The West Bank
The the West Bank is an area of the the Middle East, between Israel and the Jordan, whose statute is prone to discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Autorité. She is regarded as being under no sovereignty of swears . The Cisjordanian territory extends on 5.879 km. Its limits are very cut out and constitute a very significant stake in the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
Étymologiquement, " Cisjordanie" indicate “the area in on this side ( cis- ), in fact in the west, the the Jordan”. The english-speaking generally use “ West Bank ”, the “bank western” (of the Jordan). In Israel, the government and certain Israelis adopt the denomination of " Yehuda véShomron" " יהודהושומרון " (literally " Judaea and Samarie"), in reference to the biblical territories of the two kingdoms resulting from the schism the Judaea (capital enters: Jerusalem) and Israel (capital: Samarie). Others use in Hebrew the expression " haGada haMa' aravit" " הגדההמערבית ". Sometimes lastly, on the side of Arabic who is the second official language in Israel, one finds for the designation of this area the فلسطين term (Palestine) or “Al dhifa Al rear gharbia” RTL الضفةالغربية which means “western bank”.
A certain number of people of sensitivity pro-Israeli prefer to use, in French or English, the terms of Judaea-Samarie or Judea and Samaria , adapted Israeli governmental expression to point out the historical link between the Jewish identity and this territory. UNO itself also used the terms of Judea and Samaria in the text of resolution 181 of November 1947.
The term of the West Bank appeared between 1948 and 1967 in connection so that one still called at the time the Transjordanie , kingdom created artificially in the years 1920 and transformed by the Société of the Nations into British mandate, like the Palestine.
Public personalities like Hugh Fitzgerald, vice-president of the Jihad Watch Board call in question the use of the " term; West Bank" by explaining that the expression is vague and that potentially the totality of the State of Israel (except perhaps for the Negev) is in the west of the Jordan. According to them, it is necessary to prefer to use an expression like " Judaea-Samarie " who is several times millenium, rather than " Cisjordanie" who dates only from the Jordanian occupation. For others like the professor of linguistics Lewis Glinert war.pdf, “ the battle of the words is lost for the Israelis ” on the use of this term because “ Jordaniens, Britanniques and potentially the whole world ” uses already this term.
HistoryThe West Bank covers the historical provinces of Samarie and Judaea. The Arab population converted with Islam as of VIIe century. The West Bank becomes province of the Ottoman Empire in XVIe century, before being subject to, at the XIXe century, the increasing influence of Great Britain.
Transjordanie annexed the West Bank after the Israeli-Arab Guerre of 1948 and extended on two banks from the the Jordan. Abd Allah ibn Hussein became the first king about it. The War the Six Day old between Israel and its adjoining countries made lose with the kingdom of Transjordanie, famous since Jordan, the territories which it controlled in the west of the Jordan: the West Bank and Jerusalem-Is. It is in July 1988 that the kingdom of Jordan officially gave up the territories of the West Bank, putting fine at the electoral representation of the populations within the Jordanian Parliament, and making redraw the charts of the kingdom to limit it to the bank East of the Jordan, in the borders that one knows to him today.
In 1967, Israel occupies the area following the war of the Six-Jours. It there establishes colonies of settlement and subjects the territory to its military administration. In the same way, the kingdom hachémite continues to control the public office (hospital, schools, municipalities) and to manage the Islamic holy places. December 9th, 1987 bursts the first Intifada.
Israel and the West Bank
The borders between the State of Israel and the West Bank are not yet clearly traced and result from the Israeli-Arab Accords of armistice of 1949 following the Israeli-Arab Guerre of 1948. The West Bank was annexed and occupied by Jordan of 1949 to 1967, then Israel recovered of it control during the Guerre the Six Day old. The Palestinians consider that Israel occupies the territories of the West Bank, whereas Israeli side, one prefers speech of “control” and territories “disputed” rather than of occupation.
With the international level, however, it is generally allowed that the West Bank is an occupied territory, and that for this reason the establishments of Israeli populations are there illegal because of the Geneva Convention. Israel always vigorously disputed this vision of the things, arguing that this territory was under Jordanian occupation before 1967.
In June 2005, in the process related to the Israeli decision “to disengage itself” of part of the West Bank and of Gaza, the Supreme court of the State of Israel declared that these territories were occupied by act of war and did not form part of the national territory.
