Facts About Palestine
The location of Palestine is at the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Palestine is located to the south of Lebanon and to the west of Jordan. Palestine Geography consists of four regions in the country. The four regions of Palestine Geography are Jordan valley and Ghawr, coastal and inner plains, Mountain and Hills and Southern Desert. Palestine is also split into 8 governing districts Nablus and Jenin to the North, Ramallah and Jerusalem in the center, Jericho to the east, Bethlehem and Hebron to the south, and Gaza – located to the west of Israel.
The Palestinian territories are composed of two discontinuous regions: The West bank, including east Jerusalem, which has an area of 5655 square kilometers and a total population of 2.4 Millions according to 2009 statistics of Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics “PCBS”, and the Gaza Strip, which is a small enclave located to the south of the Palestinian coast, and has a total area of 365 square kilometres and a population of 1.5 millions according to the 2009 statistics of PCBS too.
The Palestinian territories, which were originally contained within the British Mandate of Palestine, fell under the control of Egypt and Jordan in the late 1940s, and captured and occupied by Israel following the 1967 War. In 1980 Israel claimed to annex East Jerusalem from the West Bank, but United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared this illegal and required that it be rescinded forthwith, while affirming that it was a violation of international law.
Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, portions of the territories have been governed in varying degrees by the Palestinian Authority, which was established according to these accords. Israel does not consider East Jerusalem to be part of the West Bank. Israel claims that both fall under full Israeli law and jurisdiction .This has not been recognized by any other country, since unilateral annexations of territory are prohibited by customary and conventional international law
- Poverty; Over half of Palestinians live under the Poverty line – 45.7% in the West Bank and 79.4% in Gaza strip.
- Refugees; There are a registered Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East total 4,618,141 – with an estimated total of 5.5 million refugees worldwide.
- The Wall; The Wall’s total length is 723km – twice the length of the Green Line (the internationally recognised border) between the West Bank and Israel. When complete, 14% of the Wall will be constructed on the Green Line or in Israel, while 86% will be inside of the West Bank.
- Settlements; There are currently 121 Israeli settlements and approximately 102 Israeli outposts. Both are built illegally on lands occupied in 1967. There are also approximately 462,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. 191,000 are in settlements around Jerusalem and 271,400 are further spread throughout the West Bank
- Housing Difficulties; The UN has stated that Palestinians face a housing crisis because of inadequate urban planning by Israeli officials who run the east Jerusalem region. 28 % of Palestinian homes in the area have been built without permits, which makes them targets for demolition by Israeli authorities (OCHA) – more than a quarter of the 225,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem risk losing their homes.
- Restriction of Movement; The occupying forces have constructed over 500 checkpoints throughout the West Bank – which severely hinder not only the freedom of movement but also the natural economic growth of Palestine. Similarly, the erratic closing of the checkpoints has meant that the citizens who attempt to travel to work via checkpoints are faced with the prospect of their access being closed. Ultimately resulting in small businesses being severely jeopardised and individuals who work in the bigger cities or in Israel losing their jobs if not allowed passed.
Source: The Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC)