The Palestine state as forged by various agreements with Israel and Palestinian officials is made up of two parts, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The West Bank is surrounded by Israel except for the eastern side, which borders Jordan and the Mediterranean coast. The Gaza Strip is in west of Israel bordering Egypt. Parts of Palestine are still occupied by Israel. Jerusalem is home to Masjid al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site.
Palestine - Facts and Figures
- The Palestine State is made up of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
- The terrain is a mix of desert, dry coastal plains and highlands.
- Climate is typical of the region, dry and hot in the summers.
- Palestine’s land borders are never constant. Historically, the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River in the West Bank is about 225 kilometers long and up to 115 kilometers wide. Official stats have the West Bank land area at 5,860 square kilometers while the Gaza Strip is 360 sq km.
- The population in the West Bank is around 2.5 million while the Gaza Strip has about 1.4 million people. Palestinian Arabs make up 83% of the West Bank with 17% being Jews. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Arabs comprise almost 99% of the population.
- Languages spoken in Palestine include Arabic, Hebrew and English.
- About 75% of the West Bank population is Sunni Muslim. Jews comprise 17% with the rest being Christian and other religions. In the Gaza Strip, close to 99% are Sunni Muslims.
- The capital of Palestine is yet to be finalized though former PLO leader, the late Yasir Arafat, insisted it should be East Jerusalem.
- Major exports are citrus fruits, flowers, textiles, olives, vegetables and limestone.
- Currencies in use are New Israeli shekels, Jordanian dinars and US dollars.
- Agricultural products are olives, citrus, vegetables, beef and dairy products.
- Major trading partners are Israel and Jordan.
- Government is the Palestinian Authority.