The Second Intifada in the West Bank
Since the beginning of the the Second Intifada, many Israeli incursions took place in the West Bank in reprisals with the Palestinian Attack-suicides.
Most important of these incursions (named “Operation Rampart”) was started following a particularly fatal Attentat Palestinian in the town of Netanya (“the massacre of Easter”) the March 27th 2002 - asserted by the islamist movement Hamas. The attack made to final the 30 died. “Rampart” consisted of a reoccupying of the majority of the Palestinian cities of the West Bank, mainly Ramallah (where the presidential complex of Yasser Arafat was largely destroyed, as well as the center of Palestinian preventive safety located at Beitounya), Nablus (where engagements particularly violent ones in the kasbah caused the death of 78 Palestinians), and Jenin. (See the article concerning the polemic around the events which was held in Jenin).
PopulationThe inhabitants of the West Bank are mainly Palestinian Arabs. The population of the West Bank is evaluated today between approximately 2 and 3 million inhabitants. This figure also included Israelis installed in the West Bank. In 2006, one counted 220.000 Israelis with Jerusalem-Is and 250.000 others in the remainder of the West Bank. They account for 25% of the population and occupy 40% of the territory. Their establishment was encouraged since its occupation by Israel in 1967, with an acceleration of the movement since 1977, under the government of Menahem Begin. The Palestinian population knows a very strong natural rate of increase, estimated at 4,2% per annum over the period 1990-1995, in spite of a very important infant mortality 44% related to the insufficiency of the medical infrastructures. In 2006, the estimates of the Palestinian population - including Jerusalem-Is - vary from 1,7 million to 2,4 million, the official figure.
Living conditionsThe living conditions of the Palestinian populations in the West Bank cause concern more and more. Several missions elected by UNO, as well as innumerable testimonys, indicate a spectacular regression of the standard of living, level of education, and medical follow-up of the populations. The quoted independent factor is the very severe restriction of circulation of the goods and people installation by the Israeli army. Certain cities (Jericho or Jenin for example) are surrounded by a ditch prohibiting very entered or left the city, except for points of passage or “Checkpoints” controlled by the army. There is also more than one hundred of these checkpoints disseminated on the roads of the West Bank, and innumerable mobile controls. Israel on its side ensures that these checkpoints is essential to the protection of its citizens, in Israel as in the West Bank. Moreover, the presence and the continuous enlarging of the Israeli colonies add sources of conflicts and serious incidents. Today, more of two thirds of the Palestinians have less than 2 $ per day to live
EconomyThe economy of the West Bank was primarily agricultural under the Jordanian occupation. After its occupation by Israel in 1967, the latter supported the development of an industrial labor by calling upon tens of thousands of Palestinian workers employed in the Israeli Industrie, and in particular in the sector of the building. However, this labor is the first touched by periodic measurements of looping of the occupied territories. The industrial activity did not compensate for the agricultural job losses, also due to the colonization of the best grounds. Today, agriculture realizes less than 20% of GNP, against 40% for industry and the services. The industrial activity is limited to light industry sometimes very near to the artisanal activity.
The barrier of separationSee the detailed article Barrier of Israeli separation
In 2002, the Israeli government (at the time a coalition government containing as well the Labor Likoud as the ) decided the construction of a barrier of separation from which the announced goal is to protect the Israeli citizens from the attack-suicides. A controversy immediately exploded, supplied with the layout of the passage of the fence. This one, encroaching sometimes largely out of the borders of 1967, is regarded by the Palestinians as an attempt at ground appropriation by the means of a fact accomplished on the ground. This controversy culminated at the time of the intervention of the International Court of Justice on the subject, which declared the wall illegal. It is it should be noted that Israel did not ratify the treaty creating this Court, and does not recognize its authority.
This barrier significantly worsens the economic problems of the Palestinian populations and, in a certain number of cases, creates obstacles with the access to the care and education. It however apparently had a significant impact on the number of Attack-suicides perpetrated on the Israeli territory. End November 2004, the Supreme court of the State of Israel ordered notable changes of the layout of the fence, bringing it closer to the borders of 1967. However, of the “blocks” of Israeli colonies located in the Palestinian territories are still included in the modified layout.
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