Government: The Palestinian Authority (PA), with Arafat its elected leader, took control of the newly non-Israeli-occupied areas, assuming governmental duties in 1994.
Geography: The West Bank is mostly composed of limestone hills (conventionally called the Samarian Hills north of Jerusalem and the Judaean Hills south of Jerusalem) having an average height of 2,300 to 3,000 ft (700 to 900 m). The Gaza Strip is located between Israel and Egypt on the Mediterranean coast. It is a flat to rolling sand- and dune-covered coastal plain.
Area: West Bank: 2,263 sq mi (5,860 sq km); Gaza Strip: 139 sq mi (360 sq km)
Population (2003 est.): West Bank: 2,237,194, Gaza Strip: 1,274,868 (growth rate: West Bank: 3.0%, Gaza Strip: 3.7%); birth rate: West Bank: 34.1/1000, Gaza Strip: 41.2/1000; infant mortality rate: West Bank: 20.7/1,000, Gaza Strip: 24.1/1000; density per sq mi: West Bank: 989, Gaza Strip: 9,172
Large cities (2003 est.): Gaza, 1,331,600 (metro. area), 407,600 (city proper), Hebron, 137,000; Nablus, 115,400
Monetary units: New Israeli shekels, Jordanian dinars, U.S. dollars
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew, English, French
Ethnicity/race: West Bank: Palestinian Arab and other 83%, Jewish 17%; Gaza Strip: Palestinian Arab and other 99.4%, Jewish 0.6%
Religions: West Bank: Islam 75%, Jewish 17%, Christian and other 8%; Gaza Strip: Islam 98.7%, Christian 0.7%, Jewish 0.6%
Agriculture: olives, citrus, vegetables; beef, dairy products.
Industries: generally small family businesses that produce textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale modern industries in an industrial center. Natural resources: arable land, natural gas.