Mostly rugged dissected upland, some vegetation in west, but barren in east
Temperate; temperature and precipitation vary with altitude, warm to hot summers, cool to mild winters
Population: 2,731,052 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Muslim (predominantly Sunni), Jewish, Christian and other
MAIN SECTS OF ISLAM (2:47)
The West Bank—the larger of the two areas comprising the Palestinian territories—has sustained a moderate rate of economic growth since 2008. Inflows of donor aid and government spending have driven most of the gains, however. Private sector development has been weak. After a multiyear downturn following the start of the second intifada in 2000, overall standard-of-living measures have recovered and now exceed levels seen in the late 1990s.
The current status of the West Bank is subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement—permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Israel continues construction of a "seam line" separation barrier along parts of the Green Line and within the West Bank; Israel withdrew from four settlements in the northern West Bank in August 2005.
THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (:52)
US Military Presence/Support