Capital: In dispute

Geographic Coordinates: 32 00 N, 35 15 E

Population: 4 million (UN, 2007)

Main Religion: Islam, Judaism

Language: Arabic, Hebrew

Head of State: President Mahmoud Abbas; Prime Minister Salam Fayyad   

Main Industries:  generally small family businesses that produce cement, textiles, soap, olive-wood carvings, and mother-of-pearl souvenirs; the Israelis have established some small-scale, modern industries in the settlements and industrial center   

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $2,050 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: New Israeli shekel (ILS); Jordanian dinar (JOD)  

Life Expectancy: 72 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification            

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • Land mines and other unexploded ordnance are an ongoing threat to children.
  • Chronic malnutrition affects nearly 10 per cent of children under age five. The situation is most acute in Gaza, where 50,000 children are malnourished. About half of children under age two are anaemic and 70 per cent have vitamin A deficiency.
  • Approximately 10 per cent of girls ages 15 to 18 are pregnant or already have a child.
  • Violence against children is a problem in homes and schools. An estimated one fifth of children have experienced violence at the hands of family members.
  • Children in nearly a third of all families experience anxiety, phobia or depression.
  • School enrolment is high, but it is starting to decline. The quality of education is also suffering because schools lack textbooks and other materials. Nearly half of all students have seen their school besieged by troops, and more than 10 per cent have witnessed the killing of a teacher in school.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah; Radio and TV: Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Television

Interesting Fact:  Water bodies in Palestine are almost non-existent. The Palestinian land is demarcated into 4 geographical regions: the Southern Desert, Mountain and Hills, Jordan valley and Ghawr.

Famous for: Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud al-Khatib, Iwan (contemporary singer), Palestine Liberation Organization, Hamas, Khaled Meshal,  Gaza Strip