), compared to 238 shekels in Israel and Israeli settlements, according to UNSCO.
© 2020 AFP