The Palestinian Territories, existing of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are situated in the Mashreq region. In 1993 the Palestinian Authority was established on parts of West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 2007, the latter is under Hamas leadership after a violent split from the Palestinian Authority. The administrative centres are in Ramallah and Gaza, with Jerusalem as proclaimed capital.
The Palestinian Authority was created to administer a limited form of Palestinian self-governance carrying civil responsibility in some rural areas, as well as security responsibility in the major cities.
Israeli closure policies disrupt labour and trade flows, industrial capacity, and basic commerce. Stonecutting is a major source of income for the Palestinian economy. The annual average output per worker in the stone industry is higher than in any other sector. Economic growth since 2008 has been sustained by inflows of donor aid rather than private sector economic activity.
Largest cities – 2014 estimates (inhabitants):
- Gaza City (591,400)
- Khan Yunis (220,300)
- Jabalia (212,900)
- Hebron (202,200)
- Nablus (146,500)
Annual population growth (2011): 2.9%
Annual population growth (2000): 3.5%
Water and waste
91% of the population has access to proper water sources and 89% to proper sanitation (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation, November 2011). In 2012 the Palestinian Territories generated 1.387 million tons of municipal solid waste (per person 0.9 - 2.05 kg/day in urban areas and 0.35-0.6 kg/day in rural areas). The amount of waste is growing by 4% annually. Waste collection coverage in urban areas reaches 93% and in rural ones 88%. The final destination of collected waste is generally open-dumping (67%) and landfilling (33%) (GIZ, 2014 – Country report on Solid Waste Management in Occupied Palestinian Territories).
Energy and Climate
Data on the Palestinian Territories’ energy consumption in the road transport sector as part of its total energy consumption are not available, as is the case with energy consumption per capita as well. Electricity consumption (West Bank) amounted to 1,271 kWh per capita in 2011 against 1,298 kWh in the year 2000.
According to World Bank figures CO2 emissions in the Palestinian Territories were 0.52 metric tons per capita in 2008 against 0.44 metric tons in 2001. The main sectors that contribute to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases are energy production, industry and motorised traffic.
Policies and strategies
- National Environmental Strategy
- National Environmental Action Plan
- Environmental Impact Assessment Policy
- National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
- PWA Strategic Master Plan for Wastewater Management
- PWA Industrial Wastewater Policy
- PWA Domestic Wastewater Treatment Policies
- National Action Plan in the frame of the Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Mediterranean from land-based pollution sources (UNEP/MAP)
- Millennium development Goals (MDGs)
- Transport Strategy
- Energy Strategy
- Energy Efficiency Programme
Bottle-necks and developments
The occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) suffer from inadequate or non-existent wastewater treatment, discharge of partly or untreated urban effluents to the sea or river basins and limited capacity and maintenance of existing urban sewage networks, as well as discharge of industrial effluents to these networks. Solid waste management is inadequate and solid waste is disposed of in uncontrolled dump sites. Co-disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste takes place, as of industrial solid waste with municipal waste. Also problematic is air pollution originating from industrial units that neighbour urban or residential areas.
Renewable energy is the strongest alternative in the oPt due to absence of fossil fuel resources. The area has to import all its needs of petroleum products and over 90% of electrical energy from the Israeli market. Energy resources are limited to solar energy and biomass. Geothermal and wind energy could be feasible.
ENP Progress Report 2011
The Palestinian Authority (PA) adopted a revised transport strategy. Restructuring of the public passenger transport is ongoing.
An Energy Strategy until 2013 was adopted pursuing electricity sector reform, with EU assistance, aiming at reducing net-lending. Energy efficiency measures were implemented and renewable energy projects (in particular solar energy) developed.
In the area of climate change sub-regional co-operation (Israel, Jordan, Palestine) was launched on the impact of climate change on water availability.
Reform of the environment and water sectors continued. The Cabinet endorsed the environment sector strategy for 2011–2013, and the Environmental Quality Authority prepared the related action plan for 2012-2014.
- Environmental Protection Law
- Water Law
- Law on National Water Utilities
- Jordanian General Municipal Act
- Jordanian Public Health Act
- Traffic Law
- Electricity Law