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West Bank

West Bank, territory in southwestern Asia, in the Middle East, located west of the Jordan River, occupied by Israel since 1967. It covers an area of about 5879 sq km and supports a population of about 973,500. All of the people are Palestinian Arabs. There is some Jews who have settled in the area since 1967. The West Bank was part of the British League of Nations Palestine mandate from 1922 to 1948, after the first Arab Israeli war in 1948 , Jordan took control of the region in 1949. In 1967 the area was seized by Israel during the Six Day War.

Under accords reached in the late 1970s between Egypt and Israel, the latter agreed to give the Palestinians of the West Bank more self rule , but subsequent negotiations failed to determine what the exact nature of government in the territory would be.

Beginning in December 1987, Intifada started in West Bank and Gaza Strip demanding Palestinian autonomy in Palestinian lands occupied by Israel . In November 1988 the PLO proclaimed a Palestinian state that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip based on UN resolution no 242 and other UN resolution related the Arab Israeli conflict.

After decades of violence between Arabs and Israeli in the West Bank, leaders of the PLO and Israel agreed to the signing of an historic peace treaty . On September 13, 1993, PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin met in the United States for the signing of the accord, which pledged to establish limited Palestinian self rule, beginning with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho . In May 1994 Israeli troops left Jericho, and a Palestinian authority took control of the city.

Source: Palestine History
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Added: May 2006
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