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The September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled following the outbreak of an intifada in September 2000. In April 2003, the Quartet (US, EU, UN, and Russia) presented a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005 based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. Following Palestinian leader Yasir ARAFAT's death in late 2004, Mahmud ABBAS was elected PA president in January 2005. A month later, Israel and the PA agreed to the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments in an effort to move the peace process forward. In September 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew all of its settlers and soldiers and dismantled its military facilities in the Gaza Strip and withdrew settlers and redeployed soldiers from four small northern West Bank settlements. Nonetheless, Israel still controls maritime, airspace, and other access to the Gaza Strip. In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS, won control of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). HAMAS took control of the PA government in March 2006, but President ABBAS had little success negotiating with HAMAS to present a political platform acceptable to the international community so as to lift economic sanctions on Palestinians. Violent clashes between Fatah and HAMAS supporters in the Gaza Strip in 2006 and early 2007 resulted in numerous Palestinian deaths and injuries. In February 2007, ABBAS and HAMAS Political Bureau Chief Khalid MISHAL signed the Mecca Agreement in Saudi Arabia that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government (NUG) headed by HAMAS member Ismail HANIYA. However, fighting continued in the Gaza Strip, and in June 2007, HAMAS militants succeeded in a violent takeover of all military and governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip. ABBAS that same month dismissed the NUG and through a series of presidential decrees formed a PA government in the West Bank led by independent Salam FAYYAD. Fatah and HAMAS in May 2011, under the auspices of Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation negotiations, agreed to reunify the Palestinian territories, but the factions have struggled to finalize details on governing and security structures. The status quo remains with HAMAS in control of the Gaza Strip and ABBAS and the Fatah-dominated PA governing the West Bank. FAYYAD and his PA government continue to implement a series of security and economic reforms to improve conditions in the West Bank. ABBAS, who on behalf of the Palestinians in September submitted a UN membership application, has said he will not resume negotiations with current Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU until Israel halts all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.


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People And Society

Noun NA
Adjective NA

Ethnic groups
Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%

Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)

Muslim 75% (predominantly Sunni), Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%

Population World Ranking: 141
2,622,544 (July 2012 est.)
Approximately 311,100 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2010); approximately 186,929 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2010) (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
35.8% (male 471,908/female 447,816)
15-64 years
60.5% (male 796,421/female 757,227)
65 years and over
3.7% (male 39,546/female 55,637) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 21.7 years
Male 21.5 years
Female 21.9 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 45
2.063% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 66
24.19 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 209
3.56 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 111
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 72% of total population (2008)
Rate of urbanization
3.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.71 male(s)/female
Total population
1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 94
64 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 120
Total 14.47 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 16.22 deaths/1,000 live births
12.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 89
Total population 75.24 years
Male 73.17 years
Female 77.42 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 64
2.98 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids

Hiv/aids - deaths

Education expenditures

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 92.4%
Male 96.7%
Female 88% (2004 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 14 years
Male 13 years
Female 14 years (2006)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 5
Total 46.9%
Male 38.8%
Female 47.3% (2008)


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West Bank:
Country Locator

GPS points from West Bank

square Wadi Abu Al Fayd West Bank (general)

square Ras `ubeid West Bank (general)

square Magharat Wadi Zamil West Bank (general)

square Juneid West Bank (general)

square Wadi Al Khinzir West Bank (general)

square Magharat Khadir West Bank (general)

square Qabalan West Bank (general)

square Magharat Wadi `ubayd West Bank (general)

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