Occupied Palestinian Territories
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Occupied Palestinian Territories
Region: Western Asia
2012 Population1: 3,811,102
Total Area (sq. miles)1: 2,324
Life Expectancy at Birth1: 73.0
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2012 US $)1: $4,350
Official Religion(s) Or Church(es) 2: Islam

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Largest Religious Groups (Occupied Palestinian Territories)


Government Regulation of Religion Index: Average government regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Government Favoritism of Religion Index: Average government favoritism score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less favoritism) Social Regulation of Religion Index: Average social regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Religious Persecution: Average number of people physically abused or displaced due to their religion according to U.S. Department of State's 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports (as coded by ARDA researchers). 0 = None; 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-20; 3 = 21-100; 4 = 101-500; 5 = 501-1000; 6 = 1001-5000; 7 = 5001-10000; 8 = 10001-50000; 9 = 50001-100000; 10 = greater than 100000.


The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Israeli governments maintains it is a territorial dispute. The boundaries of the territories, subject to future negotiations, are generally regarded by the international community as being defined by the Green Line. The term "Palestinian Territory, Occupied" had been utilized by the UN and other international organizations between 1998 to 2013 in order to refer to the Palestinian National Authority; it was replaced by the UN in 2013 by the term State of Palestine. Israel occupied the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967, which had been earlier occupied by Jordan and Egypt respectively, and has maintained control of them since. In 1980, Israel officially absorbed East Jerusalem and considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. The inclusion, though never formally amounting to legal annexation, was condemned internationally and declared "null and void" by the United Nations Security Council. The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations, the international legal and humanitarian bodies and the international community regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian National Authority housed its offices in Orient House and several other buildings as an assertion of its sovereign interests, until Binjamin Netanyahu shut them down. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, approximately 130 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States. In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (Areas A and B). Israel still exercises full military control and, civil control over 61% of the West Bank (Area C). The Oslo Accords established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore. The Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12 miles (19 km). In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, beyond which a no-go zone exists. As a result, over 3,000 fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, and Palestinians are denied access to its coast line. Israel disengaged from the Gaza strip in 2005. However, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are still considered to be occupied by Israel according to the international community. The Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007 divided the Palestinian territories politically, with Abbas’s Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority (see: Fatah-Hamas conflict). In 2014, there was an agreement between the two political groups to hold elections and form a compromise unity government. The 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict intervened, however the unity government survived.



Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from Wikipedia.org, 2015. (http://www.wikipedia.org/)

1.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank’s Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

3.  The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

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