What are Area A, Area B, and Area C in the West Bank?

The 1995 Oslo II Accord established the administrative division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C as a transitional arrangement, pending a final status agreement. The divisions persist, with Area A administered by the Palestinian Authority, Area C by Israel, and Area B under joint control.

Area A

Under the terms of the Oslo agreement, Area A is under Palestinian administrative and police control.

Area B

The Palestinian Authority excercises administrative control over Area B but shares security control with Israeli authorities. The majority of Palestinians in the West Bank live in areas A or B.

Area C

Area C, which Israel administers, covers over 60 percent of the West Bank. An estimated 300,000 Palestinians live in 532 residential areas located partially or fully in Area C, along with some 400,000 Israeli settlers residing in approximately 230 settlements. 

A third of Palestinian communities in Area C lack a primary school, forcing children to travel or walk long distances to reach the nearest school. More than 70% of communities in Area C are not connected to a water network and rely on tankered water at vastly increased cost. 95,000 people receive fewer than 50 liters of water per capita per day – half of the minimum amount recommended by the World Health Organization. Nearly half of Area C Palestinian communities report that their access to emergency and basic health care is hampered by the long distances to the nearest clinic or the need to pass through checkpoints.

Map of Areas A, B, and C
Map of Areas A, B, and C

Area A

Area B

Area C

Map courtesy SoWhAt249 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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