|the West Bank a semi-autonomous Palestinian region in the Middle East on the W bank of the River Jordan, comprising the hills of Judaea and Samaria and part of Jerusalem: formerly part of Palestine (the entity created by the League of Nations in 1922 and operating until 1948): became part of Jordan after the ceasefire of 1949: occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In 1993 a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization provided for the West Bank to become a self-governing Palestinian area; a new Palestinian National Authority assumed control of parts of the territory in 1994--95, but subsequent talks broke down and Israel reoccupied much of this in 2001--02 and continues to maintain most existing Israeli settlements. Pop: 2 421 491 (2004 est). Area: 5879 sq km (2270 sq miles)|
Land on the west bank of the Jordan River, formerly in the hands of Jordan, but captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel has agreed to hand over part of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, but the Israeli government has been widely criticized for continuing to move civilian settlers as well as soldiers into the area. In 2001, in response to terrorist suicide bombings (see terrorism), Israel staged heavy military strikes against Palestinian cities in the West Bank.